Thursday, September 15, 2011

The kickoff point of no return

Kickoffs from the 35 have everyone on edge.
To insure the Eagles don’t start the game on their 12-yard line as they did in the opener, special teams coach Bobby April has reinforced his kickoff return rule.

April also will have rookie Dion Lewis, who was at the goal line for the kickoff, drop back five yards into the end zone.

Kickoffs behind Lewis aren’t to be returned. Teammate Riley Cooper, also in kickoff formation, will let Lewis know if he’s gone beyond the point of no return.

“Past five yards, I take a knee,” Lewis said.
What’s baffling about the strategy is last year the Eagles wouldn’t return a ball five yards deep in the end zone. With kickoffs moved up to the 35-yard line and touchbacks ruling the early games, it’s as if the Eagles are willing to surrender five yards of field position.

“Four or five yards we wouldn’t have brought it out, ever,” April said. “I as we go along we’ll know what to expect. … I don’t really know the answer right now. I’m kind of guestimating that five yards is it. Anything more than that, you probably have a greater probability of getting it at the 20.”


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