Throughout the offseason, we read accounts of Dave Fipp revitalizing the Philadelphia Eagles‘ special teams. There are stories of the frenetic pace of his practice sessions, Fipp running back with returners and bouncing all over the field to make sure his unit is in the right position. In the preseason, his crew was the only one on the team that never faltered in their improvement.
Now, with one game under their belt, Fipp has shown that he is the real deal and this group has a chance to be one of the best in the league.
Alex Henery and Donnie Jones were rock solid in the kicking game. Henery nailed his kicks both on kickoffs and field goals. Jones will turn out to be one of the best pickups in years for this team as he consistently blasted punts and pinned the the Washington Redskins in their own zone. You cannot underestimate the value of touchbacks and dominance in the field position game.
The coverage teams on punts and kicks were excellent. The Redskins, even with desperation returns late in the game, were always stopped by the first or second tackler. The onside kick that won the game was one of quality execution and recovery, even after Jason Avant initially dropped the kick.
If they continue at this pace, they should be one of the top units in the game. Fipp’s contribution to this season will be huge, and we will see them win more games just like the one last night. It is a welcome sight compared to the horrid years since John Harbaugh’s departure. This crew will be a huge upside for Chip Kelly’s efforts in his first season in the league.