By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles special teams have been inconsistent at best so far here in 2012. In fact, the last couple of weeks have seen several personnel moves being made with the hope of tightening things up. If the Eagles are able to turn this unit into a strength, it is a good bet that it will be Colt Anderson leading the way.
The Eagles 2011 special teams MVP, Anderson actually earned that honor despite missing the final four games of the season with a serious knee injury. He has missed a couple of games here in 2012 with knee issues, but is feeling good now.
“This is the best I’ve felt all year,” Anderson tells KYW Newsradio. “First couple games, just got to knock off the rust. Last week was the best I felt and I’ve just got to continue to keep working hard and continue to keep making plays.”
The Eagles are allowing more than 30 yards a kick-off return and more than 11 yards a punt return here in 2012 (by comparison, Eagle returners average just 19.6 yards on kicks and six yards on punts). Anderson talks about the struggles they have had trying to keep other team’s return games in check.
“It’s not personnel, it’s not x’s and o’s,” Anderson says. “It’s just more of an attitude, just more of a mindset, having the right mindset when you are approaching kick-offs that you know you’re going to make the play. You’ve got to win your one-on-one battles when you’re on special teams, that’s what special teams is all about. We’re in the right positions, now we’ve just got to make the plays.”
This is Anderson’s third season with the Eagles and he has made his name in one of the toughest ways possible, shedding blocks and clearing lanes on coverage and return teams.
“It’s a pretty difficult road. You’re definitely on the back-burner, but special teams is an important part of the game and until you realize that as a young player, you’re going to struggle. That’s why they get you here is to play special teams and I knew that coming in. That’s my strong point is special teams and I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team.”
Despite missing two games, Anderson is still fourth on the Eagles with 43 production points on special teams.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.