April Hopes to Have Anderson

Eagles special-teams ace Colt Anderson is recovering from a torn ACL. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Colt Anderson isn't part of the Eagles' OTAs. Anderson is running and cutting on his own most days, usually just yards away from the main workout, virtually unnoticed.

Bobby April notices him, though. The Birds' special teams coordinator knows Anderson, nominally a safety, was the main reason the Eagles ranked third in punt return yardage surrendered and 13th in kickoff return yardage surrendered last season. Anderson was voted team special teams MVP by his teammates, after he finished second in special teams production points and tackles despite missing the final four games after tearing his left ACL Dec. 1 at Seattle.

The 2012 season will start just nine months after Anderson's surgery. Anderson recently said he was hitting all the targets so far in his recovery, though he didn't project a date when he would be 100 percent.

"I hope so. I think he's one of the best guys in the league. He might be THE best," April said Tuesday, when asked if he thinks he'll have a healthy Anderson this year. "What he did and what he does is phenomenal. He makes plays all over the field. He's just a phenomenal special teams player, and when he got hurt, we suffered.

"We watch films when we're implementing stuff and talking about techniques and concepts. Geez, most of the film is him, because he does it, he does exactly what you [teach]."

April still can't believe, he said, that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman plucked Anderson off the Vikings' practice squad midway through the 2010 season. "He's better than most guys on all 32 teams on special teams, and he wasn't playing at all," April said. "Is that crazy, or what?"

"I think he's going to be back; certainly he works hard. You can't work as hard as him, and I would bet that he's ahead of schedule," April said.