Eagles Seek to Avoid Block Party

Alex Henery is wary of the Cardinals' strength at blocking field goals. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

This week's game in Arizona is expected to be tight and relatively low-scoring. The Cardinals have had a significant edge in such affairs lately -- their uncanny ability to block kicks.

A blocked punt in New England last week led to the go-ahead touchdown in the Cards' 20-18 victory. The week before, Arizona blocked a field goal in its 20-16 win over visiting Seattle. In fact, Arizona leads the NFL with 15 blocks -- 13 field goals, two punts -- since 2008.

"I think their success at blocking is the main [special teams] thing they have going for 'em," Eagles special teams coordinator Bobby April said Thursday. " 'Cause they come flying off and they believe they're going to get it ... you can tell by the way they play, they believe they're going to get it."

April said the Cards use 6-8 DE Calais Campbell, who blocked the Seattle field goal, and speedy corner Patrick Peterson as primary disruptors, along with veteran safety Adrian Wilson.

"Those three guys set the tone," April said. "They've got some guys who can get their hands on the ball."

Eagles kicker Alex Henery said the Cards' pressure "just stresses the [need] to get the ball out fast, and you can't hit a low kick."

"One thing I pride myself on is getting the ball up and out, which not everyone can do," Henery said. "I think special teams will be pretty important this week. It's important every week, but this week we have to win that part of the game, I think."

April attributed punter Chas Henry's disappointing, erratic performance last Sunday against the Ravens to a problem with his drop that April said Henry needs to fix.


LT King Dunlap (hamstring) said he is a "little better, little better. Gettin' there," though he did not practice Thuesday and is not expected to play in Arizona.

WR Jeremy Maclin (hip) was listed as a limited practice participant Thursday after sitting out Wednesday. That might indicate Maclin will play.


Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was asked if one way to cut down turnovers might be to play more conservatively.

“Why would you ever do that?” Mornhinweg asked. “Really, you have to score points in this league, typically … if your defense is real good, you can take MORE calculated risks, ‘cause they’re going to cover it up. That’s the way I think. Certainly, when you turn the football over three times in or near the red zone, you’ve got to fight that [tendency toward a] conservative approach. You’ve GOT to trust the players. It’s just that simple. You can’t get anywhere if you’re concerned about not doing the right thing … you’ve got to trust the players and expect that they’ll get it done, that they’ll correct any mistake they’ve made in the past.”

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