Eagles have options to return kicks and punts

It wasn't through free agency, but a trade that the Eagles made a splash Thursday morning. Credit: Getty Images
Darren Sproles will likely be the No. 1 return man this season for the Eagles. Credit: Getty Images

The Eagles, in losing DeSean Jackson, lot a secret weapon on punt returns. Who can forget the “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” or the multitude of other times he was able to jumpstart the offense with an electric return?

This year, though it’s early, the Eagles seem to have a player just as dynamic in Darren Sproles. They also have a bevy of other return options who could provide a pretty big boost to the Eagles special teams unit. But Chip Kelly hasn’t really given kick and punt returns much thought yet.

“I think it’s a difficult time in a lot of these evaluations in the spring because there’s no contact,” Kelly said. “You really can’t get in front of people and do things.”

Sproles had two kickoff returns for scores as a Charger, and three punt return touchdowns, one with the Saints and the other two in San Diego. On the kickoff front, the short speedster amassed 20 yards on 238 of 328 kickoff returns in the NFL.

“It’s just getting fundamental reps of guys back there fielding balls,” Kelly said. “But who it’s going to end up being or where it is, Darren is the one proven commodity that has had a lot of success in the league doing it.”

The Birds have two rookie wideouts in Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews, each had reps returning balls in college, giving the Eagles some special teams depth.

“[I am] anxious to take a look at two of the young kids, Josh Huff returned kickoffs in college and Jordan Matthews [who] returned punts in college. So get a chance to take a look at those guys and add them into the mix with some of the other guys we have active. Damaris [Johnson] and Jeff Maehl have returned kicks before. We have always tried to get [Riley Cooper] back there.”


Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."


Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.


Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.


Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…


FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.


'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.


5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.


College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)


Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.


Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.


Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.


Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.


London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.


Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."