Eagles Address Kicking Situation: ‘It’s Not Our Standard & It’s Unacceptable’

Jake Elliott

Getty Jake Elliott is keeping Eagles fans entertained during quarantine with trick-shot videos and exercise tips.

Eagles special teams coordinator Dave Fipp is a straight shooter. In fact, the well-respected coach told reporters that his mom advised him to always tell the truth a long time ago. So Fipp got brutally honest in his assessment of Jake Elliott’s recent struggles making field goals.

Philadelphia’s kicker has gone 8-for-12 (66.7%) this year, including 1-for-4 on kicks over 50 yards. Missing those long kicks is one thing, but Elliott whiffed on a 29-yarder last week against New York. That is unacceptable, according to Fipp. He hasn’t lost confidence in his kicker — far from it, saying he believes “strongly in the player” — but the miscues need to be cleaned up.

“I mean obviously missing the 29-yard field goal is not our standard and it’s unacceptable,” Fipp told reporters on Tuesday. “I know Jake wants to be better in that and knows he needs to be better in that. I don’t think he would say he’s performed as well as he thinks he should perform, either.”

Fipp brought up comments he made last week when he gave Elliott a full vote of confidence and declared he had “no concerns at all for Jake.” Then, the Eagles brought in two different kickers — CFL All-Star Lirim Hajrullahu, ex-Temple kicker Austin Jones — for a workout. Elliott’s resume speaks for itself and his job isn’t in jeopardy right now. If he continues to miss easy kicks, well, it could be.

“Again, I’m not making excuses for him, but I do know that some of those things happen,” Fipp said. “Obviously if it continues to happen, it becomes a bigger problem.”

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DeSean Jackson Volunteered for Punt Return

Everyone knows by now that DeSean Jackson suffered a serious injury on a punt return late in the fourth quarter last week. The Eagles’ top speed threat is out for six to eight weeks, possibly longer as he attempts to rebound from a non-displaced fracture in his ankle.

It was a fluke play, a freak accident, and one that shouldn’t have happened. Giants cornerback Madre Harper hit Jackson late on what looked like an illegal hit, although no penalty flag was thrown on the play. The refs did assess a 15-yarder on Giants safety Corey Ballentine for a separate infraction for lowering his helmet to initiate contact.

Fipp didn’t want to comment on whether a penalty should have been called. The league still hasn’t suspended or fined Harper for the dirty hit. However, the special-teams coordinator was quick to point out that Jackson came up to him on the sideline and volunteered to go out there on the punt return. He was hoping to give the Eagles a spark and maybe take one back to the house.

“I got a lot of respect for DeSean,” Fipp said. “During that last drive he had come up to me and said, ‘Hey man, if they are punting this ball backed up or if they are punting this ball, put me back there, I want to go back there and make a play.’ Just a really unselfish football player trying to do anything he could to help the organization win a football game.”


Fipp ‘Really Liked’ CeeDee Lamb in NFL Draft

Cowboys rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb has been serving as a punt returner in Dallas. He has 12 returns this year for 85 yards, including a long of 27 yards. His numbers aren’t earth-shattering but the former Oklahoma standout is another explosive weapon to worry about.

Fipp acknowledged the Eagles “really liked him” coming out of college and called him “super talented.” But the coach made it clear that he was only speaking for the special-teams group when discussing his evaluations on Lamb. He wasn’t privy to the organization’s overall thoughts. Remember, there was a rumor out there the Eagles could have traded up in the draft to select Lamb.

“We really liked him in the draft, just in our evaluations,” Fipp said. “When I say we, I mean really more on special teams. I can’t speak for the organization, but I’m sure they felt highly of them also. Obviously, a super talented player, long, big. I mean, the guy is more elusive than you’d think especially for his size and body.”

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