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The Philadelphia Eagles have a new special teams ace. It’s no secret that many of us were big fans of Rudy Ford. When he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philly lost arguably their best special teams player over the past two seasons.
He was by far the fastest player on the field in every game he played in. On every punt or kickoff, he was always the first man downfield and helped the Birds constantly win the field position battle. In his absence, there hasn’t been anyone to fill that void.
It appears the Philadelphia Eagles have found a new special teams ace.
Over the past few seasons, the Eagles have had a few special teams options in the form of K’Von Wallace, Zech McPhearson, and Craig James. McPhearson has done it on one side through the first two weeks but the player who has really made a big impact has been Andre Chachere.
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The Jonathan Gannon disciple who was just signed on September 2nd hasn’t played any defensive snaps just yet but has the ability to play both cornerback and safety. Until McLeod returns, the Eagles will need all hands on deck at safety in case of any injuries.
On the kickoff and punt teams, Chachere has been hard to miss. In Week 1, the Eagles kicked off to Cordarelle Patterson after their opening drive touchdown. Patterson took the kickoff out from deep in the endzone. Chachere was lined up at the L5 spot – closest to the kicker and on the left from the return team’s view.
He shed a block that probably could’ve been called for holding and got in position to help force Patterson to the sideline along with McPhearson and Avonte Maddox. It resulted in a short return to the 17-yard line.
The most notable play from Chachere in that game came on a punt in the second quarter. Chachere started out of a crouched position and got a good release at the line. After being forced to the sidelines, he still got upfield in plenty of time. He pointed to McPhearson to down the ball since he could not touch it after leaving the field of play. The Falcons then started on offense at their own eight-yard line and went three and out.
At the start of the second half, the Eagles went three and out. Chachere lined up in a receiver stance and released outside towards the direction of the punt. This time, he didn’t get forced to the sideline and made the initial contact on punt returner Avery Williams. He didn’t make the tackle but slowed Williams up enough for the rest of the Eagles to swarm to the ball.
On offense, Atlanta started at their own 14 and went three and out again. On another punt in the fourth quarter with 11:43 remaining, Chachere was the first player downfield again and made it to almost the exact spot where Arryn Siposs’ punt landed. It bounced back to McPhearson who downed the ball at the eight-yard line. The Falcons ran just five plays before punting the ball back to the Eagles.
In Week 2, Chachere made a noteworthy play early on. The Eagles’ first punt of the game was a beauty from Siposs. Despite being followed by two 49ers, Chachere found his way past both of them and saved the ball from going into the endzone. Unfortunately, McPhearson failed to corral it but Chachere deserves a lot of credit for the brilliant effort.
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Chachere hasn’t been perfect and there are still a few things that need to be cleaned up but through two weeks such as the illegal block in the back penalties. However, he has still been one of the notable impact players on special teams along with Siposs. He certainly has the makings of a Rudy Ford type of player and could help the Eagles win games just by winning the field position battle.
The game this past Sunday had the makings of a field position battle before the Niners put together a few nice drives. If Chachere keeps this up, he could become one of the household names on the special teams unit down the road. It should be fun to watch this story unfold as the year moves on and as Chachere hopefully improves each week.