Every team with Super Bowl hopes needs to have a special teams unit that can get it done: a kicker with ice in his veins that can knock the game-winning FG through the uprights in absolutely atrocious conditions, the punter that can consistently pin an opponent deep in their own zone, a disciplined coverage team that doesn't allow back-breaking returns.
The Eagles, despite their otherwise remarkable offseason, took a step back in the special teams department. Long time Eagles kicker David Akers, known around the league as one of the best in the business, is now a 49er. Sav Rocca, the Eagles veteran punter for the last three seasons, is now a member of the Washington Redskins. A few key members of the Eagles' special teams units have been replaced.
Despite the changes, however, the Eagles still have one of the best special teams coordinators in the NFL in Bobby April, a gifted young kicker in Alex Henery, and a talented group of youngsters vying for spots on the special teams coverage units. How quickly those units can gel together will be a major key for the team going forward. If the special teams units are able to consistently pin opponents deep in their own zone, it sets the table perfectly for the team's suddenly terrifying defense to play its aggressive style with abandon.
In terms of players, the biggest unknown here is Henery. While his mantle is already filled with awards and honors, he has yet to make an NFL field goal. He has not proven he can make the kick with millions watching in a nationally-televised game, with icy winds howling and a hostile crowd screaming. David Akers, by and large, made those kicks. Will Henery be able to do the same?
If he can't, the Eagles' season could come to yet another premature end.