Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
June 19, 2014
Q: So you’ve got a few new options for return men this year. That’s got to be pretty exciting.
A: We do. We have experienced guys that have been in this league, it’s always exciting. We’ll just see how it all plays out and how we can use them to fit their best abilities.
Q: Gunners as well, you’ve got some of those.
A: Yeah, we’ve got some more speed. Bowman, Jackson, we’re really excited about those two. Charles James continues to do well so it will be exciting to see those guys run down and cover punts.
Q: What is it about Bowman? He’s been a guy that’s been a big special teams contributor throughout his career. What makes him good in that role and what has be done…?
A: He does have the experience, number one. It’s something that you can’t replace. And he has speed so you combine those two, and he has good size for a corner so he can go ahead and challenge the two guys that are trying to blow him (up). That’s one of the toughest things to do on special teams – to defeat two guys and get yourself down the field and make the tackle. He’s done it before in this league at a high level and we’re excited to see him continue to progress.
Q: Did studying Trindon Holliday last year in prep work help at all?
A: We’ve always known about him. You study all of the really good returners and so you have a book on them all. When he became available we were happy to go get him.
Q: Is his size an asset because it seems like maybe it’s harder to find him behind blockers?
A: I don’t know if it’s an asset. His speed’s an asset, that’s for sure. He’s a strong guy for his size, ball security obviously will be his biggest focus once we start putting pads on and start knocking him around a little bit.
Q: Have you worked that cliché high and tight at all?
A: It’s preached in our building from day one that anybody that touches the ball, whether it’s a defensive guy, offensive guy, special teams guy that it’s always high and tight.
Q: Is there anything you’ve seen from him in particular with the ball security that you try to work on?
A: No, I haven’t seen anything yet. I’ve been pleased with the way he’s been tracking the ball, it’s been a big focus on catching the punt and getting started. I’ve been pleased with that.
Q: I know Odell Beckham has been limited with the hamstring but what do you like in him?
A: Well, based on the college tape, his ability to make plays with the ball in his hands, whether he’s a receiver or a returner. He’s explosive, he’s got legitimate speed and he runs, I think, pretty strong for his size. You put all of that together and it ends up being a good returner.
Q: Do you view him as both a kick and punt returner here?
A: Yeah, you want to have depth. Will he do each of them? You don’t know based on what the active list is for the game but we’re prepping him to do both and prepping Holliday to do both and Rueben Randle’s still back there and Jernigan so we’re trying to have a deep pool to choose from.
Q: Usually when you have a young skill position player like Odell, his first role is on special teams.
A: A lot of times it works out that way. They have all of these other ideas but it usually comes down to the first contribution is going to be special teams.
Q: Do you see that happening this year though because you have so many veterans at those positions?
A: I don’t know. It’s hard to tell right now but I think he’ll be ready for anything we ask him to do. A lot of times it gives those guys confidence and they progress on and they end up being offensive or defensive players later on down the road.
Q: How’s Brandon McManus doing?
A: Both of the kickers have looked really well. They’ve been really accurate. We’ve moved them back, we’ve used the 15, the thing that we’re going to experiment with as a league for the first preseason games, the last two preseason games for everyone else. They’ve handled that well so their accuracy has been good and we stretch them out a little more than we have in the past.
Q: Is that a competition as you see it as?
A: I think everything is a competition. I really like McManus, I liked him coming out. He went to Indy for last training camp and preseason and I thought he was really a good kicker coming out of Temple. He’s kicked in the northeast at a high level, he did all three so I think he’s got a real big upside once it all starts clicking for him.
Q: The only kick returner you really didn’t talk about was Quintin Demps.
A: Demps, we’re real excited to have him. He’s been consistent in this league and explosive. He’s a legitimate number one kickoff returner for us. He runs with good size and he has a real good understanding of the schemes. He’s been great with all teams. A real leader, coming in likely to start and he’ll be able to contribute on special teams.
Q: How much of a different option is he than maybe some of the other guys you have? You have some shiftier, faster guys and he’s fast but he’s on the bigger side.
A: You’ve got three different types of returners when you talk about Beckham, Holliday and Demps. Obviously with the speed of Holliday and the shiftiness, the undersized guy. And then you’ve got Demps, who’s got a little more size and he does have the straight line speed, and then you’ve got Beckham, who’s probably a combination of the two. We’re real happy with all three of those guys.