Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
June 14, 2017
Q: What are your thoughts on how Aldrick [Rosas] has kicked this spring?
A: Aldrick has done well. He's really progressed from when we first put hands on him and started working with him. He's gotten better every day, so that's really been encouraging. He’s been consistent. Big guys we try to tighten them up a little bit and he's done really well. Very coachable. Very strong leg, and he's had good accuracy this spring.
Q: How do you scout a guy like that? As far I know, he didn’t kick on any teams in games the last two years.
A: He was with Tennessee last year.
Q: But did he kick in games?
A: Yeah. He kicked in their games. So, you identify them there and we bought him in for a workout. He had a really good workout here last season. So, our pro scouting did an outstanding job at discovering him and we were able to sign him to a futures contract.
Q: When you say tightening him up, do you mean motion?
A: Yeah, you know, bigger guys are sometimes long, trying to take some of the inconsistencies out by shortening them up and he did a good job with that.
Q: On punt return today, guys like Travis Rudolph, Sterling Shepard, Odell [Beckham] and Shane Vereen were getting reps. Is a punt return competition something we'll see come training camp in August?
A: Well, we're always trying to build a stable of guys back there. When you do get to the 46-man roster, you have one guy, that guy gets hurt, you need another guy to go in and it’s still critical to have the ball possession, be able to catch the ball and advance it.
Q: What did you see from Travis Rudolph?
A: Travis is very smart and he's very efficient with his movements. Probably more so than I thought when I watched him on tape. So, he's done a good job, he didn't really get the opportunity to return at Florida State but he's done a nice job for us up to this point.
Q: How does being more efficient with his movements help a punt returner?
A: It's just short area, so if you could put your foot in the ground and get vertical out, it really helps.
Q: Does that mean he's quicker than you thought?
A: A little bit quicker, yeah.
Q: Coach McAdoo is very adamant about having the rookies contribute on special teams immediately. Do you see a bunch of special teams contributors in this class?
A: Yeah, I think every year that class is counted on to do it and it's kind of the natural rite of passage. Good thing we all know is that you come out - good football players are good football players - if you come out and you play well, blocking and tackling, which this game is on special teams, then people see it, and then now you get to progress. Paul Perkins is a great example. Last year he came in, didn't really play any special teams in college, which we don't mind, and he listened, he learned and got better every week. Then your confidence grows as a player, confidence grows as an organization and then you can step up and start playing.
Q: Have any guys stood out in particular yet, this far?
A: You don't have pads on, so mentally they stand out. I thought the whole rookie class has really done well. Another solid group, deep group, so we'll get some good contribution from them.
Q: When we talk to the offensive guys and the defensive guys, they can't tell anything at this point because they don't have the pads on. With a kicker, is that the same, you won't really know what you have with him until you get in the preseason games?
A: I think that you kind of check boxes as you go along. ‘Are his times in the range?’ Yes. The height, the rotation, handling the wind. The different scenarios we put him in. The next step is handling the games. So that will be the next big thing.
Q: Could you get a sense here of how that will play out?
A: You have to see them in games.
Q: It's a big jump I guess?
A: That's not really necessarily a big jump; but it is a jump. It's something that's confidence for everyone. You have to see him go out and do it in a game. You can make all the field goals you want in practice, but you have to do it in a game.
Q: Would you give the rookie kicker more pressure type situations in training camp?
A: I think we've done that before in the past, when we've had a competition. Sometimes you get the whole team around them and try to create some different scenarios. Some places you put prizes on it, ‘You make this kick we don’t have meetings’, or something like that. So you could try to create, but there is nothing like kicking in front of eighty two thousand.
Q: Do you anticipate doing some of those games?
A: I'm sure we will. We've always done something like that to keep it fresh.
Q: Whoever it is, it’s going to be your fourth kicker in 18 games. How much of a desire do you have as a coach to have some stability at that position?
A: You always like stability. But the situation was what it was last year, we've handled it, we moved on. So, yes, you'd like to have a nice young kicker or an older kicker, whoever it is, and go from there.
Q: Why do you think it clicked last year for Brad Wing?
A: He just kept working. I mean he's got a tremendous work ethic. Tried to simplify it for him a little bit and he did. I think as his confidence grows and you could see the true ability come out, and he's got a lot of ability. He's very talented.
Q: Do you think that playoff game served as the motivation? It wasn’t his best game of the year.
A: I think for everyone it does. When you lose that last game, it motivates you.
Q: Coach has always talked about competition, would you prefer to have a second kicker in here for training camp, just to push each other?
A: If they're good enough, it's tough now because the number of training camp practices have cut down. So, the number of opportunities are cut down, and kicks. So, if you start getting two guys in here, you start splitting kicks up, do you have enough to make an accurate evaluation. But I know we're always looking for competition out there and if someone is good enough, I'm sure our pro scouts will identify them and bring them in.
Q: In that [Green Bay] playoff game, the mistake that Bobby Rainey made on the sideline. Is it in this kind of a forum, in the spring plus the minicamp, where you go over those kinds of situations?
A: It's all year long that we go through those situations. We call it the sideline rule: When you are within three yards of the sideline, you want to have square shoulders, if not; you're going to take the ball out of bounds. So, we show lot of tape, we do it this time of year, especially with the rookies. We have 45 minutes with them in the afternoon during this whole springtime to show them situations. During the season, the night before the game, we show 15 minutes of situations to the whole team. We talk about all the different rules and stuff. We try to show the video evidence so they get a better understanding of it.
Q: Is that harder with a rookie, like Travis Rudolph, who didn't do a lot of returning in college, so this is all new to him?
A: It's all new to everyone because there's a lot of differences between the rules in the NCAA and the NFL. So, we identify those for them.
Q: Are you involved in monitoring the kickers around the league? Or are you focused on what here right now?
A: Just by nature of what I do and my interest, I do take a look at everyone and everyone’s tape, see what they're doing. We have the ability to watch every game, right after it’s played. So, we’ll keep an eye on guys, but pro scouting that's right in their wheelhouse.
Q: Would it be fair to say that if they got another kicker here, that would be competition?
A: That's for everybody. You're always competing against everyone else in this league. There's 31 other teams, and when they cut down from 90 to 53, there's going to be a lot of players out there, that are good football players. So, you're not just competing here, it's league-wide.