Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
September 15, 2017
Q: What did you think of the special teams unit against Dallas?
A: Kickoff – the first one I thought we could’ve done a better job tackling it inside the 20, instead of letting it get out to the 24. Kickoff return – disappointed with the penalty because that would’ve given us an opportunity to flip the field position, which we were struggling with all game long. Punt – solid. Got a lot of rush looks, which was nice and [punter] Brad [Wing] did a nice job with the hanging distance, location. And then punt return, it was mostly plus area. Field goal, field goal block was solid.
Q: What did you think of the penalty on one of your kickoff returns?
A: It was a hold. It was on [linebacker Calvin] Munson. Anytime you go down [by pulling the player opposing player down]. He had a poor base, poor football position. So, we’ll learn from it and move forward, but that was a critical time, [losing] 6-0, starting the second quarter and we really hadn’t done anything. That would have at least given us a chance to flip the field position and play on their side of the field.
Q: Do you anticipate Detroit’s issues that they had on special teams last week being corrected this week?
A: I mean, they had a punter that dropped a snap and got his knee blown out, so now you have to have your kicker come in and punt, and I thought the kicker [Matt Prater] did really a nice job. And the backup holder now has got to come in and he did a nice job. He missed on the first one and then got the next one down and [Prater] hit a 58-yarder. So it was really a good job of them overcoming a tough situation and doing well with it.
Q: Did it look like Detroit’s returners were coming out uncomfortable last week?
A: Well, one guy just, he panicked a little bit, but he’s been really good in preseason. And the punt returner is outstanding, very good quickness and good catch mechanics. So, it’s a solid group. I’m very impressed with their core overall. They’ve got safeties, they’ve got linebackers, running backs, cornerbacks. So it’s a very deep and nice core of players.
Q: What is the book on their new punter, Jeff Locke?
A: He was at Minnesota for the last four years, so we’ve played him a couple times. Left-footed punter. Really good directional and good hang, good operation, a veteran punter. He competed in Indianapolis and ended up losing out, but very, very solid punter who did really well against us last year when we played them at Minnesota.
Q: Do you feel like you are closer in the return game to being successful?
A: Well, we didn’t get any punt return opportunities [last week] because they were all in the plus-area and we had to put eight guys up in the box and defend the fake and defend the field. So, we don’t really know there, but we’ve been making nice progress in practice. Kickoff return, we always feel confident about and just have got to make sure we clean up the holding.
Q: Has wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.’s injury eliminated any prospect of him returning kicks this season?
A: We’ve got to wait until he plays. It eliminates him right now because he’s not playing.