Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
September 13, 2018
Q: What did you tell Kaelin Clay after that play?
A:†Just catch the ball. Protect himself. Thereís no reason, in that situation, we had a blocker on him and just protect yourself with a fair catch. Just being situationally aware, thatís all.††
Q: Do you intend to give him another chance back there?
A: Yes, heís like any other player. Youíre not just going to give him one chance and throw him away. Thereís a lot of things that happen over the course of the game that we all kind of want to get back, but Kaelin is a pro. This is his third year (in this league) going in, heís made a lot of plays in this league, and I expect him to do that moving forward.
Q:† How do you feel about your unit overall?
A: Itís okay. I think thereís a lot of things we can do moving forward to get better, especially in the return game. I see us taking big steps moving forward, and I look forward to doing that.†
Q:†For the last punt return, Coach Shurmurís talked about situational use of (Odell Beckham Jr.) or (Saquon Barkley) Ė situational maybe being when youíre behind, in that kind of a situation. Is there a discussion between you two at that point at all?†
A: Itís always something in our minds that we can possibly potentially do, but it just didnít happen. It was one of those things that looking back at, maybe you could do something different and maybe not. Maybe you stay in the same situation, depending on Kaelin making the play. He makes the play, we go down and we score, weíre not even talking about it. Itís just one of those deals. In the moment, you make a decision and you live with it.†††
Q: The fact that the block was on him Ė having the block on him and having Odell back there probably would not sync up. If youíre going to have Odell back there, youíre going to have a return?
Q:† With the way they regulate the way the kickoff team can operate, would Saquon as a kickoff returner be interesting because he would get that full head of steam, perhaps? He would have that advantage now?
A: I think if you put Saquon in any situation, it would be interesting (laughter). But no, I agree with you. I will continue to say this Ė any time you put the ball in the hands of a great playmaker, itís always a positive.††
Q: I know itís the head coachís call, which you might say to me, but then why not do it?†
A: You answered your own question.† Again, thatís one of those deals where thatís above my pay grade. I would welcome Saquon back there any time.
Q: Maybe thereís something Iím missing, but why would having a punt block on preclude using Odell in that spot?†
A: You can put him back there in any situation, it doesnít have to be that situation. But that situation, you just catch the ball. Odell back there, Kaelin back there, it doesnít matter, just catch the ball.†
Q: What do you like about Cody Latimer as a kick returner?†
A: Heís a big, strong man that has really good straight-line speed and heís done it before in his career and been effective at it. We like what we saw when he was in Denver and heís the same way here. Again, we had one attempt and weíll obviously have some more moving forward. I think Cody is a very reliable candidate to do that job.†
Q: You werenít here with (Aldrick Rosas) last year but Iím sure youíve watched a lot of film on him. Does he look different? Does he look more confident?†
A: Absolutely. Heís like any other young player. You look forward to watching them mature. The maturation process has been really, really fun to watch. Heís a very talented young player that has a ton of upside, and heís learning. Heís like any young player in this league, you learn from your mistakes and you just continue to work to get better and heís done that.
Q: What was it like bringing Tom Quinn back and how has he helped in his role?
A: Tomís been great. We worked together for four years, so itís like putting the band back together. Tom is very knowledgeable, very detailed, very organized in what he does and he definitely brings a lot to the room. We work well together.
Q: But thereís a new lead singer in the band Ė he used to be your boss and now youíre his. How does that dynamic work between the two of you?
A: We work together. He doesnít work for me, we all work together. Me, him, and (Anthony) Blevins, we sit down and come up with the scheme for the week and how weíre going to attack the next opponent. We work together. Itís not a, Iím the boss Ė itís not one of those deals. Thatís how we operate.
Q: Any concerns with Dallas with what they do on returns?
A: Youíre always concerned about the opponent. Dallas is a formidable opponent, theyíve done a great job over the years. Theyíve got a new coordinator, but theyíre a talented football team. Theyíve got some good pieces there Ė Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin, those guys have made plays in this league. Any time you get an opportunity to line up against those style guys, youíve got to be ready because theyíll pop you upside the head.
Q: On the kickoff rules Ė does it make it any more or less enticing when youíre maybe two or three yards into the end zone to return it or take a knee?
A: Just depends on the situation. Itís all situational. It just depends on wind, direction, time of the game Ė itís just situational. It just depends. Youíve got to pick your spots.
Q: Did you get any feedback from former players or friends when you told us you had cancer?
A: Yes, I got a lot of text messages that day because thatís not something you just broadcast to the world. The people that are around me, really close know, that deal with me on a day-to-day basis, but itís not something that I picked up the phone and called everybody I knew, so a lot of people were surprised. It is what it is. I appreciate them reaching out, thatís for sure.†