Special Teams Coach Thomas McGaughey
October 4, 2018
Q: You watched (Quadree) Henderson going back to March. What do you like about him as a return man?
A: Production Ė heís a sure-handed guy. He obviously had a lot of production in college and we like what we saw on tape and his pro day, like we saw there, so he has a lot of potential like any young guy that had a lot of production in college. Weíd like to see what he does at the next level.
Q: You guys faced a player last week in Taysom Hill who had a fake punt against you. Have you ever dealt with a player like this? This sort of back-up quarterback that can also be out there on the punt?
A: Yeah, I coached him four years named Joe Webb. Same guy. Joe Webb is the same guy. Joe Webb did the exact same thing as Taysom Hill. He blocked punts, covered punts, personal protector, returned kicks. I mean, the same guy. Joeís just a little bigger, but same guy.
Q: Did you (inaudible)?
A: Yep, absolutely.
Q: After a fake punt, you watch the film. Whatís the message to the guys? Fool me once, shame on you or how do you address that?
A: That fake, that particular one is very hard to prepare for because you could do it at any time and if you watch the tape, you saw our guys, they knew something was coming, but you just donít know. Mike Westhoff has been coaching for 30 years in this league and heís had Tim Tebow Ė we saw every fake that Tim Tebow ran and none of those were like that. Itís just one of those deals, itís just you try to play it the best you can. Inside, we were alert and you run the stop route with a run-pass option off of it, itís pretty tough especially when you get held at the point. That doesnít help either, so it is what it is. Next time, weíll be ready for it.
Q: Do you watch Carolina and see a lot of things that you did?
A: Yeah, theyíre a mirror image of us. You got to realize that Chase (Blackburn) played here, I coached him here, he worked with me for two years and we think very similar, but Chase is a heck of a football coach and heís going to have some things that heís going to do different, but for the most part when you look at them, itís like I told my guys, theyíre a mirror image of us.
Q: Does it make it harder to prepare because youíre anticipating what you might not know is coming?
A: You canít chase ghosts. All you can do is prepare for what you see on tape and just have your base set of rules that prepares you for everything. Once you go through those processes, itís just go out and play football. Itís not one of those deals you go out there, what if he does this, what if he does that. You ainít got to worry about that, you still got to go play.
Q: You have a lot of guys in this organization that spent time down there in Carolina. You walk around the building this week kind of silently nod to each other?
A: I donít get caught up in the going back and revenge game. I donít Ė itís football. We got a job to do every week regardless of the opponent, theyíre all nameless, gray faces and when we go out there we got a job to do and just go out there and play and get a win. Thatís the most important thing.
Q: What did you think of Jawill (Davis)?
A: Jawill Ė good, young player. Heís a guy that has a ton of upside, but again, heís a young player that needs reps and the (inaudible) process has started for him and we look forward to him making great strides moving forward and once he gets a couple of weeks under his belt, heís going to be alright.
Q: So you plan on giving him at least more opportunities, is that fair to say?
A: Heís a young player. Heís a good, young player. He has to. Youíre not going to learn by sitting on the bench. You got to play and thatís the only way youíre going to ascend in this league. You got to have game reps. Itís one thing to do it out here on the practice fields. Itís a whole other different thing to do it on game day during the regular season. Preseason, yeah thatís great, but the speed of the game during the regular season, thatís something you got to have for a young guy if you want to see him get better.
Q: Whatís the key in your mind to improving both areas of return, specifically the starting field position.?
A: Just executing the fundamentals and the techniques of the scheme. Just doing the little things the right way. Making good decisions, bringing the ball out, and just details. Just the details of the return game and we got a lot of young guys out there that are playing that are Ė itís a new group. Itís a brand new group and these guys are trying to learn how to play fast and with each other. Learning how each other plays, whatís their strengths and weaknesses, and once we get to the point where you figure that out and weíre starting to make good decisions and weíre physical with our blocks, finishing, taking the right steps, youíll see the production.
Q: Do you see openings for your returns that theyíre not seeing at the time or was itÖ?
A: Itís been some clogged lanes, definitely, and thatís what Iím saying when Iím talking about the execution of the blocking scheme and guys being in the right spots, making sure their hats are Ė the details of it. Just little big things that the average person canít see, that the coach knows thatís wrong, that the player knows thatís wrong. Just leverage and angles, thatís what this game is all about.
Q: How much does that have to do with this year with the new kickoff rules? Are players adjusting Ė
A: Thatís football. Thatís never going to change. Leverage and angles and footballís always been a game of leverage and angles, so thatís not going to change. Itís the people that are taking the angles and that are getting the leverage. They got to make sure they get every time and itís something weíll continue to coach up until they get it. Once we start to get it then obviously moving forward, youíll see the difference between it.
Q: So itís not something like well this guy didnít have a standing start, but youíre in a different position and youíre just adjusting?
A: I donít think thatís it at all. I think itís just execution. Weíre not executing. It starts with me and how weíre coaching it and now we have to get better at it. Thatís point blank period, we got to get better.
Q: You talked a little bit about Taysom Hill and Joe Webb and even mentioned Tebow. How come we donít see more guys like that, guys who are like this all-purpose downs, special teams, who can throw and do these things?
A: I think you will. Moving forward, especially with college football with the way that it is now with the guys that are coming out. You have so many talented guys trying to find their way on teams. I think the style of quarterbacks that are coming out, I think youíll have more of those types of guys, more athletic quarterbacks coming out. Guys that can run, that can cover kicks, that can return kicks potentially because they get here on this level and you got to teach them a lot of that stuff, especially the guys that played the quarterback position. You got to Ė they never covered kicks. Most of them never did in Pop Warner, much less getting up here and trying to learn how to cover a kick. I think moving forward youíll see a lot more of that.
Q: What did (Michael) Thomas and (Nate) Stupar see that tipped off because it looked like Ė
A: I canít tell you that. Thereís certain thingsÖyou never know who you are going to play in the playoffs Ė thereís certain things that we look for. Thereís certain things that we look for and saw it and they put us in the right spot. Itís just watching the tape and learning the opponent and tendencies and all that good stuff.