Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- November 15, 2018
Q: What did you think of Corey Coleman as a kickoff returner?
A: He did a good job. It was refreshing to make an explosive play in the kickoff return game. It was fun to watch.
Q: What made you know he was able to do that? He hadnít returned any kickoffs in games.
A: He did it in college. Thatís part of our job as coaches, weíve got to do our research. I worked with Art Briles, so I always followed Baylor kind of closely so I knew about him and I knew about his past. Kid can run. He showed his self-value, definitely.
Q: Was he supposed to bring that one out?
A: Yeah. Weíre trying to make plays, this is not one of those deals where we just sit back and wait for the offense to make a play, for the defense to make a play. Weíre an (integral) part of it, and itís three phases working as one. Youíve got to have one working with the other. Weíre not just going to give way to one phase or the other, weíre out there making plays.
Q: As the weather gets colder, will there be more opportunities?
A: Absolutely. The ball doesnít fly as far, especially in the northeast. It doesnít fly as far, so youíre going to get those opportunities. Youíve just got to be ready for them when they come.
Q: What have you learned about Corey? He came with some baggage and perceptions about him, what have you learned about him as a player and a person?
A: I donít get into all that, the stuff that happened before. All I can do is take him for whatís going on in front of me. Heís been great in our meetings, heís been very receptive to coaching, he listens to everything we say, and heís doing a good job.
Q: Do you worry you might lose him to the offense?
A: Thatís part of my job. I donít worry about that stuff. My job is to get him ready to go to offense and defense, so I donít worry about losing one way or the other. If heís gone, then itís next man up. Thatís just the reality of it.
Q: How much of it is speed? Is there more to it? It seems like on kick return, thatís the most important trait.
A: Yeah, speed and vision. Youíve got to be able to see it, and obviously got to be able to get there. Corey possesses both. He does a good job of fielding the ball and he has some mobility. Heís a first round draft pick for a reason. Definitely has some big time ability.
Q: Aldrick (Rosas) has always been really accurate on the field goals, but has two kickoffs out of bounds. Whatís been going on there?
A: That happens. Heís a young player. Itíd be different if I had Graham Gano, a guy thatís been doing it for 10 years, but people have to realize heís a young player and young players make mistakes from time to time. Heís had a lot more touchbacks, a lot more good things than bad. Weíll fix that little issue that heís having. I think it was more honestly the field conditions a little bit there. I(f you watch Aldrick every day on our practice fields, when he plants and puts his foot in the ground, he puts a crater in the ground thatís probably six to eight inches. Thatís a big, strong man. If the ground is slipping underneath you a little bit, he wasnít really planting his foot in the ground because he didnít want to slide. It happened.
Q: How do you clean up the early penalties?
A: Itís technique. Some of the stuff is self-inflicted, we shouldnít have done it and weíve been told not to do it, and we did it anyway. Weíve just got to do a better job of listening when the coach tells you to do something, and then some of the things are just technique things. Got caught in the crossover, stay square a little bit more, but other than that, weíve been playing pretty clean up until the last couple of weeks. Weíve just got to make sure those little small details as far as penalties are concerned, weíve got to make sure we get that cleaned up.
Q: The punter was a concern here last year and you brought Riley (Dixon) in. What did you expect from him and how has he matched up to that?
A: We expected Riley to come in and just fit in. He showed really good direction in Denver, he was just a little bit inconsistent. Again, these guys are young players and you just canít give up on a young guy. Eventually, theyíre going to fail their way to success. Theyíre going to make mistakes, theyíre going to learn from their mistakes, and then theyíre going to have success. Thatís what you hope, anyway, but thatís been the case with Riley. Heís done a really good job of working, and again accepting coaching, and just maturing as a young player.
Q: When youíre scouting a guy like Riley, do you take into account Denver, the altitude? Do you look more at his road games? How did that play in?
A: Absolutely. I coached in Denver for two years and people always talk about the altitude. The altitude doesnít make the ball hang, it just makes it go further faster. When you compare the two from on the road and what he did at home, it wasnít a whole lot different. As a matter of fact, he was a little bit better on the road. Heís a young player, and weíre just happy that the maturation process is taking place with him, and we look forward to great things from him.
Q: Michael Thomas as a captain of yours, do you see a noticeable impact from him on the younger players on the unit?
A: Absolutely. Mike T is unbelievable for our room. He is an outstanding leader, heís an outstanding person. He does everything he can possibly do to help this football team win. They donít get any better than him. Heís one of my favorite guys, and one of my favorite guys Iíve ever coached. He brings that much juice to the room, and heís always coaching the young guys, heís always encouraging the young guys. Heís the type of guy that you want with a C on the chest.
Q: Is that what you expected from him? It seemed to be what he was known for.
A: Yes. The thing with Mike, the guy who gave me my first job, his name is David Suggs, was Mikeís high school coach. Heís always talked about Mike, so Iíve known about Mike since he was in high school. I followed him his whole career and when we got a chance to pick him up, I was definitely on board with him. You love to have a guy like that in your room, and heís fun to work with.
Q: How is Lorenzo Carter adjusting to as many snaps as youíve given him on special teams? Have you seen him develop in the roles youíve asked him to do?
A: Absolutely. Lorenzo is one of our top tacklers. Heís 6-5, 250 pounds and he runs 4.4. Heís a big talented guy. How many of those do you want? I want 11 of them. Heís a good young player and heís coming along. I foresee him graduating here pretty quick, his special teams reps will probably go down a little bit moving forward, but heís a very special player. Kind of reminds me of JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) a little bit.