Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- November 23, 2018
On what Corey Coleman has shown as a returner:
A: Just some consistency. Thereís so much to say about continuity, having the same guys getting familiar with each other. I know weíve talked about this before, itís no different than (offensive line) play. Those guys that block on the front line, theyíve got to learn how to play with each other as far as how they fit with their double teams, how each other moves, and all those different small, little nuances that people donít really think about, just being able to play as one, playing as a group Ė thatís extremely important. Having the same guy back there, you understand how he runs, what he likes to do, how he likes to do it and just being able to take the next step, just get beyond schematically what weíre supposed to do and then take those other little small nuances within the return scheme to be able to take it to the next level.
Q: With all the changes youíve had, especially in that position, from our vantage point, you donít even get that time in the preseason to work through and you use preseason games as kind of setting things up. How much of a challenge is it to turn the switch in a regular season when youíre really not getting that opportunity?
A: Thatís just part of the job. Youíve got to make adjustments on the fly, youíve got to be able to, as we say in our room, midstream adjust. If youíre not able to do that as a coach and as players, youíre going to struggle. We just focus on the moment, we focus on the actual play, and then the preparation. We try to make it as simple as possible so when we have to change those pieces out, they donít have to learn some super complicated scheme. You just create it in such a way where youíre able to plug and play. Itís not anything super hard, itís just basic football fundamentals. As long as you can look at a card, because weíll show you the card, and be able to follow directions, then you should be okay.
Q: Can a blocking scheme or a set of blockers be better-suited to a certain returner? Or do they all just have to find a way to fit?
A: It depends on the returner. We have a scheme that we run, but itís always adjustable. Depending on who we have, weíll make the adjustment based upon the styles of players we have blocking for him, and then the returner. If heís a certain kind of style of guy, then we might adjust what weíre doing in the backend, we might adjust schematically what weíre doing overall to adjust to his ability. Itís just worked out to where (Corey) kind of fits into what we do.
Q: Jawill (Davis) had some success as a kick returner before he got hurt. Is he an odd man out after the injury?
A: Itís tough, itís a tough business. Thatís a deep room (wide receivers). I always bust those guysí chops, itís like training camp over there. Theyíve got a ton of guys in there, and theyíre talented. Theyíre all good players, and it happens. Thatís the National Football League, especially when you have a very competitive room and you get a guy like Corey Coleman, whoís a former first round draft pick who has a ton of ability and has experience, so youíve just got to get in where you fit in. Whatever that role is, whatever it is, youíve got to learn how to adjust to it and once you make that adjustment, you keep working to get better and hopefully you get an opportunity.
Q: Aldrick (Rosas) has been extremely reliable. When you first got here, he came off a tough rookie season. How did you coach that up and what adjustments do you think he made to flip a switch like this?
A: I wouldnít say it was a ton of coaching up, I would say more of maturation. He learned from his mistakes last year. He learned the things he did right, and he learned the things he did wrong. I think just going through that process has made him better. Obviously we know weíre all going to fail our way to success, so he made a lot of mistakes last year, so now heís just building upon the things that he did well and then learning from the things that he didnít do so well. It was less coaching, more of maturity. We did some things with him coaching wise, just a few tweaks here or there, but heís just growing up and getting better every week.
Q: Whatís he doing better?
A: Just more consistent. His steps are more consistent, his walk-off is more consistent, and heís making the adjustments quicker. As opposed to being able to do it on Monday, heís doing it on Sunday, the next kick Ė as opposed to going back saying, Ďok, Iíve got to look at the tape, this is what it isí. Now instead of being able to make that adjustment three days later, he can make it on the fly.
Q: Youíve talked about the idea that guys who seem like theyíre on the verge of being out of this league and losing their opportunity very quickly at the kicker position, why arenít kickers viewed as other positions, given more opportunities. Is that something you think you could see more of if guys just show a little patience at that position?
A: Yeah, obviously I would think if you showed a little more patience, youíd get a better product, but thatís just the reality of our game. Very few people have patience with kickers, and thatís just what it is. You have some organizations that have a little bit more patience than others, but thatís one of those positions where if you miss too many, youíre going to be gone. Our guys know that, and every kicker in the league knows that and the young guys learn it early. You look across the league, you look at the Daniel Carlsonís and all those guys that had success in college, even Roberto Aguayo, guys like that Ė I had Roberto last year. Those guys learned pretty quick this ainít a fair fight. It is what it is, and if you canít adjust to that, then you wonít be in this league very long, but as long as you understand what the job entails and youíre able to execute at a high level, and more than anything, just become consistent, thatís what everybody wants from that position. You want to be consistent. Once you get to that point, you can kick in this league for a long time.
Q: People miss 35-yard field goals in this league, everybody who kicks against you makes like a 56-yard field goal, seems like it happens every week. Do you have to get more aggressive trying to block them?
A: Weíre trying to block every one of them. The hard part about it is, it just happens. Iíve been on groups where weíve led the league in blocked kicks at two different places, but it happens sometimes. Sometimes you just have those, people make kicks against you. You just got to keep on rushing, like I tell those guys in the room. I can tell you one thing -- if you rush hard, youíve got a chance to block it. If you donít rush hard, youíve got no chance. So, weíre just going to keep on rushing, keep knocking on the door, and eventually somebody will open the door, weíll get our opportunity.