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Thursday Media Transcript: ST Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Eric from BBI : Admin : 12/6/2018 1:14 pm
Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- December 6, 2018

Q: What did you see on the onside kick against the Bears?
A: Weíre not going to beat a dead horse. There were some things that needed to be cleaned up, starting with me, alignment wise. Just all kinds of stuff, it needed to be coached up better. To be able to put ourselves in that situation at the end of the game and not come through with it, thatís on me. The details of it have got to get coached up better, the alignments, just all of the basic fundamentals of the onside hands team, and they made a good kick. Thereís nothing that canít be fixed. Thatís basically what I have to say about that. It is what it is. Last time I checked, we won the game.

Q: How much more difficult is recovering an onside kick when youíre the kicking team and when youíre the receiving team than it was before the rule changes?
A: It was a little harder before.

Q: As the kicking team or receiving team?
A: Itís still hard as the kicking team, itís a 10 percent play. As the return team, as the hands team, itís a little bit easier (now) because guys arenít overloaded, you canít overload anymore, but thatís a lot more space too that youíve got to negotiate. Itís all how you look at it. Itís still a difficult play for the kicking team to recover it, and then as the hands team, you just got to be sound on what youíre doing.

Q: On a more positive note, the play you downed the ball deep in their territory, it seems like Antonio (Hamilton) has had a really good run as a gunner. What makes a good gunner?
A: Being a great athlete, and thatís what Antonio is. Antonio is a kid that played everything in high school -- he played baseball, played basketball, played football, ran track. Antonio can do a lot of different things. He made a play the other day when we did that surprise on the side to him and he jumped about three feet off the ground, just in a dead stance deal, and then came down on one foot and spun out of it and kept running. Heís just a really good athlete. Heís just working and heís a young kid, and the arrowís up with this kid. Heís a worker, he comes in, he listens, heís very diligent in what he does, and he has a chance to be a really good player.

Q: Since you added a punter to the practice squad, is everything ok with Riley (Dixon)?
A: Yeah, we just brought Brock (Miller) in as a lefty, weíre playing Tress Way this week, so we brought him in to get some live action with a ball off the foot and I think itís going to be beneficial for us.

Q: I know thatís unique to have a left-footed punter. What kind of challenge does that present the entire coverage team? Itís a completely different look coming off the foot.
A: Just for us as a return team, you just got to catch it. The ball spins the opposite direction, so itís one of those deals where youíve just got to see the ball off his foot, watch the tape, know his tendencies, and kind of roll with it.

Q: Was that one you downed, was that a drill you guys had done and see it come to fruition?
A: We work on that stuff all the time. Most, if not every team in the league, works on that drill, because itís a play that comes up all the time. To be able to execute it, to have two guys like Russell (Shepard) and Antonio (Hamilton), to be able to have two guys to execute that play was big.

Q: You work on double-tapping it like that?
A: Oh yeah. You work on just tapping it back, and working the two gunners Ė me and David Tyree and Domenik Hixon way back in the day were working on the drill. Itís just something that you add to your repertoire as a coach, because itís a play that comes up all the time.
Interesting discussion about two key plays last week...  
Dan in the Springs : 12/6/2018 2:35 pm : link
I'm also interested in the overall performance of the ST units. We have one of the best ST units overall, with good coverage on kicks and punts, success on FG attempts, etc. Returns have been a challenge since the beginning of the year with securing the ball, then injuries to returners, but overall not bad.

Now we're getting ready to face WAS, which has probably the best or maybe second best overall ranked units in the league. Would have been nice to ask them about the challenges coming up.
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