Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- June 5, 2019
Q: Youíve got a great mix of rookies, young guys, and veterans out there returning kicks. Has anyone stood out to you in particular so far?
A: Weíre in shorts, nobody is covering punts, and we havenít played a game yet, but all those guys are over there working, and thatís the most important thing when youíre trying to develop some guys. Some of the older guys, just keeping them fresh, but itís a good group. We got a lot of options. Just look forward to getting better, working at it, and making that one of our strengths this year.
Q: Since you are in shorts, how much can you gauge from just watching punt returns and kick returns?
A: Itís more fundamentals and techniques for us in the spring. We do a lot of drill work. We do a ton of little small detail things that are going to help us schematically once we move forward. So, itís whole, part, whole. Weíll work the parts of it right now, and then eventually as we move forward, weíll put the whole piece together, and just keep working from there.
Q: Why has (RB) Rod Smith been such an importance piece to your group?
A: Big, strong, athletic, smart, playmaker Ė whenever you can get a guy like that on your roster to provide depth, and having value as a running back. (General Manager Dave Gettleman) Mr. Gettleman always talks about having value on offense and defense, not just on special teams. He punches all the tickets. Heís a hard worker, heís a pro, and he does everything you ask him to do. Heís 6í3Ē, 235 pounds, and has a skillset. Heís one of those guys if youíre sitting in a room, you wonít even know heís there. Heís quiet, he comes in, and he works, and he does his job.
Q: Do you ever hesitate when you have a starter returning punts and kicks?
A: Nope, not at all. Itís a playmaking position. When you think about it over the years and you watch punt returners that have had success that have played on defense Ė the Deion Sanders, and all those guys. Thatís a playmaking position. Thatís one of those positions where you can change the game just like that. I have no reservation by putting any kind of starter back there, because thatís a play that can change the game. We know 75 percent of game in the NFL comes down to the last possession. Any time you could gain an advantage on your opponent, you want to get that advantage.
Q: Do you view the return job as a job that someone can land and hold until they lose it? Or, since you have so much depth, do you like to fit people in different locations, different situations?
A: You never know how it shakes out. It can be a situation where Jabrill might have just went on a Ďnine routeí and heís tired, heís blowing. Iíll be like ĎHey, come off the fieldí, and throw Corey (Coleman) out there. Or, it could be a situation where Jabrill is fresh, heíll stay in there, alright Corey you stay right here. Who knows Ė (WR) Darius Slayton, or itís a plus area, throw (WR) Golden Tate there and make sure we catch the ball. Itís a lot of different scenarios, and itís good to have options. Last year, we didnít have a lot of options. Now, weíve got a bunch of options, and we look forward to be able to execute at a high level, and do those things. Once we get put in those situations, weíll work them, but itís good to have those options.