Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- August 2, 2019
Opening Statement: Whatís going on guys? I know you guys want to learn about the return situation, obviously itís a fluid situation. Itís one of those deals where we got a couple guys that are dinged up a little bit. But once they get back up and running and get healthy again, weíll get going. It is what it is, itís camp. Itís typical, its nothing that we are not used tom but once we get those guys back out there back and running, weíll be fine.
Q: Corey (Coleman) was your kickoff returner Ö
A: Yeah, heís not here so thereís nothing you can do about it, itís football. Thatís just part of the deal, you just midstream adjust, you make the adjustments as coaches and itís a talented roster. Dave (Gettleman) did a good job putting this roster together so we got guys with skill, speed and we just got to get them healthy and get some of these guys back on the field and get them to full strength so they can get out there in the game and get game experience. Especially these young guys, guys like Darius Slayton, guys like that, they need to get out and practice reps, get in the game and feel the pressure of a punt cover team coming out, the kickoff cover team coming out. So they can see the speed of it, but itís a little bit different.
Q: You have Cody (Latimer) who has experience and Golden (Tate III) has done some but he could be missing the first four, so would Cody (Latimer) be the top of the chart?
A: You know, as of right now Cody (Latimer) is probably the first guy because he has the most experience, but again weíre going to try and bring some of these young guys along and thatís what itís all about. Itsí all about trying to get guys better, get some depth in your roster, so as you move forward and things happen, you have the ability to reach down and grab a guy whoís the next guy up. So itís my job as a coach to get all these guys prepared and to get them to play at a high level.
Q: Coach, I donít think a lot of people give the special teams coordinator a lot of credit for their coaching, roster management and to also deal with the offensive side and defensive side of the ball, so how critical is that going to be moving forward?
A: Just like you said, I mean we manage our roster every day, weíre the only person that talks to the team for the most part daily, minus a player or two or three here and there. But we have to manage the roster, have to manage the injuries because we do the scout teams and the four units. So thatís the whole team, you know? Thereís just a handful of guys that are left out so we have to be (cognizant) of whatís going on, with the hamstrings and the groins and all the little nicks and knacks, because it affects us directly every day. Dealing with those guys and knowing when to pull back, when to hit the throttle, when to choke it down a little bit. Hey look over here we need to go walk and talk over here for a little bit, as opposed to just being on one side. We deal with the full roster daily and we have to be in tune with Ronny Barnes and whatís going on in the weight room and all those different things. The GPS and the speed and all those different aspects of whatís going on in the practice and managing the roster so it is what it is and I have to be ready to talk to the guys every day. You know every day Iím out in front of the guys, so itís a good experience, I enjoy it and I look forward to it every day.
Q: Howís Corey Ballentine taken to a lot of the special teams stuff youíve thrown at him?
A: Corey (Ballentine) has been good, yeah heís been good. Corey (Ballentine) has been really good. Heís been a pleasant surprise, but heís like any other rookie, you know he makes mistakes, you know he had a couple in practice. But thatís part of it, you got to fail your way to success and thatís what these guys have to understand. These young guys, especially this guy Corey (Ballentine), who has come from a small college and you show up here in the bright lights of New York City, itís a little bit different so that process is something that heís going to have to go through. But heís very talented, very talented young man who has the want to and the wherewithal to get things done so weíre really excited about him.
Q: What have you seen from Jake Carlock as a snapper and in some other roles on special teams?
A: Jake is a hard worker. He has a specific skillset with his snapping ability to be able to run like he does and to play as hard and with as much effort as he plays with, heís a different guy in that way. Jake is going to be a guy who over time heís going to be a good snapper. Right now heís doing things technically that he needs to work through, but he has a tremendous upside, we are real excited about Jake.
Q: What have you seen from Aldrick (Rosas), any differences from maybe a year ago at this time to where heís at now?
A: Iím just trying to get him back on track. The year that he had last year was obviously the franchise record. So I mean we just want to get him back to that level. Get him to where he feels comfortable and you know heís been able to hit the ball good. Itís like any other thing you do when being a specialist, when youíre away from the game for a little bit and you donít kick as much, youíre not kicking as consistent, itís the little things that creep in and kind of throw you off a little bit. But heís working to get back into his top form and weíre looking forward to him crushing it just like he did last year.
Q: What have you seen from (Riley) Dixon?
A: Riley did some things in the offseason to work on his consistency and his ball striking, heís doing a good job, heís getting better with his directional punting and heís a young talented guy and heís doing a really good job, he really is, heís working hard at it and weíre just trying to put him in a position to where he can replicate it time after time after time and be like a Jeff Feagles in the long run.
Q: Is there a goal for a punter in the sense that you want 40 yards and 5 second hang time every punt?
A: Yeah, we want the hang to match the distance, so if the ball is 40 yards, we want four second hang. If itís 45 yards, we want 4.5 hang; if itís 47 yards, we want 4.7 hang or higher. So if the hang matches the distance, itís something that we look forward to because thatís an easier ball to kick as opposed to the 60-yard rocket, right? So you got a guy, he can flip the field, but itís 60 yards and its 4.1 right? So you got to have Usain Bolt or Carl Lewis as the gunner and Mo Green at the long snapper so when you have those types of punts, those are hard to cover, right? But when you get him with the hang, the distance and direction, thatís optimal.