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Transcript: Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Eric from BBI : Admin : 9/19/2019 2:47 pm
Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- September 19, 2019

Opening Statement: Formidable group this week, well coached group. Keith Armstrong has been in this league for a long time, the special teams coordinator there. He always does a great job, he always has his guys ready to play. They have a good group of specialists, theyíre young but they have a good group. Led by Bradley Pinion, who is their punter, kickoff specialist and Matt Gay is a young kicker from Utah who is up and coming in this league. Obviously, they feel like heís a good young prospect, heís done a good job for them. They have a young long snapper, snapper has been solid this year. Like any other young snapper, heís just trying to find his way in the league. Their returners, Bobo Wilson and TJ Logan, are very formidable, good speed, good size with TJ Logan. We have to go out there and execute at a high level, thatís the plan.

Q: What did you see on the missed field goal from last week, was there a problem with the snap?
A: Just timing, he went 10 games without missing one, it was bound to happen. Just timing.

Q: Timing on his part?
A: Timing on the whole operation.

Q: What made you guys use TJ as the punt returner after having Jabrill back there Week 1?
A: Jabrill has a lot on his plate. I think just putting TJ back there relieved some pressure from Jabrill, just to have to worry about being a returner. TJ obviously has some ability and he showed that on Sunday. We just wanted to give Jabrill a break and put TJ back there with fresh legs and let him go back there and make a play and he did.

Q: How close was he to taking that one all the way?
A: Very close, I think he was about one block away. We had the gunner blocked and we had him blocked so well we let him go and the gunner made the play. If we would have finished on the gunner, we would have finished in the end zone.

Q: That seemed like an example of outkicking the coverage. Why does that situation often spring a big play?
A: Itís like I told you guys earlier, the hang has to match the distance. When you get to a point where the hang doesnít match the distance, you outkick the coverage. If you get both gunners blocked and the ball is being caught 60 yards away and the closest guy is 25 yards away or 20 yards away, thatís tough on a coverage group. Thatís why we always talk about the hang matching the distance and it has to be that way because if not, everything is out of phase and you get what happened the other day.

Q: What is it you like specifically about TJ as a returner?
A: Good quickness, obviously he fields the ball well. He has a really quick first step and he has natural feel for the return game. He understands how to negotiate space, stick his foot in the ground and get vertical, how to set up blocks. Those are the things he does really well, and he has a lot of talent. You see the ability there to make big plays.

Q: I would imagine TJ would stay in that spot?
A: Yeah, he made a big play. Itís kind of hard to put a guy on the bench that almost scored a touchdown. Weíve been looking for that, I think thatís the longest return weíve had since 2015. Last year it was something we were really missing, and itís just kind of been a struggle for us to find what we want there and TJ has pushed us in the right direction.

Q: Does it frustrate you at all as a special teams coach when there are so many touchbacks?
A: Itís different, itís hard, especially when you were raised in an age when you returned everything. Ahmad Bradshaw was out here yesterday, and we were talking about how he used to cover so many kicks and how many tackles he had because you had to cover every kick. You kicked off from the 30 and it was 50 degrees, 40 degrees, with 15 to 20 mile an hour winds and you were going to cover every kick in the northeast. Itís just not like that anymore, itís a totally different game. There are some teams that had eight kickoff returns last year. Itís not your dadís NFL, itís just different.
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