Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey -- October 3, 2019
Q: Are you feeling a little dťjŗ vu with the punt returner there?
A: It is what it is. Weíll be fine. Weíve got guys that can do that job, and you make do with what youíve got. Jabrill (Peppers) is back there, weíve got Golden (Tate III), (Antonio) Hamilton, weíve got a bunch of different guys that can do it. So, I have no problems with it. Weíll go out there and make some plays, and see how we can contribute to the game.
Q: Do you have to adjust depending on whoís back there? If you have someone whoís relatively new, do you have to adjust how you block it up and call the schemes for that guy?
A: Yes, absolutely. Guys are different, they have different skill sets, they have different strengths and weaknesses, and we govern ourselves accordingly. It just depends on whoeverís back there which plays weíll call.
Q: Does it change situationally? With TJ (Jones), he was the punt returner going into the game, but do you change now, like if Peppers is out there for a 12-play drive?
A: It could happen. Again, weíve got options. So, depending on the situation, if we can get a fresh pair of lungs back there, we will, and if not, then weíll make do with what weíve got out there on the field.
Q: Seeing the way he (Jabrill Peppers) moved on that interception return for touchdown, did that get you excited about what he could do for this team?
A: Iíve known that about that kid since he was 16, 17 years old. I recruited him when he was at Paramus Catholic and watched him all the way through, so that didnít shock me at all, thatís who he is. I see it every day in practice. So, hopefully we can have some success that way in the return game.
Q: Given the way the ball comes off the foot of a punter, which is obviously a little more tricky than a kickoff, does it give you an advantage to put a defensive player back there, or an offensive player, or does it not matter?
A: It doesnít matter, just a guy that can track the ball. A guy that has a good feel foróthatís one of the toughest skills to have in the National Football League, to be a punt returner, to be able to see the ball off the foot and see where the gunner is, see where the coverage is, and then to be able to catch it and go make a play. Each guy has a different skill set, but the most important thing is seeing the ball off the foot.
Q: Is there an advantage to having a committee do it?
A: I would always prefer to have one guy, if thatís his only job. Like anything else, you want one player to be able to focus on one job because when you start giving them 16 jobs, it kind of clouds them a little bit. But you always prefer to have one guy back there and thatís what he does full-time, but Jabrill is talented, Golden Tate is talented, Antonio Hamilton is talented, so I donít have any issue with it.
Q: What does Cody Core bring to your special teams unit. Thereís been a shake up this past week at wide receiver, and Cody has remained, I assume, because heís very valuable to you.
A: Consistency. Cody doesnít say two words, he comes in and he just does his job, and he does it very well. He plays hard, heís physical, and he has really good awareness for the special teams area. As a receiver, heís solid, but where he excels is covering kicks, and heís also an excellent blocker. Heís just a great teammate, and I think more than anything, thatís what the head coach wants and the GM wants, good people. When you couple that with his athleticism and his ability to make plays, you canít ask for anything more.
Q: TJ muffed a punt at the 6-yard lineódo you have a hard and fast rule of where guys should just let it go, or is that different because it was such a long punt and there was room to return?
A: Itís a little different. Normally we have a hard and fast rule, but thatís one of those situations where that ball will carry a little bit, and once the ball carries, youíve got to have that awareness as a returner. We talk about it, being in that 60-40 situation, and then sometimes your eyes get locked in on the ball, it happens. We thought that weíd be able to take advantage of some of these long punts, and it was actually blocked up pretty good, we just didnít catch the ball.
Q: TJ said that punterís punts were diving away from him, is that specific to (Washington Redskins punter) Tress Way?
A: Heís a lefty, thatís what happens. Fielding the ball from a lefty is obviously different than fielding the ball from a righty because the ball spins in the opposite direction, but Tress Way had one of the best performances as a punter that Iíve ever seen. He was crushing the ball and he was hitting it a lot further that we were expecting him to hit it. So, when youíve got to turn and run and look over your shoulder and then the ball moves and then itís windy at the same time, again, itís not an easy job.