Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
November 27, 2020
Q: Hey Thomas, what did [Kicker] Graham [Gano] show you today?
A: He’s out there being Graham, kicking balls around. No, he was good, it was good to get him back on the field. He was his normal self, no different.
Q: Would you expect him Sunday or would you expect to have both of them available just in case?
A: Both guys will be available, so it’ll probably be a game day decision. We’ll probably just monitor Graham, see how he feels and just kind of go from there.
Q: We don’t know much about [Punter] Ryan Santoso. If you had to go down that route, what would you be getting and how much would it concern you that you’d have a guy who’s never really kicked field goals in a game?
A: Ryan’s very talented. We’ve been watching him here all year. We brought him in because he has a ton of talent and he’s gotten better since he’s been here. I would expect Ryan to do the same thing he does in practice, just make kicks. Is he perfect? Absolutely not. Is he inexperienced? Absolutely he is. But this kid has a ton of talent, he will kick in this league one day. Ryan’s a very talented kid, hard worker and we’ll see what happens, but Ryan’s talented, make no mistake about it.
Q: The one thing I do know and I can just see with my naked eye is that he’s a big dude. Does that correlate to his range as well? Does he have eye-opening range?
A: Yeah, long levers are strong levers. I ain’t going to let the cat out of the bag, but he has a big leg. He’s got an extended driver – 6’5”, 260, he’s a big man.
Q: Obviously [Punter] Riley [Dixon] and [Long Snapper] Casey Kreiter are off the list now, but if we were talking to you Wednesday when you had your kicker, your punter and your long snapper on the Covid list, what was your reaction on Wednesday?
A: You know the Emoji eyes with the big ole (eyes), that’s what you would have gotten from me. We’ve always known because of the nature of these guys, they’re always around each other, we encourage them to spread out. Specials are tight, those guys, they sit in the locker room all day with each other, they’re talking to each other, they’re in the players’ lounge, they’re always around each other, they’re working around each other, so we always knew there was a possibility because of the contact-tracing stuff. [Long snapper] Carson [Tinker] and Ryan and all those guys do a good job of trying to keep themselves spaced out, we’ve got them in different locker rooms. If you would’ve gotten me earlier we would’ve been a little nervous.
Q: You guys are detail-oriented, we’ve been hearing about it since [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] got here. When you guys put that plan together in the summer to make sure you have a long snapper and have a guy who can kick and punt on the practice squad just in case, what does that reenforce – that the foresight almost came into being this week and became the reality for you guys, and you were prepared for it?
A: Absolutely. That’s why Joe gets paid the big bucks, right? He had a plan in place and we talked about it from the spring because you don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t have the specials, whether it’s a punter or kicker you don’t ever want to be put in that spot. We had the forethought to bring the guys in and have them in, and really it’s been a blessing in disguise because you’ve been able to work with guys and see a guy like Ryan Santoso get better and just know you’ve got Carson TInker there if something were to happen. It’s been really good for all those guys.
Q: Hey Thomas, most special teams coaches worry about losing guys during games because of injuries. This week you might have a plethora of guys coming back. Does that make your list too long or how do you handle that?
A: The list can never be too long for a special teams coach. We’re going to take every hand we can get, but you’re right, you have to juggle a lot of balls and, again like I talked about before, we just make the gumbo – whatever we have, we use the ingredients and we make it work. It’s always good to have to make those hard decisions which is good for our football team. When you start to get your best players back and guys that can help you, young guys that are ascending, those are things that you want, those are conversations you want to have. It doesn’t bother me at all we’re getting these guys back, it’s great for our team.