Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
December 31, 2020
Q: One of the things coach Judge said yesterday about Bones (John Fassel) and coach McCarthy was that at the end of the year they tend to rile up a lot of trick plays and gadget plays. Is there a temptation in a game like this, a sort of all or nothing game, to empty the playbook? Throw out everything that you’ve been working on all year? Throw it all at these guys?
A: We’re going to be who we are. That’s the only way we can be. We can’t try to be something that we’re not. We’re going to go out, we’re going to try to play fast, play physical, play downhill. We know who they are. We just have to be aware, situational awareness. Understand who we’re going against and what they like to do in those types of moments. You look at Bones over the years, he does a heck of a job. He’s a heck of a coach. He does a good job of preparing his team schematically and they play hard for him. You can see the growth from the beginning of the year to now. It’s a different group. We just have to go out and be who we are, and we have to make plays. We have to be our best when our best is needed. That’s going to be this Sunday. We have to play our best game, period.
Q: We haven’t really seen much from Jabrill (Peppers) in the return game a lot lately. How much of that is just circumstances and how much do you want him to be more aggressive? Offensively, you haven’t scored a lot of points this year. Do you want to try and have him be able to make some plays? I don’t know if force is the right word. Push it in that direction a little bit.
A: I’ve told to guys this before, as returners, I tell our guys not to chase plays. We’re going to let the plays come to us. When we get those opportunities, we just have to take advantage. That’s the thing. As a punt returner, kick returner, we’re never going to press. When you press, you make mistakes and mistakes will get you beat. We just have to make sure we’re smart in how we handle the situations as they come along. Once they come along, we take advantage of it.
Q: Graham Gano was a free agent and it seemed like such a natural, easy pick, but nothing is natural or easy in the NFL. The fact that you have him and all the things you need to worry about on a daily basis, he’s probably very low on the list, I would think.
A: Absolutely, it’s been a joy to have Graham. Obviously, we’ve had a history before. He’s doing exactly what he’s done before. He’s the consummate professional. He comes out every day to work and he’s been a bonus for us, definitely. Hopefully, we can put ourselves in a situation where we can have more success in the future.
Q: That last game against the Cowboys, have you ever seen a guy hit three 50-yarders?
A: I’d have to really go back and search. That’s a heck of a feat. I don’t think I have. I’m sure it’s some kind of record or close to one anyway. That’s a pretty incredible feat.
Q: When he gets signed to an extension…
A: Any time you can secure that style of player, a Pro Bowl kicker like Graham Gano who has been in the 90th percentile and above two out of the last three years, anytime you can secure a guy like that, that’s what you want.