Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
Q: Why did (Punter) Riley (Dixon) do the onside kick instead of (Kicker) Graham (Gano)?
A: Just something we had game planned. We always are trying to find the best way to get things done, regardless of who it is. It could be a kicker, a wide out or whoever, you know what I mean? It was something we tried, and it didn't work, so we tried something else.
Q: That kick return – you said something to (Fullback Cullen) Gillaspia and he was running around the field telling the guys something. Did you see something that the Cowboys might be trying?
A: Yeah. Yeah, I did (laughs).
Q: When you send a message out like that and he's running around, is it almost to show the Cowboys that you know?
A: Not really. It's just communication. It's more about what we're doing as opposed to what they're doing. Does that make sense? We're adjusting to what they're doing, but we're just trying to communicate what we're trying to do versus what they're doing.
Q: Is there anything with Graham that you're seeing that you have to keep dialing into?
A: No, it's just keep kicking it. You look at Graham and his body of work, I mean just go back and look at the numbers. His numbers speak for themselves. News flash, kickers miss kicks. That's just part of it. He's made a whole lot of them. He'll be fine. He self corrects and we'll keep going.
Q: What do you think about the job that Riley has done this season?
A: Riley has done a good job. I know it's not what he would want to be his best, but some of the stuff – when we're in a game and we're going through some of these returners that we're playing, sometimes the ugly punt is a good punt. When you're playing a guy like (Saints Wide Receiver) Deonte Harris, go ahead, go hit a 55-yard, 4.8 (seconds) ball to him outside the numbers and see what happens to you. You don't want those kinds of punts. Sometimes the 38-yard ball out of bounds or ball on the bounce, you're a high, short fair catch, that's the one you want. Because if you look at these guys and how explosive they are, especially if you give them space, it can get ugly in a hurry. We want to make sure that each game plan we go into we have a prescribed way we want to play and punt, and we don't want to just line up and just shoot a ball out of a Jugs machine and just let these guys catch it and do work.
Q: Sometimes those shorter, uglier punts are by design?
A: Oh, absolutely, yeah.
Q: Is (Linebacker) Cam (Brown) back this week or was he just on the field?
A: Yeah. Cam coming back – Cam is Cam. He's long, he's explosive, he makes plays for us, he gives us versatility on defense and special teams. Having a guy back like that with that kind of length, that type of explosiveness and production. It's big for us.
Q: Did you guys see the punt in the Seahawks game where the guy punted it, it got blocked and he punted it again?
A: Yeah, that was an outstanding punt, but that's what that kid does. (Seahawks Punter) Michael Dickson is a ridiculous athlete. I worked him out when he came out of school and it was a day kind of like this, but it was about 20 miles an hour, 25 miles an hour wind and he hit two punts into the wind about 60 yards and it was one of the most impressive things I'd ever seen. Those guys, those Australian guys, especially guys like Mike, it's…how we grew up throwing the ball, they grow up kicking the ball. That's just what they do. It's just the foot talent that he has and being able to make plays on the fly like that, picking up that ball with one hand off the ground and just being able to react is something he's been doing his whole life. That was just a pass to him, that's part of the game of Australian football. Seriously, if you go and you look at the game, that's what the game is. He was right in his element in that part. (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) said it the other day, it's like once in every 75 years you might see a play like that. It just never happens. It just doesn't, and it's literally like hitting the lottery.
Q: Do your guys know about it? Do they know about that rule? (Former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL and Current FOX Sports Rules Analyst) Mike Pereira had no idea.
A: It's an obscure rule. Again, it's one of those deals where you think one thing and all of a sudden you hear from the officials, 'Oh, that's legal.' You'd like to think you know everything, you don't.
Q: He mentioned that scooping it like that is something that he learned as a kid. Is that something that you would coach up with a guy who grew up in the United States and never learned that as a kid? Is that a valuable skill to try to teach?
A: At that point in time, when the ball has been blocked, you get the ball however the hell you get it. Just get it. I'm not over coaching the technique on picking up a freaking blocked punt (laughs). Now when you tell them that behind the line of scrimmage, you can pick it up and you can advance and get a first down, but he had the wherewithal just to kick the ball. It's obvious he has big enough hands where he can scoop it up with one of them. That was pretty impressive.
Q: (Former Giants Kicker) Aldrick (Rosas) came in for a workout last week. How is he doing and how did he look?
A: He's good. Aldrick is good. I'll share this with you, he'll kill me for this. So, I'm walking out on the field and I see this guy in the distance, so I thought we're working out an offensive lineman today. The closer I get to him, I said, 'Oh, that's Aldrick' (laughs). He's just a big man, Aldrick is a big man. He's got to be 255-60 pounds. He's just a big man and he can hit the ball a long way. He's doing well and I wish him the best of luck. He's a great kid and he did a great job for us while he was here.
Q: Around the league over this past weekend, there were a lot of miskicks. Do you review all of those? Do you see anything or any trends on why this is happening?
A: I have my speculation, but it's just weird. It all happened all in one weekend. It's weird, but you know, kickers miss kicks. It happens, it happens. It's a weird deal, it is. It's a weird deal. Hopefully we can kind of get through this as a league. Hopefully LA can come in here and miss a couple kicks and go on from there.
Q: Are you glad they changed the rule for extra points?
A: Does it make the game a little harder for special teams coaches? Absolutely it does. Every year is always a couple – you always have somebody miss the old extra point. I think when I was here, (Former Giants Kicker) Lawrence (Tynes) missed a few, two, three maybe a year. I don't know, they adapt. They're like anybody else, they just adapt to it. It's a 33-yard field goal. You just get used to hitting it. It's like anything else. Whatever the standard is, the standard is that, and you just hit the ball.