Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
Q: Is (Assistant Special Teams Coach) Tom Quinn allowed back on the sideline?
A: He's a coach. Absolutely. Stuff happens. In the heat of the moment, you're trying to get stuff fixed, stuff happens.
Q: What happened on that play from your perspective?
A: They tried to sneak a guy on late. Typical. It is what it is.
Q: What is the rule on that? When is the latest you can get a guy on?
A: You can't have the intent to deceive inside the bench area. If everybody is on the field, and all of a sudden, a guy comes on to the field late, the guy has to come inside of the numbers, then go back out to get set. If he doesn't go inside the numbers, illegal substitution, both flags come out. It's illegal, you can't do it.
Q: So maybe he can pretend like he doesn't know what he was doing and run on the field kind of deal?
A: Yeah, that doesn't work.
Q: Is (Cornerback) Sam (Beal) still supposed to see that or is it not a player's fault that he didn't see it?
A: No, he looked. He looked, he looked out there. They brought him on late. That's the intent to deceive, you can't do that. That's why they threw the flag.
Q: Did you have to holler, or did they call it right away?
A: No, as soon as the ball snapped, both officials threw it. The guy that's standing there watching the gunner, he threw it and then one of the line guys threw it.
Q: Was the penalty a result of you guys saying, 'Hey, they're bringing an illegal guy on the field' and that's what happened there?
Q: Any feelings for you seeing the opposite uniform this weekend?
A: No. We're playing the Carolina Targets (laughs). It could be Kansas City, it could be whoever. In this league, I've worn a bunch of different logos. Whenever we play a former team, it's always good to see the people that you worked in the building with, because this league is all about relationships. As far as any emotional feeling, no. It's another week at the office.
Q: How is (Panthers Special Teams Coordinator) Chase (Blackburn) doing as a coordinator?
A: He's doing a hell of a job. He really is. Chase is going to be – I truly think Chase is going to be a head coach in this league at some point in time. Chase is a phenomenal football coach, he's a great communicator. You see his guys, they play extremely hard. You watch his unit, they play extremely hard. I was super impressed with him when he was my assistant down there and the sky is the limit for Chase. I love him to death, and I wish him nothing but the best. Other than Sunday.
Q: You always talk about making the gumbo. Does the gumbo this week possibly include (Wide Receiver) Dante Pettis as a returner? What does Dante bring?
A: We've got options. That's the one thing about, again, (Senior Vice President and General Manager) Dave (Gettleman) and (Head Coach) Joe (Judge), they did a great job of giving us options. Dante has been a returner in this league, (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) did it last week. Darnay hadn't returned kick offs since he was in college. We'll have a couple guys back there, we're working guys in practice and whoever does the best job in practice, we'll have him back there.
Q: What did you think of the job that Darnay did being thrown in there?
A: He did a really good job to be thrown in at the last second. He practiced it the last couple of years and he's shown a lot of promise in practice. You wish you had it blocked up better for him so you can really see what he can do out in space. Darnay is a talented young man.
Q: You mentioned all those options. Who are your top few guys?
A: We just named them. We just talked about them, those last two. (Safety Jabrill Peppers) Pepp, you can throw him back there. We've got other guys that can do it. We're going to work the guys in practice, they all rotate, and we've been doing that all year. It's no different how we've operated all year.
Q: Do you expect as (Linebacker Elerson) Smith and (Cornerback Aaron) Robinson get closer that you'll be their halfway point out to the field at first?
A: It's always that way. I don't foresee those guys coming in and starting. Those two are two really good young players with a lot of talent. We've just got to work them in slowly and find out what they can do. See what they feel comfortable with and let them go.
Q: Was that a flag happy officiating staff or were you guys undisciplined on special teams?
A: I wouldn't call it undisciplined, and I wouldn't call them flag happy. If you really looked at the calls closely, I think (Rams Punter) Johnny Hekker needs an Academy Award. The situation with (Linebacker) Cam (Brown), he's rushing, and then (Defensive Back) Keion (Crossen), same thing. It's kind of a got to have it situation, you're down by freaking 27 points, you try to make a play. That happens sometimes. Sometimes you'll get a penalty when you're kind of pressing. I wouldn't say undisciplined, I would say we were probably in a desperation mode. That's just the reality of football games and how they flow sometimes. You're trying to make a play at the end of the game when it's kind of out of hand, it's like that sometimes.
Q: What did you think of (Running Back) Eli Penny finishing that tackle without his helmet on?
A: It popped off. As soon as he made contact, it popped off and he made a tackle. That's Eli, though. Eli does a good job for us, he's a tough kid. That happens – those helmets, they pop off sometimes.
Q: What have you observed about Joe Judge during this rough stretch?
A: Joe's our leader. We all look to our leader for strength. He's done a hell of a job I think of keeping the team moving forward. The one thing that as a special teams coaches you understand is that the only constant that we have in this league is change, and it's always changing. You've got to be able to adjust to the change. Positive, negative, you've got to be able to adjust to it. Joe is a tough guy, Joe's mentally tough and he's doing a great job with our team as far as the leadership part of it and keeping us pressing and moving forward, staying focused on the task at hand and that's to win today. You don't have a chance on Sunday if you don't win today. We're focusing on right now, being where our feet are and just keep it moving.