Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
October 27, 2022
Q: The illegal formation penalty you guys got last week – what was that for?
A: Just on the wrong side. You can’t have more than six guys lined up on one side. And that was just a miscommunication between those guys, got lined up on the wrong side.
Q: What happened with the blocked PAT (point after touchdown)? (Cornerback Nick) McCloud make a good play?
A: He just made a play. I mean, the guy’s 6’6’’. (He has) 34-inch arms. And he can jump. We just got to get the ball up.
Q: I’m talking about the one you guys blocked.
A: Yeah. He made a play. Nick, he has really good length. And he had a great get off. Had a really good get off. He keyed the ball, and he did exactly what we were talking about all week, just taking a really good angle and flattening it out towards the block spot. And he got it. He’s been playing really well for us.
Q: He’s done a real good job as a gunner for you as well. Did you know what kind of special teams player he was when he got here?
A: He’s kind of evolving into that. He did a good job at Buffalo before he got here, but he’s really kind of taking his next step as a player. I’m sure he’ll be doing some other things for our football team moving forward, too. So, he’s just a really good player. He’s a good young player, and he’s taking advantage of his opportunities.
Q: On the field goal blocks, I remember back in Week 1, you talked about when they missed the field goal, you still had your ‘got to have it’ play on the field. And you think you would’ve had a block had he just kicked it regularly. And now, this week, you block a PAT. Does that give the other team a little bit something to think about when you start coming through in those situations with your unit?
A: Exactly. When you already have Dex (defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence) on the inside who everybody has to contend with. And then when you start, that kind of helps because what happens a lot of times (is) they condense the formation because they’re trying to stop Dex. And all of a sudden, you shorten the corner a little bit, and now we have a tighter angle to the ball. So, having Dex on it, it all starts on the inside. And he’s the one who makes it all move inside. Having those big guys – him and Haddy (outside linebacker Jihad Ward) and Jelly (defensive lineman Justin Ellis) – just being able to push from the inside, and that’s a concern. Now you start to tighten down a little bit, take away those gaps. And it shortens the edge.
Q: On the one that you wanted to talk about, the one that you got tipped…
A: Not really (laughs)
Q: How much does losing two starting offensive linemen affect that group because those are the guys that are normally there?
A: I’ll say this – the guys did a good job of adjusting during the course of the game. Like we lost three guys off of our field goal team during the course of the game, and the guys just, they stepped right in. They kept on going, next man up. Nobody blinked; nobody flinched. And they did a good job, they really did, against a really good rush team.
Q: That was an interesting kick on the last kickoff. What was the thought process going into that one?
A: You mean the one that was screwing around and looked like it was about to go out of bounds and it went in the end zone? We wasn’t trying to do that. That was just kind of one of those things that happens from time to time – just a mis-hit ball. (We) got lucky.
Q: I guess it worked out okay then.
Q: It looked like he (kicker Graham Gano) meant to do it.
A: No. I promise you.
Q: My heart stopped a little bit.
A: Yeah. The guy who kicked it, his heart stopped, too. Luck favors the well prepared, I guess.
Q: It wasn’t a squib (kick), right?
A: No, not squib (kick). We were trying to kick the ball out the back of the end zone.