Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
Q: What happened on the blocked punt?
A: We just got to execute better. I'm not going to get into the details of it, but the main thing it comes down to is execution – just doing the little things the right way all the time. Just got to make sure we execute better.
Q: Do you think that was within his (Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph) range at the end? Obviously, it is. Beforehand, what were you thinking when you saw them lining up for that field goal?
A: I watched him. He missed two from 58 (yards) during pregame. And they weren't short, but he missed them. He did a good job. Good snap. Good hold. Good kick. And it was a heck of a kick.
Q: How much are you watching the opposing kicker during pregame?
A: Yeah, we watch them because every day is a new day. Sometimes, even with guys like (Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin) Tucker, and depending on the conditions, you just watch them to see how they're kicking. Sometimes, the conditions are bothering them; they're having a hard time maybe at one end of the field than the other. So, you always watch them just to see how they're kicking.
Q: How did you choose (safety) Julian (Love) to be the guy who was back there on the end line?
A: He's on our field goal block team, and we trust him. If you watch him, when he picks the ball off, he's pretty good in space. And he has really good ball skills. That's the reason why we put him back.
Q: What's (wide receiver/punt returner) Richie (James) doing that's better this time around? There was a point in the season where he was struggling a little bit, and you were looking at other options. But he's sort of found himself here a little bit.
A: He just kept his head down and kept working. It's a credit to him – just the emotional maturity just to be able to be a pro and just come in every day. Just keep trying to get better at doing your job. Things happen in this league. It happens. That's why you get paid the big bucks. You got to bounce back, stay focused, stay locked in. And hopefully you get another opportunity. And he did and he's taking advantage of it.
Q: How challenging has this year been? You guys have been involved in probably more big plays than you'd like to be. Just how challenging has it been to try to manage your way through that?
A: It's rough, but it is what it is. You've got to keep fighting. You've got to keep plugging. Keep trying to find a way to put our guys in position where they can make plays. It's a fight. It's this league. You've been in it long enough, you'll have some great years, you'll have some average years, you'll have some bad ones. That's the NFL.
Q: How much of what is going on is that they keep on taking players away from you and bringing in new guys that it's (a learning curve)?
A: We talk about it all the time here. We got to make the gumbo every week. Sometimes, it's chicken gumbo. Sometimes it's seafood gumbo. Sometimes it's just roux. (Laughs) It is what it is. But regardless of what it is, the fans want it to taste good. So, you just got to make do with what you have and coach them up and just try to get them better.
Q: If you get to the playoffs, do some starters become special teams players?
A: I'm not even worried about the playoffs. All I'm worried about is (Indianapolis Colts special teams coordinator) Bubba Ventrone and his unit and (Indianapolis Colts linebacker) Grant Stuard and (Indianapolis Colts cornerback/kickoff returner) Dallis Flowers. And that's all I'm worried about right now. Those guys, they are enough in itself. So, just lock in on them. And I'll worry about the other stuff down the road.
Q: On the blocked punt, if extra pressure is being applied at the long snapper (Casey Kreiter), is he supposed to have more help to handle that?
A: I'm not going to get into details on that. Just in general, period, protection is protection. And it starts inside out. But again, just the details of it, I'm not going to get into all that. Just got to execute better. It's simple. You saw the play; it's not rocket science. Just got to execute better.
Q: (Punter) Jamie (Gillan) mixed in like a rugby punt. How does that come about? Does he tell you he's going to do that? How does that work?
A: We called it (Laughs). He's a rugby player, so he has that in his arsenal. But he's done it a couple time this year, and he's executed well.
Q: What's the benefit to doing it?
A: I'm not going to let you in to all the secrets. It's some benefits, but it worked out for us.
Q: Are you going to be the first coach to say that (since) the Colts have lost five in a row – they've won one of their last nine – we should roll over these guys?
A: (Laughs) Nope.