Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
McGaughey: What's happening good people? How are y'all doing today? Fire away.
Q: What makes (cornerback) Nick McCloud a good gunner?
A: Nick can run. He's got really good speed, he's got length, and he just plays hard. He plays really, really hard, and he has a dog mentality. He is a very serious young man when you talk to him, and he takes his job really serious. So, he was a great addition to us at the 53 and it's been really good for him and us the whole year.
Q: You always talk about how you have to kind of work with what you have. When (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) was down, you didn't maybe have him as much, is it nice now to have him back?
A: Yeah, it's really good to have him back. Whenever you get that speed and length on the field, that's always huge.
Q: You talk and spend so much time talking about how good (kicker) Graham (Gano) is. Their guy (kicker) Jake (Elliott) has had a lot of big kicks against you guys.
A: Yeah, he has. He's done a nice job. Evaluating him coming out, I thought he'd be a really good kicker, coming out of Memphis and he's done that. He's made some key kicks for them over the years, and he's experienced. So, he does a good job of kicking off and he's a solid young kicker who's ascending in this league.
Q: What did you make of that report that there was an object under the ball when you played them earlier? Is that something you noticed?
A: It is what it is. I'll just leave it at that.
Q: Would that help, that helps a kicker?
A: Yeah, (laughs). You leave a visual spot down there, it helps.
Q: Is that something you'll be telling the officials to keep an eye on?
A: I'm going to let them do them and we're going to do us, I ain't going to worry about what they do. My primary focus is our guys, our battery, taking care of that. I'm not going to worry about that.
Q: When (wide receiver) Richie (James) had his problems and you guys went in a different direction, in your head, did you say you'll circle back to him, or did you not know that?
A: You never know. I'll always tell him that and I told him, 'we're going to come back to you at some point in time. So, you've just got to be ready.' And he has been. He's done a nice job making good decisions down there, fielding the ball and he's done a really good job being mentally tough down the stretch.
Q: He's feisty, isn't he?
Q: Dealing with us he is, I don't know if he is with you, on the field he seems to be.
A: He's a competitor and he wants to do well. These guys have professional pride. They don't want to go out and fail like anybody else in their line of work. So, when they make mistakes, they're chomping at the bit to go back and try and correct the mistakes.
Q: I know you pay attention closely around the league, I'm wondering what do you think when you see (Dallas kicker) Brett Maher on Monday night?
A: That situation, you feel for a guy going through stuff like that, but that's life in the NFL. We all have our situations we've all got to go through. Kickers, punters, quarterbacks, stuff like that happens. Some guys, it's ball security issues, fumbling with running backs. This league is made up of guys that are tough minded guys. Guys that have got to work through situations like that because we're all at some point in time, coaches and players, we're going to come across something like that we've got to work through. You wish him the best and you hate to see anybody go through any stuff like that. Like any of the yips.
Q: How would you handle it? Like if you had a kicker who's struggling like that during a game, are you of the belief like, 'hey, let's just scrap it for today'? We'll go back and worry about it during the week'? Or are you of the belief, 'hey, keep putting him out there for more opportunities to try and get it right.'?
A: For me, I would think that guy has made 1,000 extra points in his career. Sometimes you just go through those situations, and you've just got to work through it. Get in the net, figure out what you're doing and calm yourself down. More than anything, you've got to calm your brain down because if you miss four extra points, you've done it your whole life, so there's something there mentally that you're not doing correctly, and you've just got to work through it. Sometimes you've got to go sit down and you might have to go for two. You just hate to see anybody have to go through that.
Q: You spent a couple years here, winning some playoff games. What was Sunday like for you?
A: It was awesome. Anytime you can win a playoff game is awesome. So, it was a fun experience for me, it was more for the guys. Seeing guys like (running back Saquon Barkley) Say and (quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ and (defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence) Dex go through the things that they went through as young players coming up, (Safety Xavier McKinney) X. Then to be able to experience a playoff victory is really fun to watch them celebrate and enjoy.
Q: (Kick returner) Boston's Scott had the long return here. What makes him so dangerous as a returner?
A: He's not small, he's just short. He's a strong runner, really good contact balance. You watch him, you hit him, and he just hits the ground, spins around, puts his hand on the ground because he's low to the ground already and he can run. He runs physical, he has really good short area quickness. A lot of times because he's shorter, he's behind the players and all of the sudden he just darts out and he comes up on you pretty quick. He's a pain to deal with. So, we've just got to do a good job of just leveraging the ball, keeping him inside in front and getting him on the ground.
Q: You've been around here for a while and you've seen what he's done against this team. Is it kind of hard to explain or understand?
A: It is what it is. That happens in sports sometimes, but he's a really good football player and he's done a good job against us over the years.
Q: You have plenty familiarity in that building down there as far as the kicking game goes. Obviously, you prepare the same way when you get out there pregame and stuff but night game, middle of January, I know the weather's not going to be too bad. But how do you guys approach that? Do you lean on the experience that you've had?
A: Yeah, just like every other game. We've got a veteran kicker and he gets out there, we'll survey the scene, the wind and all that stuff. He'll go through his normal routine like he does, and we'll just talk about the lines and which way we're going and how we want to kick in a certain direction or not want to kick in a certain direction, what direction we want to kick. We'll go through that whole process. That's the same stuff we do every week, it's no different.
Q: Their other returner (wide receiver Britain) Covey was like an all-American in college. How good was he and is he somebody you had any interest in bringing here?
A: I watched him. We evaluated him in college. Same thing he did in college is the same thing he's doing here. So, he's a hard, straight, fast guy, he's very tough. We call him demolition man. He's real tough and he's hard to get on the ground as small as he is. He's hard to get on the ground, he's slippery. He's a really good young player. I think it's his grandfather who writes really good books.
Q: Are you a little disappointed that Graham Gano didn't make All-Pro, did you feel he had a shot at that?
A: That's one of those deals, he has no control of it, we have no control over it. Just make our kicks. Whatever happens, happens. I feel a certain way about Graham, he's done a great job over the years and his numbers speak for themselves. You go back and you look at his numbers over the last four-five years, they speak for themselves.