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Transcript: Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Eric from BBI : Admin : 10/5/2023 6:33 pm
Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

October 5, 2023

Q: It was very uncharacteristic of one of your units to have six penalties. What do you think went wrong?

A: It's a lot of stuff. We knew that crew threw a lot of penalties, but you just can't do it, offsides or two holding penalties. I can deal with those effort penalties, but the illegal shift and holding penalty at the line of scrimmage that wasn't necessary, stuff like that. That's just - It’s hard enough to win games in this league to beat your opponent. You can't over overcome yourself and then try to beat your opponent. So, it's obviously a point of emphasis all the time, but especially this week after we had that type of performance.

Q: How do you fix stuff like that? How do you make sure that it doesn't happen again?

A: Well, in the moment, you’ve got to coach it better, right? You’ve got to drill it better. You’ve got to overemphasize certain things that are not being executed. You know, as far as an illegal shift, get up to the line, get set. It's really simple, it ain't that hard, you know. Holding, schematically we can do some things better to put our long snapper in a better position where he doesn't have to hold. That's something I can do. But just those little, small details, just make sure you just tighten the screws on everything. When you feel like things are getting loose, you’ve just got to tighten the screws and that's it and it’s execution under pressure. Got to execute, right. We’ve got to do a better job on our path going to the punter, right? We can't run right down the middle of him. We ‘vegot to either veer off to the left or veer off to the right. It's just details of your job.

Q: What went into putting (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) back there?

A: Michael Dixon is a really good punter. He hits a variety of balls. It's just, you want to make sure that the guy back there feels comfortable, and we made a decision to put him back there and it's just tough. Michael Dixon is the leading punter in the league right now, he's averaging almost 55 yards a punt and again, he has those variety of punts, so it makes it tougher.

Q: Are you going back with (running back) Eric (Gray)

A: Yeah, he'll be back, Eric will be back.

Q: It's a little strange because from what we see, you have guys back there every day catching punts during the special teams portions and Adoree’ is not one of those guys.

A: He does it from time to time. He's done it enough in his career to where we feel comfortable putting him back there, but we have a bunch of guys back there catching punts every day because you just never know. You always want to have options as the game moves forward, as the year moves forward, you have injuries, you have all kind of things that happen, so you always want to have a bunch of guys back there catching punts, but he catches them after practice. He catches them all the time.

Q: Were they the right decisions, the ones he let bounce, because obviously, if they bounce the other direction, then you're gonna say, ‘yeah, it was,’ but when they roll inside the five –

A: It's tough because we were pressuring him, and he was inconsistent. So again, his ball when it hits the ground, it averages probably 10 to 15 yards of roll yards, like Tress Way, Those guys are hard. It's difficult because you plant them at 50 yards, 54 yards and he hits it 40 or he hits it 42 and it's hard because you have a gunner that's coming down the field, a jammer is coming down the field. You don't want to run up and make a bad decision. It's a double-edged sword. It was just kind of one of those deals, a perfect storm.

Q: Over four games, what have you thought of your guys’ special teams performance? The PFF ratings have you guys last, but what have you thought?

A: To be honest with you, I don't take a lot of stock into the PFF rating. We started off slow and then I think we hit those two games in there and we started to pick it up a little bit and then we just took a step back. Again, we've been kind of on this roller coaster ride and we got to make sure that we're continuously getting better. That's the mantra of our room anyway. It's the act of continuous improvement, right? So, we’ve just got to make sure we just keep getting better.

Q: How much better do you need to play as a unit in this whole new concept of complementary football in order to help this team dig itself out?

A: Yeah, it's not a new concept. It's something that we did all last year. It's something that we've done when we've had success, and that's any football team, you have to play complementary football and one phase has to help the other one even when the other one is down. Kickoff return, punt return, offense, defense, turnovers, all those things have to work as one and that's just something we have to do a better job of as a group and as a unit and as a team, we just got to play better complementary football.

Q: Do you think Gray looks natural and comfortable back there?

A: Yeah, absolutely. When you look at the first four games, he made every good decision you can make, and he fields the ball well. Again, Michael Dixon is different. He's an Australian punter that can hit the ball a bunch of different ways. He hit the ball nose up and the spin is just a funky spin, and he has a very powerful leg. That’s why he's the number one gross punter in the league right now. That’s what it is. We're talking about one play with a rookie. Rookies make mistakes sometimes. Last time I checked, Peyton Manning, I think he had like 35 picks as a rookie in the National Football League. So young players make mistakes, but he'll be fine.

Q: You mentioned the uneven performances. How much pressure do you feel from the head coach with that?

A: Pressure? That comes with the job. That’s pressure wearing this (points to NY logo on sweatshirt), that just comes with the job. Pressure is my friend. I keep it right here in my back pocket, pressure don't bother me.

Q: I meant more-so is he on your back?

A: He's always on my ass. That's part of the job. I'm good with that. I have no issue. Like the pressure part of this, I love it. I absolutely love it because you wouldn't want it - like, I wouldn't want to be in any other place, and they don't care. You want to be here in New York. You want the pressure of being the best. You want the pressure of just trying to be at your absolute best. That's why we do this, we don't do it just to be average. I don't show up here just to be just some average coach playing on some average team in an average market. I had a choice to come here to New York. I made that choice. I knew exactly what I was getting into, so I love it, it doesn't bother me at all.

Q: How does the decision to take Eric out of that and give him a reprieve from what you're going to see from Dixon. How does that decision get made? Does (head coach Brian) Daboll come to you or do you -

A: The decision was made. Regardless of how it happens, it's just something we're doing for the betterment of the team and just to make sure that we get the ball back. At the end of the day, I tell guys that all the time, punt return, the most important thing is we know we're getting the ball back and that's what we need to do.

Q: In regard to (tackle) Evan Neal, if the pressure becomes too much one day for somebody, especially a young guy, how as a coach do you re-center him and how does the team re-center itself?

A: I'm not going to speak for Evan, I'll just speak in general. You have to understand where you are and what you're doing. We know what we signed up for. This is pro football, fans are going to say things, that's part of it. My son is getting his Twitter blown up, my oldest son, because he has the same last name as me and then my other son has a podcast. Trust me, it’s the media part of it and I understand it. You’ve just got to tune everything (out). The outside noise is the outside noise and it has nothing to do with what goes on inside the building.

Q: There was a play I didn't understand where I think it was punt coverage and Cam Brown came down late and I think he knocked the return guy over and there was no penalty. I'm thinking it was going to be unnecessary roughness.

A: I don’t remember.

Q: The player was standing around the ball and the returner was lingering, hoping one of your guys would touch it so he could pick it up and Cam just wiped him out.

A: Oh, the first touch because the whistle hadn't blown. If you go in there and the whistle hadn't blown, you're still fair game, right? So, you're going to try and get the ball. That's just part of it.

Q: So, they just knock him? Maybe he falls on the ball when it's loose?

A: And maybe we get it. It probably wasn't a smart thing for him to do.
This clown needs to go  
GiantsFan84 : 10/5/2023 6:34 pm : link
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 10/5/2023 6:56 pm : link
Talks a lot & says very little.
Daboll MUST find better OL & ST coaches.  
Optimus-NY : 10/5/2023 8:45 pm : link
Simple. I hope nobody is interfering with him about that.
That was  
Joe Beckwith : 10/5/2023 9:11 pm : link
borderline painful.
Though I admit a major disappointment in his ability to develop a competent ST.
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