Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
Q: What have you seen from (kicker) Randy (Bullock) so far?
A: Randy's been Randy. He's done a good job. Randy's a veteran kicker. He's been around for a long time. He's played a lot of games. He's been a pro. He's come out, he's done a good job. We're just working through the process of the whole process, the new mechanics of everything. So, been good.
Q: On the flip side of that, what have you seen from (kicker) Cade (York) and that decision to go with Randy?
A: Cade's very, very, very talented. Very young, talented kicker. Cade's working through some things with his swing, but he's getting better. He has a very strong leg, very talented and he has a lot of upside, for sure.
Q: How is that going to work again this week?
A: Same as last week. They're going to kick again. They'll kick again today, they'll kick tomorrow, and we'll make a decision this weekend.
Q: When you say working through things, what would it take for you to be confident in him being ready for games? Is it a technique thing, I think you said last week?
A: It's just something that he's working through. It's some technical stuff. But again, I mean, it's one of those deals where he's a young kicker in this league, and these young kickers all go through the same process. They're all trying to figure out who they are, different stadiums… Cade was at LSU, I coached at LSU for three years, and there's not a lot of wind down there. In the SEC, you don't see the same type of wind patterns and the weather that you see up here. So, he made some adjustments in Cleveland, and I think now he's trying to work back through some things, but he's getting better.
Q: Do you have to make a more permanent decision on this coming up after three weeks?
A: Yeah, we'll figure it out.
Q: How close do you think you are on kick returns to breaking one? It seems like you've had some opportunities and it's getting closer here.
A: I was telling the guys today we're getting better and better on that unit. (Wide receiver) Parris (Campbell) has been a big help to us coming back there. Obviously, he provides a lot of speed and he's a good, strong runner. We're getting closer and closer. (Commanders kicker) Joey Slye has 44 touchbacks on 44 kickoffs. So I don't know how many opportunities we'll get this week, but we're getting closer.
Q: What do you think of that? Obviously, there's the new rule. Are we just heading towards that, or is it just team by team, or is there a trend there?
A: It's philosophical. You look at a team like Washington, for example, they kick everything out. You look at teams like Detroit, New England, some of these other teams, and they pop everything up, try and force the kick. So, it's all philosophical from organization to organization and game by game.
Q: Where do you stand?
A: I like to do both. It's situational. It depends on who they have and, obviously, who we're going against, and how we feel like we match up against them. So, again, week to week, it's different.
Q: After last season, it certainly felt like things were on a considerable upswing here. Is there surprise in what you've seen in terms of the way this season has developed and is developing?
A: Each year is a new year. Each team is a new team. It's totally different circumstances. The schedule is different. You know what I mean? It's just different. When you have some of the things that's happened to us early in the season, it's unfortunate, but it is what it is. You just try and make do with what you've got. You go from week to week, you're trying to get better as a group and as a team and gel and try and make plays when you need to. But sometimes, that's the game. It's tough at times.
Q: The last time you played Washington, you had trouble handling (Commanders punter Tress) Way's punts. Was that the wind that day or was that his punts?
A: It's two things: he's a lefty power punter, and it was very windy that day. It was gusting a lot, probably maybe 35-mile-an-hour gusts. So, it was a funky day in the Meadowlands, but I think we could have, not similar, but somewhat similar. It's supposed to be 20-something-mile-an-hour winds on Sunday. So, that's just part of being in the northeast playing football outside.
Q: Were some of your punt protections a little too close for comfort?
A: Schematically, what we do, it's a little different, what we've been doing. There are some things that we can do to make sure that doesn't happen. We're working through that stuff, and I think some of those styles of punts are playing to (punter) Jamie (Gillan)'s strengths. I think that's why he's having a pretty good season so far. So, we're just going to keep mixing that up, going from our regular stuff to new stuff.
Q: The risk of that is that it's an extra step or two, right?
A: Actually, it gets the ball out quicker. It's really amazing. His rugby muscle memory just kicks in, and as soon as he moves sideways, I mean, he can just… He's been kicking the ball since he was that big, running around with it, kicking it out of his hand. So, it's a little quicker.
Q: Any teaching tape from the Buffalo situation there with the 12 men? How do you handle the fire-drill defense? Do you keep your defense on the field?
A: We go defense stay. We work that all the time out here. We do it pre-practice probably twice a week. Those situations are things that have to be drilled and when the time comes, you've got to react accordingly. Sometimes people kind of panic in certain situations.