Not only have the Giants’ offense and defense tailed off the past few weeks, the special teams have as well. The kickoff returns have been less than average and the coverage on both kickoffs and punts has not been as tight. Special Teams coach Tom Quinn discussed some of those issues as the team heads into its bye week.
What happened to the punt return coverage with Adam Jones?
The number one thing is we can’t take a penalty and have to re-punt after we had a 61-yard punt that went out of bounds and then when we do punt we’ve got to kick it exactly where we want it. We’ve got to cover a lot better. We had a couple of missed tackles. I’ve got to do a better job of getting those guys in position, getting them off the blocks so we don’t do that to our team, which was a very negative play in the game.
Would it be fair to say that guys are leaving their feet and that’s what’s causing them to miss tackles?
It’s usually something else that contributes to that and it’s usually poor release and a poor angle into the tackle, so it puts you out of position and then you have to leave your feet and it becomes an arm tackle, which these returners will all run through.
It looked like earlier in the year that David Wilson was about to break a kickoff at any time and the last couple of games it hasn’t been there.
No, it hasn’t and we’ve got to do a better job, I’ve got to do a better job of scheming it up and getting them in the exact position that we want him in so that he can hit it and not take as many hits as he did. It was a joke that he took as many hits as he did on Sunday.
Was that a bang-bang call on the running out of bounds considering it was a big punt?
A lot of times they don’t call it, but he did it and so we’ve got to make sure that we’re not in that situation where we’re having to re-do that. You never want to have to re-kick or re-punt because those guys are covering and so that’s something that’s kind of a cardinal rule that we don’t want to do.
I guess Tynes has been a really big bright spot.
He’s been good with the field goals. So we’ve got to keep him going, keep his kickoffs going. That’s one thing that hasn’t been as good as it was last year I don’t think… just the distancing of the touchbacks on the kickoffs and usually there’s a lot of factors with wind and venue and that type of thing.
You mentioned that Weatherford didn’t punt it where he wanted it to go.
The direction… He punted that ball in the middle and we wanted it outside the numbers. The first one was a really nice punt and the second one was kind of a little bit inside and put it down the middle of the field, so that’s something we’ve got to adjust to and I’ve got to coach him to do that.
No scores yet in the return game, but do you feel like you’re in a better place in terms of the explosive guys you have back there in both the kick and punt return game this year?
We are. I think our punt returns got going a little bit and then that guy is an outstanding punter who punts it a long way and so you always want to take advantage of that. Kick return game has not been as clean as we want it, but there’s some things there yesterday that we felt we could have taken advantage of and we just didn’t get it done.
How does Markus Kuhn’s injury affect personnel?
It affects whomever the next guy up is going to have to fill his role and do as well as he did because he’s done a good job. He’s very willing, very eager and he studies well and he plays well. So he’s a part of the field goal, kickoff return and sometimes the punt return team.