The New York Giants’ special teams have always been respectable under coordinator Thomas McGaughey.
This season, which has been one of tumult and turmoil for the Giants, the ‘teams’ as they call them, have fallen victim to the same woes that plagued the rest of the team.
Injuries among the ranks leave little for the teams to choose from come game days. The Giants lost star kicker Graham Gano to a knee injury and punter Jamie Gillan has played through groin and knee ailments of his own. The return and coverage games have suffered from a rotating personnel as well.
McGaughey spoke about Gillan’s physical status on Thursday.
“Any time that you have to deal with those things, you just got to be smart, and communication is key,” McGaughey said. “So, we talked every day about how he was feeling and we just kind of, just went from there. You always got to be — at this time of year, you are in the back end of the season, got a lot of reps in that leg, you just got to be smart. He’s getting a little tender, so we are just trying to handle it the best way we both saw it fit and the training staff.”
The Giants have tried several kickers since Gano was placed on IR in early November, the latest being former Green Bay Packers standout Mason Crosby.
Crosby had some obvious rust in his first game last week in Philadelphia. His kickoffs were not reaching the end zone.
“It’s the first time he’s kicked off in a while,” said McGaughey. “Going in certain directions, it might not look like it, but going in certain directions, the wind was blowing a little bit. So, is Mason Crosby 23 years old? No, he’s not. He’s 38 years old, whatever it is. He’s in his 17th year in the league. That’s just what it is.
“I’m sure (quarterback) John Elway when he was 23 could throw it further than when he was 40. It’s just over time, you lose power. You lose some of that stuff. But he’s still definitely serviceable and he did a really good job for us Sunday.”