Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey speaks to the media...

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey speaks to the media before training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Aug. 17, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

That the 4-10 Giants had no Pro Bowlers when the initial rosters were announced on Wednesday came mostly without much surprise. Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey still made a case for the Giants’ steadiest and most deserving player to be honored, though, citing not his stats but kicker Graham Gano’s level of difficulty.

In the past, McGaughey suggested, Gano likely would have made the Pro Bowl.

"This voting thing is a little different, guys’ mentalities are different," McGaughey said of those who selected the Pro Bowlers — which is decided by votes from fans, coaches and players, each accounting for one-third of the total consideration — and picked Rams kicker Matt Gay (28-for-29 on field-goal attempts) ahead of Gano (27-for-31).

Gay is 4-for-4 and Gano is 6-for-9 from at least 50 yards. Each has kicked a 55-yarder.

"Back in the day, guys who kicked in the freaking dome or in warm weather didn’t get a whole lot of consideration regardless of how many kicks they made."

McGaughey noted the swirling winds at MetLife Stadium this past Sunday that played havoc with Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein, who missed two extra points.

"That’s the difference between being at home in Dallas and being at MetLife," McGaughey said. "It’s a big difference. Playing in the Northeast is different . . . You kick in this stadium, you do what Justin Tucker’s doing in Baltimore, kicking in that place and having the kind of percentage that he has, it’s a whole lot different than kicking where you’ve got eight or nine games in the dome and you’re playing in the AFC South or you’re playing in the NFC West or whatever where it’s warm. That’s a whole different ballgame to play in than this."

Tucker, by the way, was named the kicker for the AFC Pro Bowl team. He has been successful on 29 of 31 attempts, including a game-winning and NFL-record 66-yarder against the Lions.

McGaughey conceded that Gay has a better percentage and technically has been more accurate and consistent than Gano.

"You miss four field goals in a year where guys are missing one," he said of Gano’s chances being overmatched by that fact.

But, McGaughey said, those numbers shouldn’t be the only criteria for voting.

"To me, it’s just a totally different deal," he said of geographical and meteorological impacts on kickers. "You’ve got to understand what you’re looking at. Most of the people that vote on it have no idea what they’re looking at."

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