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For Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, having Joe Judge as head coach is a 'perfect marriage'

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey speaks to

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey speaks to the media during minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 5, 2019. Credit: Brad Penner

Thomas McGaughey has worked under nine previous head coaches in the NFL and college, and for the most part he’s been given carte blanche on special teams. His role as the coordinator of that unit for the Giants this year, though, could have come with less independence and control because for the first time in his career he’ll be answering to a head coach who has a special teams background. Joe Judge was the coordinator with the Patriots the past five years.

Rather than have that diminish McGaughey’s role with the Giants, however, it seems to be allowing him to grow and develop new ways of thinking while also maintaining his own preferences and philosophies.

“It’s kind of a perfect marriage,” McGaughey said in a virtual news conference on Tuesday. “Joe has a ton of experience and has had a ton of success in the league. We just sit down and come up with the things that we feel like are good for the unit and we implement them. It’s an easy conversation, it flows great. We put the stuff together that is going to help the team the best. We put it all out there, guys love it, they eat it up. They just go out there and do it on the field. Practice it, walk through it and those different things. It’s weird, but it’s a really good situation.”

Judge made it clear from the beginning that despite his own background, McGaughey is in charge of the special teams. So far, McGaughey said he has kept that promise.

“Joe is a football coach,” he said. “He is not just a special teams coach, he is a football coach, he coaches it all. That’s the thing I enjoy about watching him work… It’s been very enlightening and he has been outstanding. I just look forward to getting the season going, just watching him grow as a new head coach and just see how far he can take us.”

Notes & quotes: McGaughey, a cancer survivor, said he never considered opting out of this season over concerns about COVID-19. “I’m not really worried about the health part,” he said. “I just need to take care of myself. I can run into issues at home” … Asked how he will evaluate special teams roles such as returners without any preseason games, McGaughey laughed. “I dunno, man,” he said. “We just need to make do with what we have” …  The Giants made official the signings of rookie WR Cody White and OT Jackson Dennis. They waived TE Kyle Markway and LB Mark McLaurin to make room . . . The Giants will have their first full-team workout with coaches on the field on Wednesday. They begin full practices on Monday.

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