Although the New York Giants cannot officially negotiate nor sign/announce current Vikings coordinator Pat Shurmur as the team’s new head coach until after the Vikings have concluded their postseason run, that apparently hasn’t stopped the front office from potentially lining up assistant coaching candidates for the new head coach’s staff.
One such hire that’s expected to come to fruition according to reports by Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer and Alex Marvez of the Sporting News is the hiring of former Panthers special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey.
McGaughey, whose contract was not renewed by the Panthers, was replaced by Chase Blackburn, a former NFL linebacker who played for both the Giants and the Panthers before joining the ranks of NFL coaches. McGaughey was also once with the Giants as an assistant special teams coordinator to outgoing incumbent Tom Quinn during the 2007-2010 seasons, the 2007 season being Quinn’s first as the new special teams coordinator, the role to which he was promoted following the retirement of Mike Sweatman the year prior.
McGaughey, a former NFL safety who spend the 1996 season with the Eagles practice squad, was also an assistant coach in 2011-2013 at LSU, which means he would have been with the school at the same time as current Giants punter Brad Wing and current receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as the Tigers’ special teams coordinator.
McGaughey’s special teas coaching history is impressive. While with the Giants, he helped the kicking battery of punter Jeff Feagles, long snapper Zak DeOssie and kicker John Carney earn Pro Bowl honors in 2008. Carney completed a team record 92.1 percent (35 out of 38) of his field goal attempts that season.
Prior to coming to the Giants, McGaughey spent two seasons with Denver as their assistant special teams coordinator. In 2006, the Broncos held opponents to an average of 6.9 yards per punt return, the fifth-best figure in the NFL, while Broncos kicker Jason Elam set a then-franchise record with a 93.1 (27-of-29) field goal percentage, second, in the NFL.
More recently, McGaughey helped Panthers kicker Graham Gano toward earning his first Pro Bowl berth this year. Gano converted 29 of 30 field goal attempts for a 96.7 accuracy rate which led the NFL in field goal accuracy during the regular season.
The Panthers also tied for ninth best in kickoff return average (22.4, with the Chiefs) and averaged 8.0 yards per punt return in 2017.
Panthers punter Michael Palardy’s 42.2 net average ranked sixth in the NFL.