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STs coach Thomas McGaughey addresses The Glare from Brian Daboll

McGaughey addressed the ‘700-pound gorilla in the room’

NFL: JUL 30 New York Giants Training Camp
Thomas McGaughey
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The knives are, apparently, not out after New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll glared daggers at special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey during the Giants’ preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.

The Glare Heard Round the (Giants) World happened after Maurice Alexander of the Lions returned a booming Jamie Gillan punt 94 yards for a touchdown.

McGaughey spoke to the media before the Giants’ practice on Tuesday, and opened by addressing the glare in question. “Let’s just address the 700-pound gorilla in the room,” he said, referencing the glare caught on camera. ”We all know Dabs is intense. On game day that’s him, it’s not a big deal. It’s happened before, it’s part the game.”

For his part, Daboll called the glare a “non-issue” after the game, saying, “We’re all competitive and we’re in a competitive environment.” He added, “I hold everybody, not just T-Mac, myself, and everybody else to a high standard.”

The Giants special teams had been performing well up until that point in the game. Graham Gano forced several returns on kick-offs (likely on coaches’ orders to let them evaluate the coverage teams), and the coverage teams held them to less than the 25 yards that would have resulted from a touchback.

That’s the kind of boring, routine play that coaches want to see from special teams. What they don’t want to see are the kind of exciting plays that remind us special teams aren’t a bathroom break. Those are rarely the good kind of exciting, and a game-changing punt return for touchdown definitely falls in that category.

It’s only a preseason game and more than a few of the players involved probably weren’t going to make the team anyway. The punt return did reveal some issues with the coverage team that need to be tightened up over the next couple weeks. But that’s the point of preseason games and practices.

There isn’t any lingering anger among the coaches, however, with McGaughey explicitly saying “We have no issues.”

Daboll took it a step further after the game, saying, “I love T-Mac”