The San Francisco 49ers might have another assistant coach in place fairly soon. FOX Sports NFL reporter Alex Marvez is reporting the 49ers are close to hiring Thomas McGaughey as their special teams coordinator. Marvez said there is an 85 percent chance that gets done, and said there is a 90 percent chance the Oakland Raiders hire former 49ers special teams coach Brad Seely.
McGaughey spent the 2014 season with the New York Jets. In 2014, the Jets group ranked No. 16 in special teams, according to Football Outsiders. The previous season they ranked No. 10. They showed a big improvement in kick and punt coverage, but took a step back in field goal and return work. Prior to that he served in the same role with the LSU Tigers from 2011 to 2013.
The 49ers special teams were all over the place during Brad Seely's tenure. Last year, FO ranked the combined units No. 24, with only kick coverage finishing with positive marks. In the previous three seasons, the overall group was ranked No. 7, No. 20, and No. 2. The team has seen plenty of roster turnover, so that is certainly part of the issue. And this year, you can likely point to the incredible number of injuries forcing special teamers into the starting lineup, and forcing mid-season acquisitions in on special teams.
When considering special teams coaching though, how much do you factor that into a give unit's performance? It doesn't seem as simple as pointing to the coach for special teams success or failure. How much do we credit a special teams coordinator?