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49ers ST coach Thomas McGaughey talks Jarryd Hayne and kick returner skill-set

The San Francisco 49ers special teams coach met with the media on Wednesday. He talked about Bradley Pinion and the need for consistency, and why Jarryd Hayne is not getting opportunities as a kick returner. It was an interesting discussion. Here's the full transcript. You can also listen to audio here, and view video here.

After seeing RB Jarryd Hayne's 37-yard punt return, are you inclined to see what he can do on kickoff returns now?

"Two different skill sets. Punt returning and kickoff returning are two different skill sets. It's kind of like, you look at a running back, some running backs are really good at running inside zone, running iso, running power. Then some running backs are really good on the outside zone and toss sweeps. So, it's kind of two different skill sets. Not to say that Jarryd can't do it, but that's not his strong suit. His strong suit is punt return and that's where we're going to continue to let him flourish."

He's so good in space though. Why not put him back there?

"Two totally different deals. If you look at the space in a punt return, it's a lot more as opposed to a space in kickoff return. It can get real tight in there in a hurry in kickoff returns and that's something that he's still trying to get a feel for. I think his strength is punt return and that's where we're going to keep him at."

Are you anticipating having WR Bruce Ellington available this week?

"You know, we don't know. Hopefully he's available. If he's there, we will play him. If not, we're going to keep doing what we've been doing."

Were you surprised how cleanly Jarryd actually fielded that punt? He had a running start and that was kind of unconventional of a punt returner to do that and to see him do that cleanly kind of--?

"No. I'm not surprised at all. Jarryd is our best punt-catcher. He fields the ball naturally. I mean, you saw the one that he caught over his shoulder in the preseason game. The first ball that he put on the ground was the one that he did in the game. Since he's been here, I hadn't seen him drop one in practice or in a game or since then. But, that's just kind of the deal."

What was your evaluation of WR DeAndrew White on kickoffs?

"I wish he could have been a little bit more productive. Obviously, you've got to take care of the football. There was a cut in there that we wish he would have made. Didn't make it. So, we've just got to continue you know, it's a young player. We've got to continue to keep working him, keep coaching him and continue to show him those different cuts and kind of show him where he needs to fit and all those different deals. That's a maturation process of a young guy. It's just, they're going to go through those things. They're going to fail their way to success. So, we're going to continue to take him down that road."

Would you prefer to have one primary kickoff returner and punt returner before the season is over or is it more advantageous to mix and match depending on game situation and opponent?

"Any time you can get a guy that can do both, you know, you save roster spots and all that good stuff. So, it's kind of, you get some continuity there. It's not a lot of, this guy here or this guy there. But, you know, you just make do with what you've got. I've been in both situations before and they've both worked."

So, jobs are there to be had still?


What's the scouting report on the Packers special teams?

"You know what, they're very, very good personnel-wise. You look at the history of their organization and they do a great job of scouting and bringing up their own guys and coaching them up in their system. They're talented. They've always got guys that you've never heard of and there you go, they pop up on the scene. And they're good players. And they do a good job of playing together. They're returners, obviously, [Green Bay Packers S] Micah Hyde and [Green Bay Packers WR] Ty Montgomery. Big, strong, physical guys that can stick their foot in the ground and make people miss. Their specialists are solid. [Green Bay Packers P Tim] Masthay and [Green Bay Packers K Mason] Crosby. So, they've got a good group. They've got a really good group over there. [Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator] Ron Zook does a great job. He's been in this league for a long time. They're going to be well coached. [Green Bay Packers head coach] Mike McCarthy's staff, obviously, those guys, they've got a veteran coaching staff over there. So, we're going to have our work cut out for us. We've just got to go out there and continue to get better and continue to execute our fundamentals and techniques and try to take our play to another level."

Is P Bradley Pinion pretty advanced for a rookie as far as ball placement?

"Bradley's very talented. He is. Just the upside of this kid is tremendous. I just want to see him just continue to be consistent. That's the most important thing right now. For a young player, always, is to have that consistency. And that's tough for young guys, obviously. It's tough for the older players too, to be consistent. So, to have him kind of do the things that he's doing right now, we're very pleased with how he's coming along."