Thursday, October 24, 2013
Quinn not happy with special team blunders
By Kieran Darcy
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have given up three long punt returns for touchdowns in the first seven games of the season and special teams coach Tom Quinn is not taking that lightly.
"They've all been different circumstances and it just hasn't been good enough for anyone," Quinn said Thursday. "We're all embarrassed by it."
In Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, Trindon Holliday's 81-yard return early in the fourth quarter was the backbreaker in a 41-23 Giants loss. Two weeks later in Kansas City, Dexter McCluster's 89-yard return late in the third quarter broke open a tight 10-7 game, leading to a 31-7 Chiefs victory.
Marcus Sherels' 86-yard return Monday night didn't ultimately hurt the Giants in their 23-7 defeat of the Minnesota Vikings -- but it certainly hurt Quinn.
"It's not what our expectations are," Quinn said. "It pisses you off and I hope it pisses everyone off in this building. To take away a shutout from the defense? That hurts. How many times do we get opportunities to do that? So, it's frustrating."
To be fair, Holliday and McCluster are among the more dangerous returners in the NFL right now. Holliday has two kick-return touchdowns and two punt-return touchdowns in the past season and a half with the Broncos. McCluster is leading the league in punt-return yardage this year.
On the Sherels return, "We didn't get good releases as the gunners and we didn't get great releases up front," Quinn said. "We have to sprint faster to the ball and squeeze to the ball. We have to make the play on that guy."
Next up is a rematch with the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Giants in Week 5. DeSean Jackson is still an Eagle, and who can forget his game-winning punt return against the Giants back in 2010? But Damaris Johnson has been Philadelphia's primary return man this season.
Johnson has yet to break one for a score. But he is fourth in the league in kick-return yardage (385).
Quinn isn't concerned with who the opposing team chooses to return kicks.
"We face great returners every week," Quinn said. "You just gotta do your job. You're paid to do the job, you gotta get it done."