Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey praised punter Jamie Gillan as a "hard worker" who is "very coachable."
That said, Gillan, who has thus far gone through the off-season and camp with no competition to his spot on the roster, has been inconsistent in camp this summer, and if there's one area that McGaughey is looking for improvement, it's his hang-to-distance.
"That's something he’s been working on, and he’s improving on.," McGaughey said this week. "We want to make sure that the hang is relative to the distance so you don’t outkick the coverage."
McGaughey explained that the ideal hang time is one second for every ten yards of distance. For example, on a 45-yard punt, ideally, the punter comes up with a 4.5-second hang time. On a 50-yard punt, the ideal target time is 5.0 seconds.
"We want to make sure that the hang-to-distance, the hang is relative to the distance, so you don’t outkick the coverage," McGaughey explained. "He’s worked on that a lot, and he’s done a really good job. We’ll figure it out as we go along these first games coming up and go from there."
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Gillan initially went undrafted out of Arkansas - Pine Bluff in 2019. He signed with the Cleveland Browns, who were impressed by his big, powerful kicking leg that earned the native of Inverness, Scotland, the nickname "The Scottish Hammer."
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Through three seasons, Gillan has a 44.9 punting average and an average hangtime of 4.37 seconds. He also has nine career touchbacks, 19 downed punts, and 19 punts placed out of bounds.
Gillan's career in Cleveland halted when he was waived on December 22, 2021. the Bills then scooped him up by adding him to the practice squad, but he never made it to the 53-man roster.
Gillan is only in his third season, so he's still a relatively young player. McGaughey said it's important to have patience with young players.
"The one thing you’ve got to understand when you’re dealing with young players – there is a process," he said. "You have to be able to have patience and work through the process. He’s here because he has talent. Most young players are here in this league because they have talent.
"Most young players that come into this league do not tear it up when they first walk in. There is a learning curve; there is a maturation process. Throughout that maturation process, you have to be able to find what he does well, learn how he ticks, and then after you figure that thing out as a coach, you work from there."
Speaking on another subject, McGaughey was asked about the difference in working for new head coach Brian Daboll, and he didn't mince words.
"Dabs trusts me. It’s been really good. Kind of going back to how it was before when me and (Assistant Special Teams Coach Anthony Blevins) Blev were here," he said.
"It’s been fun because we’ve got a new group of guys. There was a lot of turnover, so now we’re trying to start back from square one and get them to understand how important this third phase is and how it affects the game."
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