McGee Trying To Be the Missing Playmaker

The kickoff and punt return positions on special teams are certainly the most exciting and recognizable, and those players receive the bulk of the credit and blame when there is a game-breaking play, either positive or negative. Many of the elite return men in recent NFL history seem to flame out after just a few seasons, i.e. Dante Hall, Terrence McGee and Justin Miller.

In the Jaguars 15 year history, they are yet to have anyone that would be considered a legitimate star at the return position. The team's all-time leaders in punt and kickoff return average read a virtual whose who of anonymity, including players such as Reggie Barlow, Derrick Wimbush, Bobby Shaw and Brian Witherspoon.

The Jaguars special teams returners have been very mediocre in recent seasons and they are hoping to change that with sixth-round draft pick Scotty Mcgee. McGee, all of 5'8", 185 lbs. has impressed many thus far in Jaguars minicamps with his speed, but before you get too excited, please proceed with caution. Many players flourish in non-contact situations.

McGee's NFL future, at least in the short term, will be either made or broken with his special teams accumen, but the former James Madison alum claims not to feel much pressure.

"I wouldn't say it's so much pressure," McGee said following OTA's. "I have a desire to get better. I push myself."

McGee tries to handle practice as if he's out there when the real bullets are flying.

"As I'm out there I try to put myself in a game situation, you know, catch everything. I continually tell myself, no drops."

McGee is in competition for not only the Jaguars kickoff return job, but punt return as well.

"He could win both jobs," Jaguars special teams coordinator Russ Pernell explained. "We're going to put the best man out there whether we drafted him or we signed him as a free agent or we trade for him, we want the guy that gives us the best opportunity to win."

McGee maintains confidence despite being in competition with second-year players Mike Thomas and Tiquan Underwood, as well as fellow rookie Deji Karim and others.

"I feel very confident in both (kickoff and punt returns) contributing to the team and helping us get great field position and points on the board," McGee said.

What makes an undersized player who could be confused for a ball boy from James Madison so confident in his own abilities?

"I think it's just my explosiveness," McGee said. "I don't waste time getting to the hole. Once I see it I get there. If it's not there, I'm still going there. If I see a small crease I'm taking it."

McGee is trying to replicate some of the seasons that Dante Hall, Josh Cribbs, Ellis Hobbs and Andre Davis have had and not be another Jaguars cautionary little guy tale such as Chad Owens, Brian Witherspoon, Jermaine Lewis and Shyrone Stith. The Jaguars hope that Scotty McGee's confidence will be founded once the actual games begin.


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