Special teams is the third wheel for NFL organizations, constantly taking a backseat to the offense and defense in resources expended. The importance of this side of the ball isn't trivial as games are constantly decided by how well this unit performs on a game-to-game basis. The hiring of Thomas McGaughey solidifies the unit due to his previous track record of success.
Last season, the Jets fared well on special teams without the expertise of Mike Westhoff, finishing No. 10 in the NFL according to football outsiders. Ben Kotwica, the coordinator to replace Westhoff, coached the unit for one season after being the assistant for six years in the Jets' organization. This sudden departure left the Jets in a position where they were desperate for a strong coach. Up stepped McGaughey.
McGaughey's track record speaks for itself. In his first season coaching the Denver Broncos he was the assistant special teams coach for the 2007 team, where the unit placed among the league's elite in average opponents punt return yardage with 6.9. Before that season he helped coach the special teams units of both the Kansas City Chiefs and University of Houston before landing in Denver. He lasted only two years with the Broncos before he moved on to the same position within the New York Giants organization.
During his tenure with the Giants McGaughey led an average unit but had certain player's standout from the rest of the group. Punter Jeff Feagles, kicker John Carney, and long snapper Zak DeOssie made the pro-bowl team during the 2008 season. During the Giants' Super Bowl run the special teams were consider one of their most productive units, constantly making plays in key spots.
Most recently McGaughey coached the special teams at LSU. His unit has accumulated a total of seven touchdowns over the entirety of his coaching record at LSU, which is in large part due to the talent he has had to coach. Tyrann Matthieu, Morris Claiborne, and Odell Beckham Jr. scored all seven touchdowns for McGaughey, and all three will be playing in the NFL come September. Part of that production came in large part due to McGaughey and his intelligence.