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Greg McMahon Discusses Special Teams Unit, Thomas Morstead

Special Teams Coordinator Greg McMahon spoke with the media Thursday about Thomas Morstead and the special teams unit


New Orleans Saints Special Teams Coordinator Greg McMahonPost-Practice Media AvailabilityThursday, November 15, 2012

Does Thomas Morstead get recognition like he should?

"I don't know. I think in our locker room he gets recognition. We know and I think our fans know because we get a lot of compliments and comments on him. You can't control that and I don't think Thomas looks at that. Certainly like all players, I think everybody wants to play in the Pro Bowl. Who wouldn't? That's a goal I think all of them have. I think he's very comfortable in what he's doing and I don't get that feeling."

What has changed with Thomas Morstead from his first year to now?

"I think the maturity (has occurred), just like you talked about. I just think he's more comfortable. He's played in a Super Bowl and done well. He's played at a high level for us and every year he's gotten better and certainly he's on track to improve this year from where he was last year. I just think he's a very good pro. He takes a lot of pride in his craft and he knows he has a big role for our team. He has to do two roles. He has to kickoff and punt, which is rare in our league and he's done a good job."

How difficult was it for him in the last game when he had to punt out the back of the end zone late in the game?

"It's tough. That's certainly not the optimal place you want to punt the ball from. But he's done that (before). He did it in the (NFC) divisional game last year in San Francisco. He did it against the Bears a year ago. So he works at that. We work at that scenario. He just has a confidence level that he wants to be in that position at the end of a game, probably no different than when Drew Brees feels that way. I think he relishes that opportunity and he's done well. He works at it. He practices that scenario each week."

How often does your strategy change on kickoffs where you might tell him to not try to boot it out the end zone on a kickoff?

"Never. Kick that sucker out the end zone. These guys on the back end in this league are scary dudes. It's like playing with fire. If we can kick a touchback, and I think everybody else in this league feels the same way, we want to kick a touchback certainly. We don't want to get too cute for our own good, that's for sure."

Is Thomas Morstead a weapon?

"Yes. No doubt."

Joe Vitt said Darren Sproles was back full participation at practice today. With his hand, do you see him returning punts?

"That's a fair question. I don't know yet. As the week plays out, I think we'll figure that out. I'm not trying to escape the question, but I've listened to Scottie (Patton) and our doctors and see what's best for the team. From a special teams standpoint, we love having him back there. It's probably a day or too early to determine that, but I think it's a real good question. It's a fair question."

Will the conditions in Oakland play a factor if it's supposed to rain?

"I don't know. You can't control it. We talk all the time about having a good pregame and walking the field and seeing where the lies are that could be bad and then the wind and the sun and all those types of things. We just have to figure it out when we get there on Sunday, but we'll be ready. No doubt."

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