Quigley seeks consistency in second season with Jets

Quigley firstNorth Myrtle Beach’s Ryan Quigley is entering his second season as the Jets punter and he’s more excited than ever to step back on the field and get the opportunity to put his preseason behind him.

“Coming into my second year, having a year behind me and the experience, you kind of know what to expect coming into the first game, going through it last year,” he said. “I’m confident and I’m ready to go. We’ve got a great special teams unit this year and a great coverage team so I’m excited.”

Quigley had an up-and-down summer, hitting seven punts 50-plus yards but then three in a row from minus territory for 30 or fewer yards. He averaged 43 yards per punt, but his net (38.9) was identical to his number during the 2013 campaign — a mark that was second-best in franchise history.

“I’ve got a ton of confidence in Quigs. I’ve been watching him in practice and I see him every day,” said special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. “He’s got a few little things he has to work out and he’s working on those diligently. He’s a young specialist in this league.”

Quigley said Friday that he’s been tightening up some things he noticed during the preseason and expects everything to be fixed before Sunday. He did say, however, that he is human and will make some mistakes but trusting himself is the key to limiting those mistakes.

“I’m going back to the basics with technique stuff and I’m just going to be confident,” he said. “You’re going to have bad punts and you just have to forget it and move on to the next one.”

Quigley entered camp last year in a competition with Robert Malone for the punting job. Malone won the job, but after two games, Quigley returned and made his first regular-season appearance in Week 3, the 27-20 win over Buffalo.

In 2013 he punted 72 times for a gross average of 45.5 yards and landed 21 punts inside the 20. He said he’s focused on being more consistent with his technique and helping the defense by pinning opponents deep in their territory.

“I hope to be a consistent guy, a guy who’s going to go out there and put up consistent numbers every week,” he said. “I want to help the defense as much as I can. We have such a good defense that I want to put them in a good position and help them from there.”

The need for consistency stretches beyond his role as the punter. Quigley is also the holder on field goals and extra points. He, K Nick Folk and LS Tanner Purdum all return for 2014, which Quigley said is a definite benefit for all of the specialists.

“We spend a ton of time together,” he said, “and to have that core group back, with me and Tanner on punts and on field goals having the snap and hold, it’s good for Nick because we get some consistency to make his job as easy as possible. So that’s big.”

It’s not all the same from last year for the special teams unit, however, after McGaughey replaced former STC Ben Kotwica during the offseason. The transition, Quigley said, has gone without a hitch and coaching intern Eric Smith, former Jets safety and special teams leader, has brought his experience and personality to the special teams room.

“He really balances out our room. T-Mac was a long snapper, Louie Aguiar [assistant special teams coach] was a punter for 10 years, Smitty, he played as a safety, but was a big player on special teams,” he said. ‘We’re hitting on every part of the game. He’s been fun.”

The specialists are also coaching up the coaching intern, too. Quigley said they have been teaching Smith how to kick and punt after practice.

Photos Courtesy of the NY Jets

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