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elaine95 Oct 11
Thomas McGaughey has been doing more in the offseason than getting the New York Giants' special teams ready for the opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 45-year-old coordinator has been undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer that strikes roughly 8 Youth Ian Thomas Jersey ,000 people in the United States annually.

It's called Periampullary cancer, a bile duct cancer located near the small intestine. McGaughey has been receiving oral medication and chemotherapy. He is now on his fifth round, and has a couple more left.

"It's going good," McGaughey said Thursday while disclosing his diagnosis and treatment with the media for the first time.

Still, the treatments have left him drained at times. He missed time during organized team activities in the spring. The Giants compensated by asking Tom Quinn, the team's special teams coordinator under Ben McAdoo and Tom Coughlin, to join Pat Shurmur's staff.

The thought of taking time away from football and concentrating on his healthy never entered McGaughey's head. He even returns to work as soon as his chemo is finished.

"As a football coach, you don't think of that stuff," McGaughey said. "You get up. You do what you do, and live life. I am not going to let any chemotherapy, cancer or anything else get in the way of what I do. I am a football coach. I am a father, a football coach and that's what I do. I've got to get up every day. Nobody really cares, and they are not going to feel sorry for you. It's get up and go to work."

McGaughey isn't the only member of the organization being treated for cancer. General manager Dave Gettleman was diagnosed with lymphoma this spring.

"We share our chemotherapy stories, and talk about the medication, and that stuff," McGaughey said with a smile. "We definitely have our conversations. Dave's a great man and it is what it is. We just have to fight through it and keep it moving."

McGaughey said a scan of his system three weeks ago was fine.

McGaughey said the cancer was discovered by good fortune after he had two bouts with sepsis, a condition that happens when the body's response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs.

Doctors performed an endoscopy and found a growth in his bile duct.

"They removed it," McGaughey said. "I had a very extensive procedure called a Whipple Procedure, and during the Whipple they found a cancer on one of my lymph nodes and I have been undergoing chemotherapy for the last about two months."

Shurmur said Quinn was brought to help McGaughey on the "tough" days. However, he said McGaughey is handling everything.

"T-Mac has been doing a great job and he has our guys ready to play," Shurmur said.

The one question that made McGaughey laugh was when he was asked what his thoughts would be if Shurmur let rookie Saquon Barkley handle the kickoff returns and Odell Beckham Jr. run the punts back.

"Thank God Authentic Customized Falcons Jerseys ," McGaughey said. "These guys are playmakers and any time you get a chance to put a playmaker on the field and give you the best chance to win, you know, that's what you want to do. You are trying to win the game. That's the purpose of it."

NOTES: LB Olivier Vernon missed another practice with the ankle injury and he is looking doubtful for the opener. ... Defensive coordinator James Bettcher says if Vernon can play a number of people will fill his role with Connor Barwin and rookie Lorenzo Carter, the most likely. ... Offensive coordinator Mike Shula on what he saw in rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta. "We think Kyle is a young guy that just has continued to get better with reps. He's got very good football intelligence. I think he's got some intangibles that you need at that position."

The Jacksonville Jaguars are not quite ready to roll.

Final roster cuts are looming, and several young players competing for jobs have given coach Doug Marrone and his staff a lot to think about.

"The next 48 hours we're going to have to make some tough decisions," Marrone said after fourth-stringer Tim Cook ran for two touchdowns to help the Jaguars close the preseason with a 25-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

"Some of these young guys have played really well, and tonight was a good example," Marrone added. "They made a couple plays and we were able to come back and win."

Cook scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards. Carroll Phillips picked up a fumble by rookie quarterback Austin Allen and ran it back 28 yards for another TD as Jacksonville used a 19-point third-quarter to turn a 10-3 halftime deficit into a 12-point lead.

Regulars for both teams sat out the finale Thursday night in mostly empty Raymond James Stadium. A total of 34 players did not dress for the Jaguars, including every starter on offense and defense.

Tampa Bay's starters had the night off, too, as did suspended quarterback Jameis Winston, who must sit out the first three games of the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Winston had a sharp preseason, completing 73 percent of his passes for 388 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He will be eligible to return to practice and play in Week 4, when Tampa Bay travels to Chicago.

"''That's the most challenging part," said Winston, who'll miss the Sept. 9 opener at New Orleans, as well as home games against defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

"I believe these guys will go out and execute, and we're going to get some wins," Winston added. "I can't wait to get back."

Bucs coach Kirk Koetter said Winston has handled training camp and the impending suspension about as well as could have been expected.

"It's a situation that was handed down, and he's done what we've asked him to do D.J. Fluker Color Rush Jersey ," Koetter said. "And his play on the field, the most important thing of all is play on the field, was excellent."

Ryan Fitzpatrick will fill in as the starter, with Ryan Griffin backing up the 14th-year pro, one of just four players in NFL history who've thrown TD passes for seven franchises.

The Jaguars, meanwhile, will head into their season opener against the New York Giants with heightened expectations after going 10-6, winning the AFC South and coming within one victory of reaching the Super Bowl last winter.

With starter Blake Bortles sitting Thursday night, Cody Kessler and rookie Tanner Lee split playing time at quarterback for Jacksonville.

Griffin, a fifth-year pro who has yet to take a snap in a regular-season game, completed 17 of 27 passes for 151 yards and one TD in the opening half for Tampa Bay. Rookie Justin Watson scored the Bucs' lone touchdown on a 2-yard reception in the first quarter.

STAT SHEET

Kessler completed 4 of 6 passes for 32 yards for the Jaguars. Lee went 11 of 22 for 164 yards and no interceptions. Meanwhile, Jacksonville rushed for 151 yards, with Brandon Wilds gaining 88 yards on 17 carries and Cook finishing with 51 yards on 16 attempts.

ROOKIE STRUGGLES

The Bucs drafted RB Ronald Jones II in the second round in hopes of sparking an anemic rushing attack. However, the rookie wasn't very productive in the preseason. He carried 10 times for 4 yards Thursday night, finishing the preseason with 22 yards on 28 attempts. Jones also had one reception for 37 yards in four games. Koetter conceded there's concern about not being able to get Jones going in games. "I can't give you a good answer for it," Koetter said, adding he has seen flashes from Jones in practice.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Players on both sidelines remained standing for the national anthem after observing a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of last weekend's shooting during a video game tournament shooting in Jacksonville.

INJURIES

Jaguars: None announced.

Buccaneers: CB Amari Coleman left in the second half and was being evaluated for a concussion.

NEXT UP

Jaguars: Season opener at New York Giants on Sept. 9

Buccaneers: Begin three-game stretch without Winston, opening season at New Orleans on Sept. 9.