It's not a case of whether you can live without good special teams play. You can, obviously. As you speculated Lucky I think Gary just wants them not to drive any daggers through his heart. Take a knee, call for the fair catch, don't come out of the end zone unless you see tons of daylight ahead of you, and just don't fumble. We can suck at special teams as long as we don't turn the ball over and we'll be fine.
Eventually a day will come when he needs special teams to make a play for him though and on that day he'll have nowhere to turn. This needs to be fixed not just planned around until Joe decides to retire.
A wise man once said "...well at this point it's all been hashed out and you either see it or don't. Hoping for a win next week" - HTown2ATX