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STS*: Westhoff Will Reminisce, but Only a Little

Posted by Randy Lange on September 22, 2012 – 12:01 pm

In a possibly closely fought game like Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game could be, Mike Westhoff and his special teams could be a difference-maker.

If Westhoff, primed to retire from coaching after this season, is distracted by nostalgia, the game could turn against the Jets. After all, before “Coach Westy” reached legendary status among NFL ST gurus with the Jets, he got his pro coaching career really cranking with 1½ decades guiding the Dolphins’ specialists.

“I had a great run there, I had 15 years there. I enjoyed it,” Westhoff said this week. “I was part of a very good football team, a group that started back when Joe Robbie was the owner, then through Wayne Huizenga, Coach Don Shula and then Jimmy Johnson and being a part of all that, it was a lot of fun. I know exactly something that I will think of. I can still look in the stands and see the exact seats my family sat in. That, I’m sure, will have a certain feel to it.”

Is Iron Mike turning soft on us? Not likely. Because while he acknowledges those memories and the dwindling number of games ahead for him, he isn’t built to be sidetracked by those thoughts.

“Colin Powell wrote in a chapter in his book that when it’s time to get off the train, that doesn’t mean it’s time to get off the train and jump in the river. You get off the train and get on another train,” Westhoff argued. “I do not dwell on it one bit. I don’t ever think this is my last this or that, I don’t. I’m so concerned to do what we have to do with this group of people to win the next game.”

His players get it. Nick Bellore said the Jets’ special teams have kicked around Westhoff’s return to Miami one more time this week, but it’s not Topic A for them.

“We talk about this group,” Bellore said of the Dolphins. “They’re one of the better groups we’re going to face in the NFL, one of the more elite groups. They’ve got a really good kicker, punter and long-snapper. And their teams are built around their linebackers.”

One of those linebackers is a familiar name to Jets fans. Jason Trusnik began his career as a gung-ho free agent LB out of Ohio Northern who made a number of tackles on Westhoff’s Jets special units of 2007-08. He went on to Cleveland with Chansi Stuckey in the trade for Braylon Edwards in ’09. Then he moved to Miami in ’10.

Now Trusnik and his teammates will try to rein in Joe McKnight on kickoff returns and Jeremy Kerley on punt returns, while Bellore and company will have to deal with first-year double threat Marcus Thigpen, fourth in the NFL in punt returns with a 21.4-yard average (just ahead of Kerley’s 18.5 in fifth) and eighth in the league in kickoff returns at 27.4 (ahead of McKnight’s 27.2 in 10th).

What can the Jets do about Pro Bowl kicker Dan Carpenter and booming punter Brandon Fields? Well, block a kick or hurry a snap or two, and also keep up in the field position battle with Nick Folk’s kickoffs and Robert Malone’s punts.

And they’ll do that with the help of the X’s and O’s drawn up by the undistracted Westhoff.

“For me, the only happiness, to be honest, that I ever really have on a play is if 11 guys do it right,” said Westhoff. “When I grade a play, if I have 11 pluses, then I’m happy. Anything else, I’m really not. It’s not like I’m miserable — they think I am sometimes, but I’m not. But I’m always striving to get that ‘How can you do it?’ When you’re occupied that way, I don’t think about much else, I really don’t.”

*Special Teams Saturday

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Posted in Randy Lange | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “STS*: Westhoff Will Reminisce, but Only a Little”

  1. By scjoe on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Always been a huge fan of Westy. Very impressive coach and person. We can only wonder how he would have done had he been given the opportunity to become a HC. If he were half as good as he was as a ST coach he would have been brilliant. Lets win this one in Miami for coach Westhoff, being it will be his last time on the field in Miami.

  2. By MEANGREEN on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Bryan Thomas is gone to make room for Donnie Fletcher

  3. By scjoe on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Can’t believe they released BT. And I say that only knowing Rex’s loyalty to “older” players. I think McIntyre earned the right to start and it was a good move. Now lets work on getting D. Davis up to speed. As for Sunday’s game? I have to agree with the masses that the Jets “should” win this one going away, all things considered, BUT, lets remember this is the Dolphins and stranger things can and have happened.

  4. By RON ALEXANDER on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Just heard Jets cut Brian Thomas. Not that I like to see anybody loose their livelyhood but it is time we start getting young at the L.b. posisition. Obviously MacIntyre’s steller performance made Thomas expendable so I’m thinking C.Pace will be the next to go followed by Scott. In scotts case it may be sooner than later as he apparently got into a heated argument with Dan Loberfield from Jets Confidential.It seems Scott is boycotting the media and didn’t appreciate Loberfield takeing his picture.

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Thomas cut, Scott revealed more and more to be all talk, little action, and our young LBs have to step up. As Lisa Eichhorn so famously said to Jeff Bridges in CUTTER’S WAY, “Sanity is positively…taking over!”

  6. By scjoe on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    64, I know you always read Cimini on ESPN, I thought today’s article was rather comical. I quote, “because of injuries to FB John Conner AND TE Dustin Keller, the Jets will be hard pressed to establish a power running attack Sunday against the Dolphins. What’s comical you ask? Dustin Keller? Dustin Keller as a “blocking TE?” in a power running game? Are you kidding me? Does Cimini even know anything about the personnel on this team? The real hard fact is, this team does not have a prototypical blocking TE on the roster.

  7. By SCfromNY on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Here is a perfect solution to stopping a great punt returner. DON’T HAVE TO PUNT. A well done offense will negate most of the Jets problems. Maimi can’t run the no huddle if they are on the sideline. For me the running game is the biggest problem here. Contain Bush or Tannihill will look like marino when he gets to throw. If we use Greene I’m afraid we will go nowhere and allow the Dolphins to tee off on Sanchez. And we know how he reacts to that.

  8. By GaryC on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    back from my land of enchantment tour,see nothing new about the jets until tomorrow,couldn’t catch the trouncing the giants put on the carolina panthers seeing I didn’t get the nfl network out in Santa Fe.Wasn’t shocked that Cam the Sham had another lousy game throwing more intercepts,real elite qb there.He might be related to Issac Newton in some way because his passes gravitate to the defense more often then not.Oh well let’s see Sanchez put on a good performance and quiet the naysayers a little more.

  9. By GaryC on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Let me pinch myself, the jets finally released one of our totem pole backers,now what is taking so long on Pace and Scott.

  10. By walt on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Since Eric Smith seems ready to go against the dolphins I think this would be a great time for the Jets to try their three safety package.Since all three safeties Eric Smith,Bell and Landry are Excllent tacklers and decent in coverage it might be just the right formation to slow Bush down and still have good coverage in the passing game.

  11. By Charliejet on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    This kid McIntyre looks hungry – playing with something to prove. Tom 64 looks like your “youth and speed” mantra may actually be applied here. With Thomas gone looks like this kid will step up – he is second on the depth chart behind Thomas and we all know this team needs a boost or some type of change up at the linebackers. Next on the chopping block BART SCOTT. Rex should start to develop
    Damario Davis with some playing time to A) Develop Davis B) Light the fire under Scott (who will be gone next year anyway) C) Change it up for the defense. But unfortunately, one of Rex’s weak points is not developing players (Tom 64). Thoughts on that anybody.

  12. By wayne on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    I hear Rex is allowing the boys to sleep in rather than having them get up and get to work like winning teams around the NFL…..The big question, will this inspire them to compete and give their all for Rexy or just enable them to stay or later? All this unconventional bilge will make him look like pure genius if they win, and a #$%^&&%^^^ horse’s body part if they spit the bit….How’s this, Giants need an RB, they go find 2. They need a TE, they go find one on the FA market, Lose some WRs, no problem, found 2 more. Then there’s T-Bomb.

  13. By ELI RODRIGUEZ on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply


  14. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Gary C will buy my margaritas for yrs for posting this: “After Newton was replaced by Anderson, Smith spoke to Newton on the bench because he felt he was sulking over the impending loss. “I said, ‘Get up and learn from this,’ ” Smith said. “I watched DA (Anderson) and Jimmy (Clausen) observe from the sidelines the last 20-something games and try to get mental reps. This is an opportunity for you to get some mental reps. Don’t just sit on the bench and sulk. I know you feel bad, but that isn’t going to help us.” It’s the second straight year teammates have questioned Newton’s demeanor on the sideline.”

  15. By punchie on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    Hate to see Bryan Thomas released that guy has been a true JET .You could call it a DECADE of DESTRUCTION.

  16. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    …but GaryC won’t like me posting this, from Cimini: “Mark Sanchez has to be better than last week, when he completed only 10 of 27 passes — the fifth sub-40 percent game of his career. (By the way, that’s the most in the NFL since 2009, and next on the list is JaMarcus Russell, who did it three times. No QB wants to be on a list with Russell.)”

  17. By GaryC on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    when it comes to guys like Holmes and Scott,you are what you are,even Father Flanagan couldn’t help these guys.

  18. By wayne on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    64, levity? What’s this world coming to? Well, Spicer, you don’t have Wayne Hunter to kick around anymore……………Good luck in the future to B Thomas. He came in as a pass rusher, didn’t do a lota that but he was a good Jet….Don’t know bout no decade of destruction though……………………….The word that best describes GQ is skittish…….Can’t play the game hoping to never get hit. The beatings he’s taken may cause this to be irreversible……IN A JETS UNI…….I hope not. As much as I have been critical of this kid, I did want to see him succeed. If for no other reason, because 64 didn’t think he was good enough.

  19. By GaryC on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    nothing against cam,jetfantom but he is doing the SAME THINGS you accused Sanchez of doing,sulking amongst other things,just goes to show you not to have knee jerk reactions to players after a year or so.you put out a resume after years not year to year.

  20. By GaryC on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    I am with the posters who say if you could live without Revis and Keller this game you should do it,rather have them for the next two,and if you can’t beat the dolphins without them,then you are in for a long season,BACK UP THE TRUCK.

  21. By GaryC on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    Bryan Thomas was a number 1 pick and you guys are making him as a candidate for the jets ring of honor,he was average at best.c’mon,get with it.

  22. By Mike Jet Vet on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    BT gone, guess it was time, Lets hope McIntyre is good as some are touting him to be…I want Maybin out there playing anywhere across the line his speed will make up for size, once adjusted to more game time scenarios he’ll get his sacks and help this defense .. Davis jury still out in my opinion , I would like to see him playing and what he’s made of.. Westy, what can I say, except , he has been a bright spot on the team since he arrived, haven’t heard any complaints anywhere he’s laid his Hat, if this is his last season he will be sorely missed

  23. By Mike Jet Vet on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    Final thought before the game. Some blame Rex, here’s the way I see it defense plays good enough to beat most any team, even with our LB’s and safety’s .Rex can’t in good conscience throw 3 rookie LB’s on the field and expect them all to perform to your expectations doesn’t work that way, and why I said he will work them in like McIntyre last week, Problem is admit it or not Offense and the lack of talent at the skill positions . and those who have talent haven’t performed, He is in a quandary screwed if he does screwed if he don’t.. yes, there has been questionable calls by him. but last three years haven’t been bad . next problem wasting time with player and coaching moves here than gone never getting production from them.

  24. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    To be fair to Cimini, scjoe, he did write this week about how the failure to get a true blocking TE is hurting the Jets. I think all he meant is that it’s tough to lose your starting TE when you’re having trouble running, even if the guy isn’t the best blocker. What would Jet fandom be without levity, wayne? But yeah, that’s lame of GaryC to pile on about Newton, considering that sulk on the bench isn’t all he’s done in the NFL so far. Oh well, the God/the universe/whatever you believe in including White Castle hamburgers punished GaryC for his lack of grace by making Sanchez throw another stupid early interception…

  25. By scjoe on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    Well GaryC, the Jets BARELY beat the Dolphins.It took them almost 5 quarters and a few choice gifts to do so. Those who have arguably, the worse offense and the worse core of WRs in the league today, and that happened both with and without DR. With the play of all the other CBs. I would say you are correct, it IS going to be a long year, especially IF DR is out for any length of time.

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