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Blog

STS*: One Last Game in Westhoff’s Superb Career

Posted by jlholt32 on December 29, 2012 – 12:00 pm

Sunday will mark the end of a remarkable 30-year pro coaching career for Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff. Westhoff held his final in-season news conference Thursday at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and said he won’t forget the past 12 seasons he’s spent with the Green & White. 

“I’m happy and proud to be at the place that I am in my career,” Westhoff said. “Few of us get to leave this business of our own volition, and I’m able to do that.”

The ST coach came to the Jets in 2001 after having spent the prior 15 seasons in the same role with the Miami Dolphins and before that, three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, his son John will join him on the sidelines for his final game. 

“I’m very proud that he wants to share that last game with me,” Westhoff said.

This season hasn’t been the Jets’ best on special teams and Westhoff accepts full responsibility for the struggles and disappointments. 

“It’s a very sporadic, kind of crazy year,” he said, “because at some points there were just some excellent things that took place this year that I was involved in, and then some things that were at the opposite end of the scale.”

Westhoff said he is pleased that the Jets lead the NFL with 27 inside-the-20 kickoffs (Cincinnati is second with 24). He’s also glad Joe McKnight will likely finish with the league’s fourth-best kickoff-return average and that Jeremy Kerley may finish in the top 10 in punt-return average. But as a whole, his unit hasn’t performed up to its normal high standard and the players aren’t afraid to admit it.

“This year hasn’t quite been how we’ve wanted to send him out because we’ve always been in the top in special teams,” safety Eric Smith said.

Second-year linebacker Nick Bellore had hardly played special teams before arriving to the NFL, but credits Westhoff for teaching him the ropes.  

“The attention to detail that he demands I think is really excellent and is probably why he’s had so much success,” Bellore said. “Things have to be done exactly how he wants them done and it can be tough at times, but if you do it right, you can see how it works.”

What Smith says he’ll miss most about Westhoff is sitting in on special teams meetings.

“Some of the things he says in the meetings are hilarious,” No. 33 said. “Every day it’s something new. You never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. It’s hilarious.”

Westhoff said he hasn’t spent much time reflecting this past week but will do a little when he’s been alone.

“In the middle of the night, when I wake up, then all of the sudden it will dawn on me,” he said. “But for the most part, no.”

Following his retirement, Westhoff plans to return to Florida and hopes to transition into a media career, possibly as a football television analyst.

“I think that today’s fan is becoming a more and more educated fan,” he said. “Television does a great job of that.”

And from Westhoff’s count, Sunday he will be coaching his 625th NFL game. Bellore said the unit owes it to its leader to put together one last effective outing.

“I think we’ve underperformed this year,” Bellore said, “and the best thing we can do is send him out with a win and make some big plays on special teams.”

*Special Teams Saturday


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Posted in John Holt | 25 Comments »


25 Responses to “STS*: One Last Game in Westhoff’s Superb Career”

  1. By scjoe on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    I have always respected Mike Westhoff for his knowledge of the game, STs in particular. But while listening to his last presser it seemed to me he tried to give the impression that none of what happened this year on STs was his fault, it was all on the players. While I am a big believer in the fact that a coach coaches, and players play, I think he should have taken the high road a little more then he did. That said, I think he will be missed a lot, I hope they can somehow find a workable replacement. Randy, was Kotwica officially named to be Mikes replacement?

  2. By Randy Lange on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe, no coaching or front-office moves have been announced as of this morning, Sunday morning.

  3. By MIKE on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Lets switch gears and see the positions in the Jets organization are not to be touched.

    This team is set at CB. With return of Revis island, Cro’s pro bowl season and Wilson moving back to nickel it may be top CB duo and trio in league.

    DL looks good for years to come. Wilkerson is playing lights out against run and pass. Coples played much better during second half of season. Devito, and Pouha still play strong.

    S is suspect for good enough. If team can resign Landry and Bush moves to FS next season, the team may sign a free agent or draft a S late in draft for depth.

    MLB stil strong. Harris still the unsung hero on this team in my opinion, and Davis moving beside him with Scott being released MLB is not a postion I would use a draft

  4. By MIKE on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    May sound like a broken record but how a does team replaces an all pro, hall of fame LG and bulldozing RT with a 7th round pick G and Wayne Hunter.
    This team may have QB and play calling issues but personal changes and lack of depth is ultimately this teams hugest problems.

    Slauson has definitely played better than most people hoped but there is know way after 2010 when Faneca was cut and the Jets drafted Ducasse that that move was an improvement after Jets front office lead by Rex Ryan wanted to pass more and have a move aggressive offensive approach.

    Since 2010 Jets replaced, Faneca, Woody, Jones, Cotchery, Edwards, with Slauson/Ducasse, Hunter, Mason, Kerley and now Hill. How is that an improvement.

    I do like Kerley though.

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Living My Nightmare on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Westhoff did a great job, of course, despite occasional lapses like the 2-TD KO return game vs MIA. But what won’t get as much notice, and what I notice isn’t mentioned at all above, is that he single-handedly saved exactly those two players mentioned above, McKnight and Kerley, from playing even less of a role on this team or maybe even getting cut from it because of Rex’s failure to understand that you win by scoring more pts than the other team. This is THE MAIN REASON Rex has to go, he’s a loser in the biggest sense of the word and that is — HE DOESN’T PLAY TO WIN! HE PLAYS IT SAFE AND STARTS REHEARSING HIS EXCUSES FOR LOSING SOMEWHERE IN THE THIRD QUARTER! At least, that’s the sense that I get…

  6. By Jet Fan Since '64 Ready for the Dream on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Notice how writers who aren’t merely Jet fans, as Cimini isn’t and to his credit refuses to be, have no problem seeing the obvious. From Gregg Rosenthal’s NFL site column on what the 17 non-playoff teams need: “New York Jets: Where to start? There are so many problems with the Jets’ offense, and coach Rex Ryan clearly doesn’t know how to fix them himself. A strong personnel voice with a true long-term vision is needed because there are no quick fixes.” Yes, so I suggest we stop agonizing over re-signing Landry, what to pay Greene or Keller, and whether we’ve finally got the right K and P and start focusing on the big issues. Which is also why I won’t stop calling for Curtis Martin to buy the team and move it back to NY.

  7. By Another Tom on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    I guess the only highlights this season were poduced by the Special teams..Kerley’s punt return TD and Mcknight’s KO return TD…NO highlight pass plays..No highlight runs..the offense was mostly pathetic the entire season – totally un-organized. As for Low lights? We all agree the “Butt Fumble” was as bad as bad can be…..Embarrassing to Epic proportions! Time to move on fom this lost season

  8. By Jack on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    I can’t wait till monday went Tannenbaum and Tony Sparano and the rest of the Offensive Coaches Staff get fired. Good Ridding to Mike Wasthoff too.

  9. By kw65fan on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Unknown source from Manish (is that better scjoe) is that trying to get a Start, Tebow walked by Mac and “accidentally” hit him in the head with a 200 pound weight..not confirmed yet from unknown source. Rex heard about it from unknown source and said “Thats it…Sanchez starts”.

  10. By eli on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    its sad that hes leaving

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Ready for the Dream on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    For all the “We’re the Jets, things can never get better”-types, Myers in the Daily News: “One thing Johnson can do to prove that he is intent on giving Ryan a chance to win in 2013 is not allow Mark Sanchez’s $8.25 million guaranteed contract — a misguided move in March by Tannenbaum — to hold the Jets hostage. You can’t win in the NFL the way Sanchez played this season. Johnson has to give his decision-makers the OK to bring in a QB if he is a significant upgrade over Sanchez, even it means paying big money to two QBs. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY TO STRUCTURE CONTRACTS TO MINIMIZE SALARY-CAP IMPACT. [my CAPS added] Ryan has made the Jets relevant the last 4 years, but only Johnson’s checkbook can keep it that way.” You can say THAT again, bro!

  12. By Jet Fan Since '64 Ready for the Dream on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    Good way to prove to yourself we shouldn’t in any way overpay for Keller: Add his stats to Cumberland’s. What you get is pretty much the same stats as for a typical Keller yr — at least, with the QBs we’ve had since before Favre got hurt and couldn’t throw — and the same level of blocking at TE or lack of it. So despite that dumb column on the NFL site by Hanzus about how important it is to re-sign DK, what’s really important is getting (1) A HC who values, understands, and promotes the passing game (2) A QB who can compete in the passing game as it’s played in the NFL now, and (3) WRs of the class that even terrible teams, i.e. Fitzgerald on AZ, have these days (though the ominous rumor is that Fitz is in talks to go to…the Pats!).

  13. By GaryC on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    Montana destroys Marino,Elway in super bowl,beats Kenny Anderson,and brings niners back on the last drive to beat bengals again with Boomer,Not ONE LOSS to a hall of famer in super bowl,Bradshaw beats Staubach TWICE in super bowl,and beats Tarkenton and Ferragamo,Beats two hall of famers and one of them twice,no losing to another hall of famer, Bart Starr five straight championship games he won,while Peyton chucked an interception to Terry Porter to prevent colts from winning another super bowl,but I hear it was because he played another Super Bowl quarterback.Eli wins a Super Bowl by throwing up a Hail Mary and is a first ballot Hall of Famer.Some of us need to watch some old football clips to look at truly great quarterbacks.

  14. By GaryC on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    If the vikings make the playoffs and win the super bowl,is Christian Ponder elite,wait a minute,let me PONDER THIS.

  15. By Jet Fan Since '64 Ready for the Dream on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    10 minutes ago Cimini reported on ESPN that the Jets are going to fire Sparano tomorrow, to which I say — DUH! Fire the guys who hired Sparano and told us what a great job he was doing — that would be Mr T and Rex — and I’ll start paying attention, Woody.

  16. By scjoe on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, with all due respect, Montana did not “destroy” Dan Marino and John Elway, he may indeed have destroyed that Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos collective defenses.

  17. By GaryC on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe,he did not lose to other elite quarterbacks either.

  18. By Jack on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    Says goodbye to Mike Westhoff Mike Tannenbaum and Tony Sparano and the offensive Assisttant Coaches. All should be fired on Monday or this week. PLEASE!!!!!

  19. By scjoe on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, in answer to your question above re” Ponder, if you were to compare him to Brady, Brees, Manning and Rogers the answer is a definate no! If you were to compare him to Mark Sanchez on the other hand, it is a definate yes!

  20. By ive sufferd too long on Dec 30, 2012 | Reply

    why is shonn greene always falling over

  21. By Mike Jet Vet on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    God speed Mike, one bright spot on a team in disarray. all class all the time,

  22. By scjoe on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    Gary, we may be going overboard on this “elite” QB issue. I don’t think we will ever agree that the amount of influence one has on his team is overwhelming. But anyway, you say Montana has never been beaten by another “elite: QB (I assume you meant in SBs only, otherwise it would not be a true statement) There is a very simple and a very obvious reason for that….Only one can win it!

  23. By GaryC on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe,yes in super bowls was Montana unbeaten,that is what I meant,scjoe,this is a rhetorical question that I will bring up to you,this elite stuff is getting to be non sense,any quarterback who gets to the super bowl has to be good,there are just other factions that get them there,Joe cannot fathom this.

  24. By scjoe on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Gary, agree, any QB who gets to the SB has to be “at least” pretty decent, but on the other hand, can you really write it off as coincidence that so many SB winners had QBs that were much, much, better then just “good” I think the ratio has to be somewhere near 10-1. No coincidence..

  25. By Jack on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Jets needs to do everything in their power to hired Bill Billick as the GM, for the NY, Jets he the only guy that is a Rex Ryan guy.

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