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Westhoff’s Retirement? What Retirement?

Posted by Randy Lange on June 5, 2013 – 3:58 pm

In many ways, Mike Westhoff is as busy as ever.

He’s retired as an NFL assistant coach after his three-decades cup of coffee. He’s reorganized his house in Fort Myers, Fla., for fulltime occupation. He’s done speaking engagements and clinics at Texas A&M, LSU and Notre Dame. He’s been fishing a lot, for tarpon — “I caught an incredible, ‘monster’ tarpon. I’ve hit them before but never successfully got one” — and trout and a half-dozen sharks, all catch-and-release. With his multi-procedure leg finally feeling great, he’s ready to pick up the game of golf again after a 15-year hiatus.

“That’s where it is. That’s enough,” said Coach Westy. “I’m enjoying it.”

Most of all, he seems to be enjoying his new role ahead as a member of the Jets media. He’s signed a contract with ESPN to work the Jets’ pregames this year, both preseason and regular season, and he’ll also be dropping in on ESPN radio shows during the week when needed. Check out Mike at the start of his newly begun radio career on Tuesday afternoon on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.

That’s one of the things he likes most about his (semi-)retirement: the freedom.

“I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing. I love where I live. I love living in Florida yet still being able to come back to New York,” he said over a quick tuna-melt muffin in the Jets’ second-floor servery at the Atlantic Health Training Center.

“I’m excited about doing radio. I think it’ll be fun. Presenting a certain perspective is what I’m interested in doing,” he said. “It keeps me involved in what I love doing, but not to the degree I did as a coach. Let’s put it this way: I miss a lot of the interaction with the guys, the players and coaches. I don’t miss the scheduling thing.”

Westhoff’s trip to his home away from home since 2001 filled several needs. He’ll visit with his new “signalcallers” at ESPN in New York City this afternoon. He also came by to make the rounds at practice, but only “behind the yellow line” from where the media watched today’s OTA session.

Mike was hired in part for his incredible visibility as the highly successful Jets and Dolphins special teams guru, as well as for his call-‘em-as-I-see-‘em opinions. He’ll have plenty of those beginning tomorrow with Kay, but he had a few positive observations about the Jets’ teams and on Ben Kotwica, who’s succeeded him as the coordinator of those specialists.

“Oh, Ben will do fine,” Westhoff said. “They looked fine today. They’re organized, they know what they’re doing. It’s a challenge, but he’s got some things to work with.”

He mentioned some of the Jets’ holdovers this year that Kotwica and ST assistant Louie Aguiar are working with: K Nick Folk, P Robert Malone, returners Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley, blockers and tacklers Nick Bellore, Josh Mauga, Isaiah Trufant, Kenrick Ellis, long-snapper Tanner Purdum.

“They have some very solid ingredients. Now it all has to come together. There’s certainly a good chance that it will,” Westhoff said. “Training camp’s in a couple of weeks. We’ll find out pretty soon.”

Westhoff was also cryptic about a sign he used to hang in his first-floor office: “Real Men Play on Sundays.” We think that has something to do with playing with injuries. We’ll hear more from Mike on that in the coming weeks and months.

As for now, after real men play on enough Sundays, they get to go back to Florida, fish sharks and 200-pound tarpon, play golf on the course where their house is located, and come back to New York to comment on the other real men who are still playing on Sundays. All the best in retirement, Mike.

Rex Cetera

This being a media day, some reporters seemed to want to pin head coach Rex Ryan down to a timetable for declaring his starting quarterback for training camp and the season ahead. Not surprisingly, Rex said it’s not time for that yet.

“I don’t think we’re close to that right now,”: he said after both Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith scrambled for red-zone completions against the defense while throwing to a still banged-up wideout corps. “And I think the process, you don’t have to make that move until we feel 100 percent comfortable with that decision. Until then we’ll just leave to the competition.”

Ryan confirmed, not that it’s a surprise, that it’ll be his call on the starter behind C Nick Mangold for opening day against the Buccaneers.

“It won’t be just my evaluation,” he said. “But at the end of the day I guess it will be. If there’s a split camp, then I will make that decision.”

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Posted in Randy Lange | 23 Comments »

23 Responses to “Westhoff’s Retirement? What Retirement?”

  1. By Jerry Eskenazi on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Actually, I think Mike is too good-looking to be a member of the news media. And if he needs any help in filling out an expense account, I think we can steer him in the right direction. I do believe he is a terrific choice and, if he talks to the viewers as directly as he did to his players, he’ll make some impact. I enjoyed talking to him.–Jerry Eskenazi (retired)

  2. By RONBO on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    AN AREA OF STRENGTH; this could actually be our # 1 unit this year.Obviously with 2 first rd picks on defense and Rex fully commited to restoring that unit to its former promonence everyone expects the D to be top notch.And that may well prove to be correct. However, with last years punter & kicker (who each played well) plus the long snapper all returning, and the new speed added to the roster this unit could end up being the teams strongest. Obviously, with no playmakers currently on the offensive side of the ball and either a rookie or a returning starter who played poorly last yeat at Q.B, not much to look forward to there.

  3. By SCfromNY on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Great OPEN competition not a mention of McElroy.

  4. By kw65fan on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    You are so right SC. Just read on ESPN site that Simms and Mac were only in there to do some 7 on 7 drills. Nothing with the first OR second team. So much for any competition. What a joke. I truly hope Mac goes to another team and rips things apart as becoming a starting NFL QB.

    Sounds about right Ronbo…Defense will be faster and stronger this year with hopefully a stronger pass rush. Special teams should also be strong with hopefully fewer mistakes than last year…well Tebow is not going to be in there. Just don’t let Kerley do punt returns…way too many fair catches by him when he really did have the space to run with it.

  5. By IRA on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Look forward to hearing Westy he should be a very good listen. And he is correct ST’s will be just fine under Kotwica. Coaching should be a breeze after what he did for the USA and how he served.
    Now getting to reports of today. I don’t care about the practice reports right now will judge more next week and of course it really counts once camp opens.
    What does concern me is the health of Holmes which does appear it could be a problem and I have experience with knees and with Hill having problems now is not a good sign. I am sure they have a short list of veteran WR’s who they could sign before camp. I would sign either Lloyd or Edwards right now so they can get some work in next week.

  6. By IRA on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    I do not want to move Kerley to the 1 or 2 I want to keep him in the slot plus you want the QB’s to work with veteran WR’s so they can gain confidence and not have to throw to WR’s who will not even make this team. They have time but need to add now.
    GO JETS!!!!

  7. By IRA on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Did you really think McElroy was going to get a real shot? Come on now he is a player and had success in college but i don’t see him being anything more than a backup QB at best in the NFL. I have said in the past he reminds me of Bollinger. Plus its going to be hard to get Geno and Mark enough reps now imagine a third guy to work in. Just can’t happen.

  8. By wayne on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Wishing coach W good health, no doubt he’ll be better than good on espn….though i will not be watching….Hear 4yr vet is looking no better than rookie. Not surprised. Holmes should be playing for a new contract, but who knows what that buys, Hill will probably still be confused, because there’s no leadership at QB, Kerley will be effective, and TE is a question……End result, bad QB play……Teams will force Jets to throw, then adventure begins……There is a player that will transform this organization forever on the horizon and you all better hope they don’t bleep it up and go win more than three games…..I WILL WRITE NOTHING ELSE HERE UNTIL THIS YEAR IS DONE….6/6/2013

  9. By Mike Jet Vet on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Ira. you have basically been the voice of reason here, and why I’m very surprised you don’t believe G-mac has talent enough to make it in the NFL,I’m not in agreement, he has had success in High school and College, We both know it takes far more time and tutoring to pick up at a pro level, how can he be judged from one Preseason game with moderate success, and pro game with no protection, Sanchez shouldn’t even be in the equation, Geno, G-mac and Simms should be getting all the reps, That’s what I would call competition not one unproven Rookie and one very bad QB

  10. By scjoe on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Ron, if STs with out Mike Westhoff, turns out to be the best unit in 2013 “It is going to be a long, long year!” Personally, I think they take a big step backwards post Westhoff. Ira, I would agree that McElroy is not a “great” QB, BUT, Who on this current roster is? All things considered, he should be getting more of a look. Of course that would be the politically correct thing to do, but welcome to pro sports.

  11. By RONBO on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe, that was merely a loose prediction as I have no idea how the 2013 Jet defense will perform. As they have added two first rd talents and supposedly improved the OLB situation (yet to be determined. I would hope at least the front 7 would be better? As Revis missed the majority of last season I would think Milner added to Cro & Kyle Wilson plus Trufant, that posisition should be in good hands.The safty posisition is a concern likely the big question on D.Not sure why you think the S.T’s will be weaker unless you dont like the coach?The key players all return plus more youth & speed added should be a plus.They will certianly be better than the offense especially if M.S wins the so-called competition ?

  12. By RONBO on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    IRA is absoloutely correct regarding McElroy. Sorry to be negative but the “sack game’ where he earned the nickname “SackleRoy’ was mostly his fault.S.C.Joe said this shortly after that debacle and I agree 100% If a positive guy like Ira comes out and says it you can pretty much book it as fact as Ira sees the good in almost every situation.Mac’s a great kid who had a great H.S & College career but at 6-1 1/2 205 lbs with no speed and a weak arm I dont see him as a NFL starting QB. Bye the way,Jet Fan Frank, i cant take the credit for the “sackleRoy nickname. It was either Spicer or Gary C who said it first here.(but it was sadly appropriate.)

  13. By kleckofan on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    could not agree more, I believe ST takes a huge step backwards this yr. Last yr wasn’t that great to begin with so the bar isn’t that high.

  14. By RONBO on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    KLECKO FAN,You too? Your usually one of the positive guys around here. I’m no spec.teams expert but I’m curious as to why you and S.C.Joe think the s.t. will be so bad? I just figured with the punter,kicker and long snapper all returning plus the new guy being trained by Westy one would think he knows what he’s doing? Add in some new hungry guys looking to make a name for themselves to earn playing time on the O or D I would just assume they would be better? I’m very curious as to why you have such low expectations?

  15. By GaryC on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    sorry,Ronbo,I am pro McElroy,I would not say SACKLROY.

  16. By danny on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    I agree Ronbo I don’t understand why they think Specials will take a step back. Yes Westy was a great coach but maybe last yr he was burnt out and that played part in the drop off. We have gotten younger and faster which should help ST’s plus a young well taught hungry coach “who can contact Westy I’m sure whenever” mite just be the spark needed. I would love to know why these guys think Specials will struggle ? Is it just because Westoff retired ? Mcnight was injured a lot last season too so if he can stay healthy along with a lot of new young speedy faces there is a chance this unit can be very good

  17. By SCfromNY on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    AGAIN, I am not saying McElroy is the answer but let’s find out. His success in college, smarts, and ability to be accurate should at least give him a shot. NOT a comparrison but Montana had a so so arm but made up with it by being cool under pressure, accurate, and a leader. I will not Judge McElroy on one game considering he was not dressed the whole season, the Jets had given up, and it was his first pro start.

    I agree that the defense should be better this year with 2 codicils. 1. Not even the ’85 Bears could stay on the field 2/3’s of the time due to 3 and outs and turnovers. 2. Rex and his assistents show a better gift for developing and grading players.

  18. By scjoe on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Ron, I would agree that the D should be somewhat improved from 2012 with the two 1st round additions, but of course we are talking about the 2012 D “without” DR! The offense? Really, how can it be any worse? So, hypothetically we are looking at improvement on D and on O. Special teams? Lets remember, Westhoff was at the head of the class of ST coordinators. That in itself is a reason to proceed with caution. But aside from that, I think there will be a huge turnover on that unit, the only “sure” returners are the LS and maybe the P and PK, “maybe” I like Brett Maher and I think he has a chance to beat out Folk (if given an equal chance)

  19. By joey woo on Jun 7, 2013 | Reply

    The jets have the cap under control now and are set up with 11 picks in 2014 and possibly 30-40m in cap space.

    This season will be tough as Idzik had to spend cheap due to the cap situation, but if the team plays tough and the younger players pan out, 2014 we will make a nice jump. We still have some huge holes and needs, but next season we can address a nice chunk, namely the offense and a couple of defensive holes.

    All in all, I am looking at a rough go this season, around 7 wins but very optimistic for the near future. Rome was not built in a day.

  20. By kleckofan on Jun 7, 2013 | Reply

    Hey RONBO- listen, I hope I’m wrong and I can’t point to any one factor or personnel change. Its just that even w the mentor in place last year we were less than stellar. A coaching change in conjunction w a mass personnel change points to a large learning curve in my mind. On the other hand, ST is primarily about aggressiveness and heart and young guys may be brimming w both. It did seem like Westy had the premier KR regardless of who stood back there, so maybe scheme played an important role in that particular aspect of ST.
    Thanks for keeping the blog civil and humming.

  21. By RONBO on Jun 7, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe, I think we basically agree except for takeing a hugh step back. Granted Westy was one of the best ever but I sensed a frustration in him that I had never seen before. I think Danny’s on to somthing as I think he was burnt out last year.
    JOEY WOO, excellent points bro.We need to hear more from you because only the overly optimistic (I didn’t say delusional) would expect more than 5 to 7 wins this year. Hey, I’ll gladly take more if it happans but I’m not gonna hold my breath till it does.S>C> from NY, I think your 100% about the three & outs. That was a major problem last year and with the lack of weapons this season will likely be a big problem again.

  22. By RONBO on Jun 7, 2013 | Reply

    GARY C, Sorry bro, wasn’t sure who came up with the “sackleroy” nickname and you do have a nice dry sense of humor so I thought it might have been you. Sorry I dont agree about Mac but I’m open to being proven wrong. I think he’s a great kid but I gotta go with Ira and the “Spiceman on this one.

  23. By RONBO on Jun 8, 2013 | Reply

    KLECKOFAN, thanks. Hey, I like a good argument as much as anyone. I think everyone that comes here on a regular basis brings something to the table.Some of us are probably more fanatical than others,some more informed,and some are simply brilliant. But as much as I enjoy the back & forth, I dont like the name calling or personal attacks or critism that occassionally slips through the cracks. I think Randy & whoever proofs the posts does a great job so thats not really a problem here. With the returning 1 & 2 year players plus 7 draft picks as well several undrafted F/A’s that appear to be holding their own I think there’s enough young talent to have good special teams units this year,Hopefully the new guy learned enough to get the job done?

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