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Has Mike Westhoff Already Retired


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Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff has long been considered one of the tops in his field.  He has overcome many difficult personal health issues battling cancer and has persevered to have a potential Hall of Fame coaching career.  It was known that this would be Westhoff’s last season coaching in the NFL as he plans to retire when the year is over.

Unfortunately it seems as if he has taken an earlier retirement given the production of the Jets special teams unit this year and even during the 2011 season.

2011-12:

Westhoff decided that the Jets would be better off moving on from punter Steve Weatherford, who has never had a punt blocked in his career, and brought in T.J. Conley as a replacement.  Conley finished the season with 42.7 yards-per-punter average ranking him 30th in the league.

Kicker Nick Folk had a terrible 2011 season with 76% of field goals made, 26th in the league, and while Westhoff does not actually kick, he is responsible to ensure the kicker is capable of doing a competent job.

The Jets also led the league (2011) with six special teams turnovers, which of course gives the ball back to the opposition in good field position, a devastating mistake.  Westhoff does not return kicks/punts but is responsible for who the returners are.

On the positive side the team was ranked 2nd (31.6 yard-per-return) in kickoff returns during the 2011 season.

2012-13:

A week before the season began Westhoff and the Jets decided to release Conley, who had a punt block returned for a touchdown during the preseason against the Cincinnati Bengals, but was never blocked in the regular season, and replace him with free agent punter Robert Malone.

Head coach Rex Ryan and Westoff both decided that it would be a good idea to use backup quarterback Tim Tebow as a personal protector on the punt team.  Coach Ryan explained that teams would have to “think twice” before rushing the punter because Tebow’s ability to fake would force them to play safe.

While Tebow has had three successful fake punts (two runs, Dolphins/Texans, one pass, Colts) Malone has had two punts blocked in eight games (San Francisco 49ers, started drive on Jets 4 yard-line, Miami Dolphins returned for touchdown).

The Jets kickoff team allowed New England Patriots returner Devin McCourty a 104 yard touchdown return during their loss on October 21st.

The team gave up a 57 yard kickoff return to Dolphins returner Marcus Thigpen, allowed the Dolphins to recover an onside kick and block a field goal .  Witnessed live with my own eyes last week’s Dolphins game was the worst special teams performance I’d ever seen.

Westhoff has had a productive coaching career and overcame personal adversity to succeed but it seems like the timing is right for him to move on to something else next year as the Jets special teams performances over the past two seasons make you wonder if he is still fully committed to coaching?

 

 

 

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Posted · Report post

I think your premise is a little unfair. I think Westoff is still the strongest coach on this team. Both of his kickers are having really good years. His return units are doing very well, too. He has had some uncharacteristic coverage issues this year, but I think that is related more to personnel. I think that his assessment that Tebow would make a good up man on the punt coverage team was a projection and there have been some growing pains. He totally blanked on the punt block and turned away from the rusher that blocked the kick. I think the kick coverage has suffered to some extent from the makeup of our roster. In the past, we have carried extra corners with great speed on the roster like Trufant, Cole, Coleman which has allowed Westoff to use them in kick coverage. Because of their speed, they have been able to close out on fast returners and avoid the longer returns. This year, we have carried more safety types among our last few guys on the roster who tend to have a little less speed and have had to employ a guy like Trufant in the regular defense which may have kept him from playing all the specials. Just my opinion, but I don't think Westoff has lost anything off his fastball, yet.

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Posted · Report post

Malone has been a huge upgrade and Folk hasn't missed a kick all year. It's true that specials haven't been perfect but i wonder how much of that falls of Westy.

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Last week's game was a special teams nightmare. If it wasn't Westhoff with his name and his last season before retirement any competent team would have him the door!

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Good riddance.

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Malone has been a huge upgrade and Folk hasn't missed a kick all year. It's true that specials haven't been perfect but i wonder how much of that falls of Westy.

Westhoff has little direct effect on the individual performances of our place kicker and punter. He does not deserve a "pass" on the rest of special teams.

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I think your premise is a little unfair. I think Westoff is still the strongest coach on this team. Both of his kickers are having really good years. His return units are doing very well, too. He has had some uncharacteristic coverage issues this year, but I think that is related more to personnel. I think that his assessment that Tebow would make a good up man on the punt coverage team was a projection and there have been some growing pains. He totally blanked on the punt block and turned away from the rusher that blocked the kick. I think the kick coverage has suffered to some extent from the makeup of our roster. In the past, we have carried extra corners with great speed on the roster like Trufant, Cole, Coleman which has allowed Westoff to use them in kick coverage. Because of their speed, they have been able to close out on fast returners and avoid the longer returns. This year, we have carried more safety types among our last few guys on the roster who tend to have a little less speed and have had to employ a guy like Trufant in the regular defense which may have kept him from playing all the specials. Just my opinion, but I don't think Westoff has lost anything off his fastball, yet.

I blame him (the special teams more than him personally) for the beating this week. They were atrocious. I do agree the coverage problem is personnel, but I don't think that it's the lack of corners. I just think that it's the lack of experience. A guy like Dowtin or Davis is made for special teams. The team never carried many worthwhile safeties and still has tons of corners. Trufant and Lankster have played a ton on specials both seasons. Cole was very good and they may not be at his level, but they aren't bad. The extra safeties they are carrying are the rookies - Allen and Bush are physically perfect for specials.

I think it's just a lack of time in the system and the fact that injuries mean guys are switching roles all the time. The McCourty return was on Davis and McIntyre who I don't think play much coverage.

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Westhoff has little direct effect on the individual performances of our place kicker and punter. He does not deserve a "pass" on the rest of special teams.

here's my question does putting Tebow on punt protect come from Westy or Rex/Tebow? i can't imagine Westy demanding a quarterback to be the personal protector on his specials. He's never had a QB there before (even Brad Smith was really a WR) It's a risky half baked idea that a craftsman coach would probably hate. the Qb can't block that's not news. I suspect it's something GM and HC have forced on him and it worked a couple times and blew up a couple times.

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here's my question does putting Tebow on punt protect come from Westy or Rex/Tebow? i can't imagine Westy demanding a quarterback to be the personal protector on his specials. He's never had a QB there before (even Brad Smith was really a WR) It's a risky half baked idea that a craftsman coach would probably hate. the Qb can't block that's not news. I suspect it's something GM and HC have forced on him and it worked a couple times and blew up a couple times.

That much is irrefutable. What a cluster #uck.

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here's my question does putting Tebow on punt protect come from Westy or Rex/Tebow? i can't imagine Westy demanding a quarterback to be the personal protector on his specials. He's never had a QB there before (even Brad Smith was really a WR) It's a risky half baked idea that a craftsman coach would probably hate. the Qb can't block that's not news. I suspect it's something GM and HC have forced on him and it worked a couple times and blew up a couple times.

You think he had Brad Smith there by choice and he wouldn't want Tebow? Tebow probably has 35 lbs on Brad Smith and there is no evidence to support Smith being a better blocker. Westoff gets credit for all the fakes, so I don't think he'd have a problem with that. It's not like the guy is aiming to be remembered as the guy that had .3 yards less per punt return than the other teams. The only reason that I can see Westoff might have a problem with Tebow over Smith is the lack of speed for the coverage and even that difference is probably negligible. If Tebow couldn't cut it there he should have had him blown up in practice. That would solve it right quick.

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Tebow probably has 35 lbs on Brad Smith and there is no evidence to support Smith being a better blocker.

well Brad Smith was a WR and as such had to block in his normal responsibilities. Tim tebow has never had to block as a QB.

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well Brad Smith was a WR and as such had to block in his normal responsibilities. Tim tebow has never had to block as a QB.

He wasn't a WR before he got to the Jets. Tebow has had to block in most of his assignments with the Jets.

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He wasn't a WR before he got to the Jets. Tebow has had to block in most of his assignments with the Jets.

a WR participates in WR drills which includes blocking. Tebow has been told to block but he can't actually do it. Bottom line we are talking about who to blame, I can't imagine Mike Westoff pounding the table and asking for Tebow on punt coverage. this is clearly a case where the HC (or even higher up) is telling a position coach to do something, he wouldn't normally do. How do we know Mike Westoff wouldn't normally do this? because he never, in 20+ years of elite coaching, had a protector who couldn't block.

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a WR participates in WR drills which includes blocking. Tebow has been told to block but he can't actually do it. Bottom line we are talking about who to blame, I can't imagine Mike Westoff pounding the table and asking for Tebow on punt coverage. this is clearly a case where the HC (or even higher up) is telling a position coach to do something, he wouldn't normally do. How do we know Mike Westoff wouldn't normally do this? because he never, in 20+ years of elite coaching, had a protector who couldn't block.

Maybe Westoff saw another QB conversion to special teams ace from his past, Jim Jensen in Tebow, but you are probably right.

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The kickoff team fell asleep on the onsides kick. While not all of Westhoff's decisions have worked (see Weatherford") a lot of what goes on in the game is EXECUTION, including missed blocking assignments on blocked kicks.

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The kickoff team fell asleep on the onsides kick.

i can't remember exactly but i seem to remember a jersey number ending in 2 (dowtin? bush?) had a shot at that ball and just missed it. that happens.

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The ball takes funny bounces. I don't think anyone here expects Westhoff to gimp onto the field and recover the ball himself.

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Minus Parcells he's the best coach Jets fans have ever had. Keep talking sh*t.

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Unfair assessment IMO. Dude has given his life to the game, and when his unit struggles we have to wonder if he's quit? Didn't his unit run back a kick for TD for the 11th year in a row quite recently. Westy is a badass. Sometimes, the players don't execute. I wonder if every other coordinator in the NFL whose unit had a bad day is retired.

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Unfair assessment IMO. Dude has given his life to the game, and when his unit struggles we have to wonder if he's quit? Didn't his unit run back a kick for TD for the 11th year in a row quite recently. Westy is a badass. Sometimes, the players don't execute. I wonder if every other coordinator in the NFL whose unit had a bad day is retired.

He's the best coach on the team

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Minus Parcells he's the best coach Jets fans have ever had. Keep talking sh*t.

Damn right he is!

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i spent alot of time defending Westoff (and I still think he's awesome)

but the point has to be made that the special teams lost them The dolphins game. It kept them in other games with the fake punts and the ko returns but looking at the last game, it was basically specials why they lost. the punt block was a dagger play. And yes it can be overcome but how often does a team who gets a punt block TD does that team come back? It's not good odds.

and I am aware the d is leaky and the offense is completely dysfunctional.

but between the punt block and the onsides kick the rout was on in the first half. if you were explaining it to another fan who didn't see the game, that's the headline. not the 6 dropped passes or the Matt Moore show. Specials screwed that game up badly.

Edited by bitonti
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