Jets Off-field

Westhoff unloads on his former team

Admin - January 11, 2013

it didn't take long for former Jets special team coach, Mike Westhoff, who plans to become a television analyst, to jump start his future career with an interview about his former employers. Westhoff described the whole Tim Tebow situation as an "absolute mess" while speaking with Miami's WQAM Radio. Tebow, who was supposedly acquired to run the Wildcat offense, turned out to be a huge distraction for the Gang Green and one of many reasons why the team finished the season 6-10.

Westhoff said he expected Tebow to be used in a variety of different roles but said that the Jets didn't practiced such plays, even during the supposed "secret" training camp practices. “I don’t think anyone has answered that question. I don’t know why. I know we didn’t practice it. We didn’t practice it in training camp, we were going to unveil it. Well, I am still waiting for the unveiling. . . It was a distraction and really a shame because that’s a hard-working young man if you ever saw one.”

Speaking of QB Mark Sanchez, Westhoff called him a "manageable quarterback" but multiple system and player personnel changes that the Jets endured following their back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship games were "too much for him." The drop in talent that led to 8-8 and 6-10 seasons cost GM Mike Tannenbaum his job. Westhoff, of course, didn't spare Tannenbaum either: "Well when you're paying a handful of guys 40 percent of your salary cap, what the hell are you going to do with the rest of them?"

Westhoff also said that the defense did have “weaknesses” that put the offense in difficult positions. “But what would happen when our defense played on a long field, they are a little suspect in the middle,” he said. “Every one saw that and people moved the ball up the field on us. On a shortened field, our corner play constricted (their offense) and played very well and held people. Then they would punt it and Mark Sanchez would come out on the 10-yard line. There’s plenty to blame here, plenty to go around. To throw it all on Mark is a mistake because the defense is involved, too."

Westhoff mentioned the frustrating season was not the reason why he retired after 12 years with the Jets. He is not ruling out a return outside of New York and said he has heard from a couple of teams already.