Clark Judge recently listed ten assistants who he thinks will play the biggest roles in their respective teams success this year.
Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff made the cut:
Mike Westhoff, special teams coordinator, N.Y. Jets: I’ll tell you why I have one of the game’s most respected special teams coaches in here: Because the Jets’ season could hinge on their kickers. I’m serious. When I stopped by the team’s Florham Park headquarters in late May and early June the field-goal accuracy was so dreadful that coach Rex Ryan joked that his specialists were seeing how successful they could be with their non-kicking legs. Only this is no laughing matter. The Jets believe they have the ammunition to push New England for supremacy in the AFC East, and they might … if they have someone who can make a clutch field goal. A year ago they lost four games by four or fewer points each, and that was with a kicker (Jay Feely) who was so reliable he nailed 30 of 36 field-goal attempts. Now they go from Feely to Nick Folk, who was so inaccurate in 2009 Dallas exchanged him for Shaun Suisham, and, yeah, the Jets’ turning to Folk is a risk — and I’m being kind. He has a strong leg; just not an accurate one. For the sake of the Jets, that better change. He was 6 of 14 on kicks from 40 yards and beyond, including 5 of 12 from the 40 to the 49, and he tied with Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee for the lowest field-goal percentage by any of the league’s top 29 kickers. I didn’t like what I saw earlier this month, and the Jets couldn’t have, either. But there’s time to straighten this thing out, and I guarantee that if Folk doesn’t change by late August, Westhoff will make the change for him — finding someone he can trust. The Jets’ future could depend on it.
He raises a good point and one that every Jets fan is worried about. The Jets play a lot of close games, and inevitably some of those games will come down to a kick and as of now I’m not fully confident with Nick Folk taking those kicks.
If Westhoff can get Folk back to his 2008 form, well that might be the greatest, of his many accomplishments.