2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Jets' retiring Westhoff prepares for last NFL game

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-27 21:23

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Mike Westhoff is sticking to his plan to call it a career.

The New York Jets' special teams coordinator is retiring - just as he said he wanted to do before the season - after the team's finale Sunday at Buffalo. The 64-year-old Westhoff is considered one of the league's most innovative coaches throughout his 30 years in the NFL.

``It has been a great, great run and I've been very fortunate with it,'' Westhoff said Thursday in announcing that it was his ``last official'' news conference. ``For the most part, wow, I've really had a good time.''

He has spent the last 12 years with the Jets after 15 as Miami's special teams coach and three with Indianapolis. Westhoff, who by his count has coached in 624 NFL games, helped launch the careers of several Pro Bowl selections on special teams, including Olindo Mare, Rohn Stark, Larry Izzo, Reggie Roby and Leon Washington.

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

Westhoff said assistant Ben Kotwica will take over for him with the Jets - although the coaching staff could see some changes after the season. Westhoff said he had no second thoughts about retiring.

``It's time for me to go,'' Westhoff said. ``Sometimes you have a shelf life. I've been here 12 years and that's a long time. ... Sometimes, I think change is a good thing. We have an excellent guy that will take over for me in Ben Kotwica. He'll do a great job.''

Westhoff won't rule out coaching again someday, but would like to get into the media as an expert on special teams - similar to what former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira does for FOX during its game broadcasts. Always candid and descriptive during his weekly news conferences, Westhoff also is a colorful character who will likely be able to make a smooth transition to television in that capacity.

``I'd like to create a little bit of a niche somewhere with someone,'' Westhoff said. ``I don't want to be the guy that talks about who should be the quarterback. We have enough of that.''

He thinks most people consider special teams as ``recess,'' and he wants to give a greater understanding of what goes into kickoffs, punts, field goals and long snaps.

``I'd love to be able to talk a little bit about it,'' he said. ``I don't have any delusions of grandeur. I'm not Chris Berman.''

Westhoff is a cancer survivor, having dealt with several operations in his left leg after a malignant tumor was discovered in his femur in 1988. Westhoff stepped down as the Jets' special teams coach after the team's final game in 2007 after a bone graft cracked in his leg. He had a titanium prosthesis inserted in the leg in February 2008, and returned to the Jets early that season. Westhoff recovered so well, he has been able to coach without the use of a cane.

Westhoff, who plans to return to his home in Florida in the offseason, has enjoyed interacting with Jets fans in New York over the years, running into people who have recognized him all over the city.

``I don't like taking pictures in the bathroom in Penn Station,'' Westhoff said with a smile, ``but I've loved my association here. I'm very, very proud of it.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Duron HarmonApr 15 10:57a

New England Patriots SS Duron Harmon is the leading candidate to take over as the Patriots' top strong safety now that Steve Gregory has been released.

Eli ManningApr 15 10:23a

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's 'ludicrous' to think that Giants QB Eli Manning is in decline. 'There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 09:33a

The New York Jets are visiting with free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans) Tuesday, April 15.

Will MontgomeryApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It's not known whether C Will Montgomery or C Manuel Ramirez will start at center.

Sidney RiceApr 14 11:52p

The Carolina Panthers might show an interest in free-agent WR Sidney Rice (Seahawks), but only at the right price.

Manuel RamirezApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It remains unclear whether OT Orlando Franklin, OG Ben Garland or C Manuel Ramirez will be the team's left guard.

Terrell ManningApr 14 05:32p

The San Diego Chargers have released LB Terrell Manning.

Nate IrvingApr 14 05:12p

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker at this time, but the team is expected to select a middle linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Leon HallApr 14 04:12p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (Achilles') has been cleared for all football drills as part of his rehab.

Jamarca SanfordApr 14 04:12p

Minnesota Vikings SS Kurt Coleman will likely be a contributor on special teams this year and enter the year competing with SSs Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo for a backup safety spot.

Dustin KellerApr 14 03:42p

The New England Patriots could show interest in free-agent TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins) at some point this offseason.

Jermichael FinleyApr 14 03:32p

Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins have told the agent of free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (neck) that they could be interested in signing Finley if he is cleared [ More ]

Von MillerApr 14 03:32p

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good and hopes to play better than he did before he suffered his injury. 'I'm a [ More ]

Kurt ColemanApr 14 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with free-agent SS Kurt Coleman (Eagles). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sidney RiceApr 14 02:52p

Free-agent WR Sidney Rice (knee) has been cleared to participate in football activities by Dr. James Andrews, according to a source. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, New Orleans [ More ]

Chris CulliverApr 14 02:22p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. Culliver was arrested March 28 for allegedly hitting a [ More ]

C.J. SpillerApr 14 01:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to land Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller before they traded for RB Darren Sproles this offseason, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. [ More ]

Rashean MathisApr 14 12:52p

The Detroit Lions will re-sign CB Rashean Mathis to an undisclosed one-year deal, according to a league source. Mathis started 13 games last year and recorded 47 tackles.

Chris PressleyApr 14 10:02a

The Cleveland Browns have signed free-agent FB Chris Pressley (Bengals) to an undisclosed deal.

Alex SmithApr 14 02:02a

Draft stock for Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater appears to be falling based on recent workouts, so the Kansas City Chiefs may take a flier on Bridgewater if he is [ More ]

Donald ThomasApr 14 01:52a

The Indianapolis Colts offensive line is still in flux, with several players battling for key spots. OG Donald Thomas (knee), returning from a torn ACL, is expected to man [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 11:42p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was released from a Los Angeles jail Sunday, April 13, after posting $20,000 bail, shortly after being charged with [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 09:22p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday, April 13, at Los Angeles International Airport after he made a threat that he possessed a [ More ]

Damian WilliamsApr 13 08:48p

Miami Dolphins WR Damian Williams said the team talked to him about the possibility of being a return man for them. Williams likely would be behind RB Marcus Thigpen [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 06:52p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was reportedly detained by police at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend. A man, believed to be Smith, was belligerent in the [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 13 06:32p

The New York Giants are concerned QB Eli Manning is entering the decline stage of his career. The team opted not to extend his deal, which runs through 2015, [ More ]

Jermichael FinleyApr 13 06:32p

The Miami Dolphins have talked to free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (Packers).

Charles GodfreyApr 12 11:32p

The Carolina Panthers want to see how FS Charles Godfrey (Achilles') does in his recovery from an Achilles' tendon injury before deciding on his future with the team. Godfrey [ More ]

Alex MackApr 12 08:22p

Cleveland Browns C Alex Mack said there is no bad blood between him and the team after the team placed the transition tag on him, and he signed an [ More ]

Chad JohnsonApr 12 08:12p

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said the team has been talking with free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) about a contract and will work him out Tuesday, April 15.

Deonte ThompsonApr 12 11:52a

The drug charges against Baltimore Ravens WR Deonte Thompson have been dropped because of insufficient evidence. Thompson was arrested in February for suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Bobby MassieApr 12 12:02a

Arizona Cardinals OTs Bobby Massie, Nate Potter and Bradley Sowell are expected to compete for the starting right tackle job during training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group