In case you missed it, former New York Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff is publishing a book detailing his long coaching career in the NFL. It’s called: “Figure It Out: My Thirty-Two-Year Journey While Revolutionizing Pro Football’s Special Teams.”
Apparently, Westhoff held nothing back in this tell-all — written by himself and Associated Press NFL reporter Barry Wilner — according to beat reporters Rich Cimini and Brian Costello.
The well-known assistant coach provided his unfiltered thoughts on multiple members of the Jets organization during his tenure, including ex-general manager Terry Bradway, ex-coaches Rex Ryan and Eric Mangini, and more. Here were some of the top quotes that were leaked.
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Bradway ‘Was Barely Mediocre,’ Mangini a ‘Complete Know-It-All’
During articles with ESPN and the New York Post, Cimini and Costello provided a preview of the Jets portion of this tell-all, and there were several juicy pieces of information.
“A cancer survivor,” Cimini began. “Westhoff has quite a story to tell. His chapters on his time with the Jets, which included six playoff seasons and some embarrassing lows, [are] particularly intriguing.”
The headliners were his brutal recounts of former GM Terry Bradway and head coaches Herm Edwards and Eric Mangini.
Westhoff called Bradway “barely mediocre” in many ways and said he was not his “favorite.” Another GM by the name of Mike Tannenbaum didn’t get off easy either. Cimini revealed: “He slams former GM Mike Tannenbaum for excluding him from the pre-draft process in 2012, adding, ‘We had gone from a championship-level team to a bulls— operation, and this was another example.’”
Costello also detailed his thoughts on his three Jets HCs, starting with Edwards. “Westhoff praises Edwards, but did confirm some of Edwards’ weak spots,” he wrote.
The positives; Westhoff called Edwards “good to work with,” as well as trustworthy. The negatives were that he felt he was “not well prepared to be an NFL head coach” in time management and other areas, and fired assistants too quickly.
His first impression of Mangini was that he was a “complete know-it-all pain in the a**,” but admitted that as time went on, he saw a “good coach” and vision under a tough exterior.
Costello added some context in his own words: “Westhoff praised Mangini’s attention to detail and how he managed game situations (‘off the charts’), but said Mangini’s practices were too long and he was not good at speaking to players.”
As for Rex Ryan, the reviews were mostly positive. “Rex kept things stirred up with the media,” wrote Westhoff. “I would read something he said and just shake my head and laugh. Never did any of his craziness show itself around the team. We had an organized, disciplined program that showed no signs of Rex’s sometimes crazy media antics.”
Some final comments came about quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Westhoff labeled the former as a “great kid” but only a “manageable quarterback at best.” Costello noted that the coordinator was “shocked” that Tannenbaum gave Sanchez a new contract in 2012.
He described the Tebow experiment as a “disgrace and a mess,” but didn’t blame the player. “Another good kid,” explained Westhoff, “but not an NFL quarterback.”
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More Info on ‘Figure It Out’
Westhoff’s first-hand account is set to be released to the public on July 22 according to Google Books. The description reads:
Simply put, Mike Westhoff is the greatest special teams coach in National Football League history.
Sharp-witted, creative, and intensely focused, Westhoff spent thirty-two years working alongside and learning from some of the legends of the sport–including Don Shula, Dan Marino, Woody Hayes, and Al Davis–while revolutionizing the most misunderstood phase of the game.
Over the course of 657 games, primarily with the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins, Westhoff was a relentless innovator–constantly figuring out new ways to help the individual skills of hundreds of players surface and develop. All the while, he reinforced the essential qualities of diligence, creativity, and teamwork in a sport built on those traits.
Interviews with dozens of his contemporaries and former players such as Sean Payton, Taysom Hill, and Zach Thomas provide a rare glimpse of NFL life beyond the field–inside the offices, meeting rooms, and locker rooms with one of the game’s most unforgettable personalities.
But his story isn’t just about football. Westhoff also shares intimate details of his multiple battles with cancer and the life lessons learned through the fights.
In Figure It Out, Westhoff presents his one-of-a-kind experiences and unfiltered views in his trademark style–a refreshing blend of honest (sometimes brutally so), funny, and poignant. His deep insights into the workings of special teams–illustrated by 27 detailed original diagrams–and timely commentary on the current state of pro football reveal a critical side of the sport that very few truly understand.
You can pre-order “Figure It Out” on Amazon, or wherever you find your books.