EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Jets Great Wesley Walker, Part I

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TJP-Now, you get to that game, the AJ Duhe game, are you in the group that blamed Don Shula for watering down that field?

WW-No, I can’t make any blame, you know, the two teams play so they have the same surface. Obviously we had some great athletes in some skilled positions and that would have been definitely in their favor. If I were Don Shula and I had the opportunity to have done that I would have certainly done that. But, you have two teams that are on the same grounds and it just depends on who performs. I was disappointed because I not only caught one ball towards the end of the game, but when I woke up that morning, I just got up and it was a monsoon. That’s the first thing I do is check the weather, so I knew it was just gonna change the whole strategy of what we were going to do, and certainly you can’t really pass the ball very well, and we weren’t able to do some things that we normally do against Miami.

TJP-Speaking of Miami, there is that game I have to ask you about, 1986, 51-45, 4 TDs, what do you remember about that game?

WW-Well, I won’t forget it. One thing I do remember, I was very angry at Joe Walton(head coach), and I’d really strained my groin during the week of practice. I was very frustrated, and were were late in the first half, and we were just pleading with him to do some things, and I end up catching two TDs in the first half and towards the end of the game. I was very frustrated, I even told my backup Kurt Sohn, if he’s not really gonna use me, I might as well rest my groin, cuz it was really strained during that week. One thing led to another, and you know, I didn’t think that I would have that great of a game as it turned out. That is my motivational tool for young kids not to really give up because there was a point when I really wanted to give up.

I also had a ball thrown to me that they called a fumble, and I didn’t think I had control of it, but they ruled it a fumble and they went on to score. I thought I had given up the game. We end up making this overtime, um, tying the game on this one last drive. I wasn’t even in on the play, and I credit Kenny O’Brien, because he says “Wesley!” (I’m on the sidelines), he said “get in the game!”. We called his favorite play that I couldn’t wait to run, we always worked on it day in, day out. But the Miami Dolphins, they were in the right coverage, and it shouldn’t even have been made. He(O’Brien) was confident enough to still throw it to me, and I was lucky enough to make the catch. And obviously I made the winning catch and was the Most Valuable Player. It was a game I will not ever forget.

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Tags: Aj Duhe Game Alan Schechter Don Shula Freeman Mcneil Ken O'brien NY Jets Walt Michaels Wesley Walker Wesley Walker Interview

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