New York Jets: Mid-Term Coaching Grades

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July 29, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine prepares to call a defensive play during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

MIKE PETTINE:DMike also came into the season with big dreams. “One step faster”, was the cry we heard for all of training camp. They drafted Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Josh Bush, and Antonio Allen, with the theory that the defense could become faster. With all of the troubles they have had stopping the run in the past, and rushing the passer, this was just what the Jets defense needed to make a return to prominence.

Where has that been? Nobody has more than 2 sacks on the Jets defense! This is the younger, and one step faster group? I don’t think so. They still have the same problems defending running backs on the edge as well. Until recently, the Jets have lived and died with their older players, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace…etc. They have finally started to work the younger guys, such as Davis, into the rotation, but that has been more due to Bart Scott’s injury than to poor play. Why did it take so long to release that the players on the field are too slow? Ridiculous.

Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff before the game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

MIKE WESTHOFF:B-People might thing that this grade is too high based on recent performance, but I will explain. A lot of the season, the special teams unit has been up to par. Nick Folk has been perfect, and Mike Westhoff has to be given a great deal of credit for that. Why? Bringing in Josh Brown to compete for the job was genius. It caused Nick Folk to realize his job was in jeopardy, and kick better than he has ever kicked before. Genius move by mastermind Westhoff. Giving the punting job to Robert Malone was a great move as well. He has been a lethal weapon at pinning teams inside the 20. It’s tough to find a return game better than the one on the Jets too.

However, it’s the recent breakdowns that bring the grade down. The blocked punt on Sunday was downright ugly. How often to guys come clean on a Jets punter for a block? Wait, never? That’s right. Until now. Same with the return for a TD by the Patriots. The Jets had taken the lead 7-0, and give up that backbreaking return. How often did the Jets special teams allow momentum to switch away from the team? Normally, the Jets special teams brings the momentum TO the team. Some speculated after last week whether or not Mike Westhoff has already mentally retired. I am not willing to go that far, but certainly it brings down his grade for the season to date.

As always, thanks for reading.

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