Un-Special Teams has Jets Westhoff confused

By Marc A. Greenberg

Typically the bright spot in the New York Jets team, special teams and coach Mike Westhoff have been as dependable as “death, taxes, and Cal Ripken.”

Well, not this year.

Exit Steve Weatherford; enter T.J. Conley.

Exit Brad Smith; enter Joe McKnight.

The jury is out on both moves.

At least Jets punter Conley, in kicking a 13 yard punt last week in Denver, gets the award for worst kick of the season.  An up-and-down year in his first season with the team, Conley’s average of 43.1 yards per punt is 24th in the NFL.

“The consistency with it is frustrating and  disappointing,” Westhoff said. “You can see it. You see some very good ones and you see some not so good, and that’s what we’re trying to work through. It’s not easy. It’s frustrating.”

“It’s not necessarily the fans or the full stadium, it’s just the whole  pressure of everything — being in the NFL, being on TV, all that stuff that you  hear and having your job on the line every time,” Conley said.

As for McKnight, his fumbles the past two weeks, have Jets fans nervous.  Still leading the NFL in kickoff return average, don’t expect to see him as a punt returner any more this season.

“Westhoff said I ain’t going to get back there again until I catch a million balls,” McKnight said. “It’s going to be a while until I catch a million, but I’m slowly getting to it.”

As for Westhoff, he says don’t expect to see McKnight back there as a punt returner this season. “Probably not, to tell you the truth,” he said.