Sep 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jets 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Today we take a look at another position battle upcoming this summer for the New York Jets, kicker. Mike Westhoff has a lot to think about on this one, with an incumbent, veteran competition, and rookie competition. Let’s take a look.
THE INCUMBENT, NICK FOLK
The incumbent, but hardly an unbeatable candidate. After two years in Dallas of 83% and 90% FG kicking, his production has gone down dramatically. In his final year with the Cowboys he kicked FGs at a 64% rate. In the two years with the Jets, his percentage has been 76.9 and 76.0. There were five games in 2011 where Nick Folk missed at least one FG. We have to give him his credit, he has made some clutch kicks, including a game winner in the 2010 Wild Card game at Indianapolis. He is just inconsistent, so thus, the competition has been invited to Florham Park.
VETERAN COMPETITION, JOSH BROWN
So in walks Josh Brown, recently released by the St. Louis Rams. He has been a consistent kicker, with a career field goal percentage of 80.9% over a nine year career. Since 2007, Brown hasn’t had a year where his field goal percentage has been under 75%. His lowest percentage in that period, however, was last season at 75%, which ultimately may have been his demise in St. Louis. At 33 years old, you have to wonder if the 75% is a sign of his skills beginning to diminish.
Ultimately, unless he blows everyone away this summer, I don’t forsee coach Westhoff entrusting the kicking duties to a rookie. I don’t think Brown will win a kicking competition, because I believe that competition will motivate a 27 year old kicker still in his prime to perform. Therefore, my prediction for the winner of this battle is the incumbent, Nick Folk.
As always, time will tell.