Liberated from his title of special teams coordinator for the Jets, Mike Westhoff was free to be candid in the wake of a disappointing and at times comical 6-10 season.
Westhoff, in his first few weeks of retirement, gave an interview to the Joe Rose Show on 560 WQAM in Miami on Friday morning and was critical of the way the Jets managed the salary cap, starting quarterback Mark Sanchez's ability to shoulder an offense and, most pointedly, Tim Tebow's baffling role in the offense.
"It was a mess," Westhoff said of the Tebow situation. "It was an absolute mess. You can say whatever else you want, it was really a mess. I was very, very disappointed. There are things that Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback, he's very limited in some things. If you throw him in the middle of a drop-back passing offense, he will look very, very average at best. But if you incorporate him in different facets of your offense, I think he can be a factor. That's what I thought we were going to do, but we never did it."
Westhoff said there were some legitimate questions after a season in which Ryan and one-term offensive coordinator Tony Sparano failed to incorporate Tebow into the scheme with any success. Westhoff worked with Tebow as a punt protector, a role that went full time when safety Eric Smith was injured, and was impressed with Tebow's work ethic and skills.
Westhoff envisioned Tebow would be used as a combination tight end/halfback/fullback/quarterback and was dismayed to see that his largest role was essentially on special teams after his ribs were fractured in Seattle on Nov. 11. So what happened to the secret offense that was supposed to be so innovative?
"To be honest I don't think anyone ever answered that question, 'Why did we do it?' " Westhoff said. "I honestly don't know. I know we didn't practice it, we didn't practice it in training camp. We were going to unveil it. Well, I'm still waiting for the unveiling. And it didn't happen."