Ryan, Westhoff praise perfect Folk

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
9:16
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Nick Folk has been key for the Jets, kicking a winning field goal in Miami and making all 11 of his attempts so far this season.

“He’s been phenomenal,” Rex Ryan said. “There are a lot of areas that we can improve in. Kicking is not one of them.”

Folk also got praise from special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff.

“I thought last week was Herculean. That 54-yard field goal was into the wind.”

But the fact is, Folk had to fight for his job this year in a close kicking contest during training camp against Josh Brown. So when he heard Ryan was lauding his performance, he understated how well he has played.

“It’s nice to hear but I still have things I can improve,” Folk said.

Folk said his kickoffs could get more accurate. It’s a part of the game that isn’t always as noticeable as field goals and extra points, but important for field position.

Details like that might have been the reason Westhoff wasn’t happy with Folk at the end of last season, and brought in Brown.

“I know that he can do it, but there were some things we were disappointed with so we wanted to challenge him,” Westhoff said. “Where if Nick would be the Nick that we would expect, that’s the Nick we want.”

Brown and Folk were neck and neck in practices, and Westhoff was completely prepared to go with Brown. Despite Folk’s history with the Jets, he would have been cut if he hadn’t performed.

“I firmly believe that how he handled it,” Westhoff said, “and how he went out from Day 1 and said ‘I’ve got to bring my A game because this guy’s pretty good,’ and he did.”

Folk ended up winning the spot, and he’s been perfect for the Jets ever since.

“(This is) not (a) warm and fuzzy business,” Westhoff said. “This is a tough business.”
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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