Westhoff defends his kicker

November, 18, 2010
11/18/10
9:18
PM ET
Special teams coach Mike Westhoff says he hasn’t lost any confidence in K Nick Folk after Folk missed field goals from 48, 24 and 47 yards, the last one in overtime of the New York Jets’ 26-20 OT win over the Cleveland Browns.

“I hope not,” Westhoff said Thursday when asked if he thought Folk’s confidence has been affected by the misses. “It’s disappointing that it happened.”

Westhoff said the field conditions in Cleveland were “a joke” and “a disgrace,” but he insisted he wasn’t making an excuse for Folk, who has made 18 of 24 kicks.

Of the 24-yarder, Westhoff said, “You should kick that ball in backwards.”

WIND NOT A FACTOR: In addition to practicing at Florham Park, Folk and P Steve Weatherford practiced kicks at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Thursday.

The fact that he chose this week for his players to kick at the stadium led some to speculate that it had to do with the increased wind at the new stadium at this time of year. (The wind appeared to affect play two weeks ago when the Packers came into town.)

But Westhoff downplayed that explanation, saying he just wanted his players to get more familiar with their surroundings at the stadium.

“I haven’t seen anything that’s been affected by the wind,” he said.

A SPECIAL DAY: With injuries to special-teamers Marquice Cole and Dwight Lowery, Westhoff said that starting corners Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie would be called on to help on special teams against the Texans. Bart Scott will also fill in, in what Westhoff described as a “small role” on his unit.

NO RUSH: The Jets haven’t allowed a running back to gain 100 yards on them this year. The last time an opposing back hit the century mark in the regular season against a Rex Ryan-coached defense was Week 10 of 2009, when Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 123 yards on 24 carries in the Jags’ 24-22 win.

“I think that’s throw-back football,” Ryan said. “That’s old-school football. And I think maybe I’m more of an old-school guy than… the new breed.”

Veteran DT Trevor Pryce says Ryan holds his defensive players to a higher standard than most.

“In Denver, we gave up 100 yards rushes all the time and it didn’t matter,” Pryce said. “Rex is different; it’s old-school football.”

The streak will be on the line this week with league-leading RB Arian Foster and the Texans coming into town.

PREPARING FOR SCHAUB: Texans QB Matt Schaub returned to practice on Thursday, a day after he was hospitalized with an injury to the bursa sac in his right knee. Ryan said he is preparing to face Schaub on Sunday and, while he was aware of the “tendencies” of backup Dan Orlovsky, the coach isn’t going to game plan for the former first-round pick.

“If they want to (start Orlovsky), we’ll be able to adjust and move on the fly,” Ryan said.

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