Thursday, September 6, 2012
Tebow one of Westhoff's favorites
By Matt Ehalt
To Mike Westhoff, Tim Tebow invokes memories of Dan Marino.
No, not as a quarterback. But in terms of what the Jets special teams coach sees from Tebow as a person, not just on the football field.
"To me he's one of those guys that takes what he does and does it 100 percent and doesn't ask anything else out of it," Westhoff said on Thursday. "He's one of those guys that you hoped what he would be off the field, he is in my opinion; (seeing him) in my meetings. I used to say that about Dan. What you would hope (for)."
As Westhoff has worked with Tebow to implement him into the special teams packages, the coach is very complimentary of the quarterback, saying he enjoys being around his new pupil. Westhoff knows Marino from his time coaching with the Dolphins.
"Tim's one of my favorite guys. I go back my whole career and there are certain individuals that you just really like but then I also have this tremendous respect for him," Westhoff said. "I watch how hard he works, how hard he studies, I've never heard him make an excuse. Ever. Not even an inkling of one. I know him actually personally really well and I don't always get to do that."
Tebow will be used in punt packages and Westhoff said he could be an additional weapon for the unit in terms of fakes. Tebow will serve as the fullback in the punt formation and Westhoff said opponents will need to know he is.
Westhoff praised Tebow for being able to make a mistake and then be the first to get right back in there. He added Tebow is appreciative of people recognizing what he's been able to accomplish and he hasn't seen Tebow change despite the popularity.
"I just can't say enough about him. The things that I like. I really enjoy being around him," Westhoff said. "He's one of my favorite guys. I have so much respect for how he plays the game and how he works and how he prepares."
THE CHANGE: A strong workout by Robert Malone and inconsistency by T.J. Conley led to the latter being waived on Tuesday. Malone will be the starter Sunday against Buffalo.
"One of the things I was disappointed in was a level of consistency," Westhoff said of Conley. "The variance in performance at different levels is very normal but the highs and then the lows, the depth between those two I wasn't satisfied with and I was trying to see if we couldn't get that better and get more consistent."
The Jets had their eyes on Malone as they thought of signing him in the offseason. They hoped Malone wouldn't stick with San Diego during training camp, and after he failed to make the final roster, the Jets worked him out. He impressed them by hitting the ceiling five times with his punts and they made the switch.
"I like the upside of this young man," Westhoff said. "We want to give him an opportunity."