Remember after the Jets upended Denver 11 days ago, when Josh McDaniels explained why the Broncos elected to go with an onside kick early in the second quarter following their game-tying touchdown?
“The onside kick was strictly because this was the best team in football to run it against,” the Broncos coach said then. “That’s it. When they give you the opportunity, you take it. And they gave us the opportunity, like we studied on film, and it worked out exactly like we thought it would.”
The actual play had no impact on the game overall, but that didn't keep Mike Westhoff from laying into the McDaniels during our first availability with him since the Thursday before the Jets knocked off Denver.
I asked Westhoff for his thoughts on McDaniels' words. Westhoff's response?
"I invented the damn thing, so I don’t care what he says," the fiery special teams coordinator said. "But in essence, he’s right. That kick is mine. I started it. But I won’t say he’s wrong. We play a five-man front, so yeah you can run it. The whole thing is, and I told my guys it’s my fault, because if you execute it correctly, it’s very difficult to stop. What I should’ve done, and I’ve done it a million times and it’s my fault, you take your 'Rover' which would be Ben Hartsock and I move him around and you move him into those spots and you discourage a little bit.
"Now if they execute it really well, they can still get it. It’s hard to stop. But that would’ve been a better move on my part. I did not do that. So what he said was actually right. But I don’t know where the hell he was when I started the damn thing and to tell you the truth, I don’t care what he said. But he is correct. That is correct and it’s my fault, knowing that they were probably going to kick a touchback, I should’ve been more conservative at the time."
Westhoff said he actually told the players in the huddle to look out for the onside kick and not to leave their spots early. But he was more focused on putting a return together more than anything.
"In that regard, I’m aggressive," Westhoff said. "We have a good return team and my thought process immediately goes to, 'Hey, we are gonna run it right down your throat' even though it should’ve been 'They are probably gonna kick a touchback. They have nothing to lose by onside kicking it.' And I started the damn thing, so I should’ve known better than anybody. It’s something where I let my aggressiveness get in the way and made a mistake. So in that regard, he’s correct."