Mike Westhoff hopes NY Jets’ addition of kicker Josh Brown will create competition with Nick Folk
The Jets' kicking job may be Josh Brown's to lose. A year after incumbent Nick Folk won a pre-season battle with Nick Novak, the Jets are looking for someone to unseat Folk, who made just 76 percent of his field goal attempts last season. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff admitted that it was Folk's job to lose a year ago.
It's a different story now.
Westhoff told the Daily News that Brown vs. Folk will be "at least as competitive (as Folk vs. Novak) if not more."
"This year, I don't think I'm going to delve into whether that is the case or not the case," Westhoff said of Folk having the inside track. "I want to create the most competitive atmosphere that I possibly can. Josh Brown is the best candidate to do that with. We want to have a viable battle here to see who's going to win our job and to get the best possible guy that we can put on the field."
Westhoff admitted that he wasn't thrilled that the Jets didn't upgrade the position by drafting a kicker.
"I thought it could have happened in the draft," Westhoff said. "There were a couple of guys I liked… one in particular. We just weren't able to do it. It didn't happen… (much to) my consternation."
Georgia's Blair Walsh, who was drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round, was believed to be on the Jets' radar.
Brown, who was signed last week after being cut by the Rams, made 82 percent of his field goals in the first eight seasons of his career before connecting on 75 percent last season.
"Sometimes you just go through some ups and downs," Westhoff said. "He had a lot of really good years. He fell off a little. I spent a lot of time talking to him about it. I have a very good handle on some of the things that took place and why he wasn't as efficient as he had been. Just issues… a culmination of things. I feel very confident that that's not a big deal at all."
"He just wasn't as consistent as he had been in the past," Westhoff added. "But he's a good, viable guy. Actually at this point in time, I believe he's the most viable candidate."
Westhoff also said that the team will bring in another punter to challenge T.J. Conley, who had an up-and-down season.
DEVITO TAKES PAY CUT
The Jets restructured defensive linemans Mike DeVito's contract, according to NFLPA records. DeVito took a $600,000 pay cut in the final year of his contract and will now earn a fully guaranteed $2.5 million with the opportunity to make an additional $750,000 based on playing time.
Quinton Coples' arrival makes it likely that DeVito will play a reduced role.