New York Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff not missing ex-punter Steve Weatherford

BY Kristie Ackert and Manish Mehta

Friday, September 9th 2011, 4:00 AM

Steve Weatherford makes a poor decision and runs a fake punt against the Packers last year (above). Mike Westhoff knows the Jets special teams must cut down on unforced errors.
Andrew Theodorakis/News
Steve Weatherford makes a poor decision and runs a fake punt against the Packers last year (above). Mike Westhoff knows the Jets special teams must cut down on unforced errors.

Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff was not losing any sleep over losing free agent punter Steve Weatherford to the Giants.

"I was very happy in Steve with some things he did and very, very disappointed in others," Westhoff said. "To tell you the truth, I don't want to be 23rd. We're not 23rd in anything else. Wherever we are, I am trying to get better, so that's why we made the move."

Weatherford had an up-and-down tenure with the Jets. Last season, the Jets were 23rd in the NFL with a 42.6 yard-per-punt average. Westhoff also pointed out that Weatherford did tie a league record for most punts inside the 20-yard line with 42.

Westhoff went on to say that he was "disappointed in some of the poor performances."

While he did not mention it, Westhoff certainly remembers Weatherford's disastrous decision to run a fake punt against the Packers last year. Instead, Westhoff seemed to still be upset with Weatherford's shanked 12-yard punt against the Patriots.

"I was disappointed with some of the performances he had at the end of the year," Westhoff said. "It wasn't very good. You were there. You were up in New England. The ball went straight out (of bounds)....There were times when he just didn't do the job. I was looking to get better than what he did at that point in time. Wasn't good enough, in my opinion. It wasn't. I don't want to be 23rd in the NFL. That's where he was."

Westhoff said that he has "confidence," in new punter T.J. Conley, but added that Weatherford also had a good training camp last year.

"I have confidence in T.J., I do," Westhoff said. "but yet he has to go out and prove it."

TOMLINSON READY
LaDainian Tomlinson hears the critics chirping after his limited preseason. Tomlinson, 32, had just 11 carries for 20 yards.

"It's great to hear the doubters in preseason. Then they change their mind when the game gets going and they see you making plays for the team," Tomlinson said. "Then they will question 'is he going to wear down toward the end of the season?' I can't win, but at the same time I am going to do my part."

Tomlinson, an 11-year veteran, knows what he needs to do in the preseason, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said.

PADDING PRACTICES
The Jets practiced in pads for the second straight day. According to the new CBA, teams can have only 14 practices with pads this season; 11 have to be used in the first 11 weeks. They can practice in pads twice in a week just one time in the season.

INJURY UPDATES
Fullback John Conner (ankle) and quarterback Mark Brunell (calf) were limited in practice Friday. Everyone else practiced fully.

TEXAS TWO-STEP
Cowboys CB Mike Jenkins returned to practice Thursday and RT Tyron Smith was partially suited up the day after each left practice early.

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