NCAA

Jets' retiring Westhoff prepares for last NFL game

Jets' retiring Westhoff prepares for last NFL game

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Mike Westhoff is sticking to his plan to call it a career.

The New York Jets' special teams coordinator is retiring - just as he said he wanted to do before the season - after the team's finale Sunday at Buffalo. The 64-year-old Westhoff is considered one of the league's most innovative coaches throughout his 30 years in the NFL.

``It has been a great, great run and I've been very fortunate with it,'' Westhoff said Thursday in announcing that it was his ``last official'' news conference. ``For the most part, wow, I've really had a good time.''

He has spent the last 12 years with the Jets after 15 as Miami's special teams coach and three with Indianapolis. Westhoff, who by his count has coached in 624 NFL games, helped launch the careers of several Pro Bowl selections on special teams, including Olindo Mare, Rohn Stark, Larry Izzo, Reggie Roby and Leon Washington.

``I'm happy and proud to be in the place I am in my career,'' Westhoff said. ``Few of us get to leave this business on our own volition, and I'm able to do that.''

Westhoff said assistant Ben Kotwica will take over for him with the Jets - although the coaching staff could see some changes after the season. Westhoff said he had no second thoughts about retiring.

``It's time for me to go,'' Westhoff said. ``Sometimes you have a shelf life. I've been here 12 years and that's a long time. ... Sometimes, I think change is a good thing. We have an excellent guy that will take over for me in Ben Kotwica. He'll do a great job.''

Westhoff won't rule out coaching again someday, but would like to get into the media as an expert on special teams - similar to what former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira does for FOX during its game broadcasts. Always candid and descriptive during his weekly news conferences, Westhoff also is a colorful character who will likely be able to make a smooth transition to television in that capacity.

``I'd like to create a little bit of a niche somewhere with someone,'' Westhoff said. ``I don't want to be the guy that talks about who should be the quarterback. We have enough of that.''

He thinks most people consider special teams as ``recess,'' and he wants to give a greater understanding of what goes into kickoffs, punts, field goals and long snaps.

``I'd love to be able to talk a little bit about it,'' he said. ``I don't have any delusions of grandeur. I'm not Chris Berman.''

Westhoff is a cancer survivor, having dealt with several operations in his left leg after a malignant tumor was discovered in his femur in 1988. Westhoff stepped down as the Jets' special teams coach after the team's final game in 2007 after a bone graft cracked in his leg. He had a titanium prosthesis inserted in the leg in February 2008, and returned to the Jets early that season. Westhoff recovered so well, he has been able to coach without the use of a cane.

Westhoff, who plans to return to his home in Florida in the offseason, has enjoyed interacting with Jets fans in New York over the years, running into people who have recognized him all over the city.

``I don't like taking pictures in the bathroom in Penn Station,'' Westhoff said with a smile, ``but I've loved my association here. I'm very, very proud of it.''

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Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

With Wrestlemania 36 underway this weekend, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley sat down on Instagram Live with former Terps defensive lineman and current WWE superstar Mojo Rawley to talk about his new career path. 

Rawley's real name is Dean Muhtadi, and he played for the Terps in for two years as a Division III transfer. He finished third on team in sacks that season and despite going undrafted in 2009, found his way to an NFL camp with the Packers. 

Muhtadi spent 2009 with Green Bay and 2010 with the Cardinals before suffering an injury that landed him on injured reserve. It was then where Muhtadi found a new career path thanks to two of his best friends. 

"Dan Gronkowski and Chris Gronkowski played with me at Maryland, two of my closest friends," Rawley said on "Late Night With Locks". "Their dad was one of our coach's roommates in the WWE, so it seemed like a natural fit. We were watching together, and I kinda made a comment like, 'this would be awesome if I could be one of [the wrestlers]. Mr. Gronk made the call and the rest was history."

Rawley has been a WWE superstar and currently stands as Rob Gronkowski's hype man. The former Patriots tight end is WWE's most recent signee and is Wrestlemania 36's host.

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The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

First up in Saturday's round-up of the best sports moments on the internet, everyone is trying to stick to as normal of a routine as they can while at home. Quarantine wasn’t going to keep Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” away from his “cheat day”. Have you ever seen french toast this big in your life? 


Next up, the Watt brothers have been staying in shape working out together and they even have a football field coming soon. Check out JJ Watt painting the lines. He says he has a new respect for groundskeepers now. The stage is set for the Watt brothers!


Finally, no bullpen, no problem! Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman sets up a makeshift bullpen on his boat dock and it even has a mound. Now that is a beautiful place to get your reps in! 

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