New York Giants
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Steve Weatherford said all the right things on Friday when he was asked about Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff's scathing critique of his 2010 season.
"Coach Westhoff is, you know, a legendary coach and I'm just blessed for the opportunity to play for him for two years," Weatherford said, repeating the praise so much that it made it seem like he wanted to say otherwise.
Calling Westhoff a "hall-of-fame coach," the Giants punter added: "He's done it for 28 years so obviously he knows what he's doing ..... I have a lot of respect for him."
Westhoff didn't show Weatherford much respect on Thursday when he launched into a rant about the punter's sub-par 2010 season with the Jets.
"I was disappointed in some of the poor performances that he had at the end of the year," the long-time specials team coach told reporters. "It wasn't very good. You were there. You were up in New England (when Weatherford hit a 12-yarder in a 45-3 loss in December)? 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."
Weatherford wound up tying an NFL record in 2010 by landing 42 punts inside the 20-yard line. But after getting off to a tremendous start at the beginning of the year, he tailed off at the end.
After having just four touchbacks during the regular season, Weatherford posted six in the playoffs. In three postseason contests, he netted just 29.5 yards per punt.
When asked if Westhoff's criticism stung, Weatherford called his ex coach a "great guy" and said it was an "honor to play for him."
At the end of a five-minute interview session Friday, Weatherford did admit that he's 'looking forward' to facing Westhoff and the Jets this season.
"Mike's a very good coach; he does a good job of putting his players in a position to be successful," said Weatherford, who beat out Matt Dodge for the punting job. "I look forward to competing against him as a New York Giant now and I look forward to the game against him on Christmas Eve."