Jets special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, whose decision to join the Jets a couple of years ago prompted some disappointment in Miami given that Westhoff had access to Dolphins practices during his “retirement”, has expressed disappointment regarding the decision of the Dolphins to fire special-teams coordinator John Bonamego after a Monday night game that featured a kickoff return for a touchdown, a blocked punt, and a blocked field goal against the Patriots.
We noticed the comments, which were distributed by the team on Friday, in an item from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
“I was disappointed in it,” Westhoff said of the move. “It’s not like he’s my best friend, because he’s not.
I’m not friends with anybody to tell you the truth except for the guys that are
here. I was disappointed in it. I talked to him. I didn’t try to give him a
pep talk. . . . It’s happened to
everyone. Frankly, to be real honest, the last game that I saw a real special
teams disaster game, the coach from New England [Scott O’Brien] was coaching at Denver.
happened to all of us, trust me. I’m in that group too. We’ve all [had] those days. . . . Now if they had included some personnel with it, I might
have not felt so bad. That bothers me. I know the guy worked hard. It’s their
business. It’s not mine. They have the right to decide their own. I respect
that, but I’m disappointed when those things happen.
“I think it does single out
sports today, ‘You’ve got to blame somebody.’ When I was at Miami, for example,
when I first went there, I coached special teams with Don Shula. They probably
wouldn’t have fired him. I guess I have a feeling toward it.”
Westhoff also suggested that the blame rests not with Bonamego but with the player who screwed up, twice.
“It’s interesting that there was one
particular guy that was involved in two of those major breakdowns,” Westhoff said. “Frankly, I
don’t think he could play. I don’t want the guy either.”
Westhoff wouldn’t name the player. But he’s apparently still there — and he possibly could get Bonamego’s replacement fired at some point, too.
Meanwhile, we suspect that the Dolphins would prefer that Westhoff mind his own business and not criticize the decision to part ways with Bonamego. And we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that coach Tony Sparano has made that point directly to Westhoff.