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Jets take different approach to kick returns

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Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff doesn’t see much use in a touchback, at least in the preseason.

Westhoff’s rule for kick returns on Monday night was simple.  He lined up the returner line up seven yards deep in the end zone.  If the returner can catch the ball while moving forward, he was instructed to take the ball out.  If you have to back up for the kick, then take the touchback.

The Jets’ return units got more practice that way Monday, but it remains to be seen whether the Jets stay that aggressive during the season.  If you have a good return man, it’s not such a crazy idea.

Sunday Night Football on NBC producer Fred Gaudelli actually predicted this very concept on PFT Live Monday. He thought teams might be more willing to gamble on taking the ball out of the end zone.

For more from Gaudelli, check out the interview below or go to the PFT Live homepage.

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13 Responses to “Jets take different approach to kick returns”
  1. FinFan68 says: Aug 15, 2011 10:35 PM

    He needs to see actual returns in order to properly evaluate the sideline staff

  2. plifer says: Aug 15, 2011 10:51 PM

    Hmmm…let me see…so it’s not a bad idea to return a kickoff 7 yards deep in your own endzone if you have a good returner? Do you have any idea what a “good returner” averages per kickoff return?How about 25 yards. Let me do the math…7 yards, plus 20 yards is 27 yards. If i am a good kick returner, i can average 25 yards..that puts me on the 18 yard line, which is 2 yards short of where I would start if I downed the ball….great logic Rosendork

  3. ickeywoods says: Aug 15, 2011 10:52 PM

    He lined up the returner line up seven yards deep in the end zone.
    WTF? You’re in Preseason form 3Gs!

  4. ezra954 says: Aug 15, 2011 11:10 PM

    What besides triping a gunner

  5. firstroyal says: Aug 15, 2011 11:27 PM

    @plifer
    Actually the record avg for a season is 17
    the record for a career is 12
    the average for a return is under 10

    Here is to the jets playing like they practice.

  6. green41563 says: Aug 16, 2011 12:10 AM

    firstroyal says: Aug 15, 2011 11:27 PM

    Actually the record avg for a season is 17
    the record for a career is 12
    the average for a return is under 10

    Here is to the jets playing like they practice.

    ____________________________________
    Are you retarded? Just a question.

  7. waldoampere says: Aug 16, 2011 12:11 AM

    “Actually the record avg for a season is 17
    the record for a career is 12
    the average for a return is under 10″

    We’re talking about KO returns not punt returns.

  8. laeaglefan says: Aug 16, 2011 1:17 AM

    After they play a whole season with 80% of kickoffs resulting in touchbacks, one of two things will happen in 2012. Either they’ll forget about kicking off altogether and just place the ball at the 20 yard line, or they’ll revert to kicking off at the 30 yard line. At this rate, the next thing that will be eliminated is punt returns. They’ll just march off 40 yards from the line of scrimmage and start the change of possession there.

  9. deepseabreeze says: Aug 16, 2011 2:13 AM

    i’m surprised they don’t plan on having staff on the sidelines tripping people. now that would be a fresh approach

  10. RexCanCoach says: Aug 16, 2011 6:35 AM

    Mike Westhoff = best special teams coach in the NFL.

    Just another reason why your teams suck. And the Jets rule under Rex.

    Knocked on the door last 2 years, breaking it down this year = NY Jets, yeah!

  11. tv426 says: Aug 16, 2011 8:11 AM

    The coach tackle is now out? WTH???

  12. NFLJunkie says: Aug 16, 2011 8:35 AM

    plifer says:
    Aug 15, 2011 10:51 PM
    Hmmm…let me see…so it’s not a bad idea to return a kickoff 7 yards deep in your own endzone if you have a good returner? Do you have any idea what a “good returner” averages per kickoff return?How about 25 yards. Let me do the math…

    Word problems can be so tricky sometimes. Especially that part about “If the returner can catch the ball while moving forward…” (which should be a common coaching point from years past).

    So basically you’re starting no more than 4-5 yards deep, possibly less. With forward momentum. (That pesky physics part.)

    Then there’s how the new rule impacts the coverage teams, who will have a shorter field to cover, but can only get a 5 (vs. 10)-yd running start now. More physics.

    This stuff is actually being discussed more places than Florham Park and Westhoff isn’t the only one playing with the alignment to figure out where that “break even” point is for gambling on a return, especially if you have a better-than-average returner.

    Lining up 7 yards deep seems aggressive but preseason is the best time to experiment.

  13. jetfanfolife says: Aug 16, 2011 9:54 AM

    plifer says:
    Aug 15, 2011 10:51 PM
    Hmmm…let me see…so it’s not a bad idea to return a kickoff 7 yards deep in your own endzone if you have a good returner? Do you have any idea what a “good returner” averages per kickoff return?How about 25 yards. Let me do the math…7 yards, plus 20 yards is 27 yards. If i am a good kick returner, i can average 25 yards..that puts me on the 18 yard line, which is 2 yards short of where I would start if I downed the ball….great logic Rosendork

    firstroyal says:
    Aug 15, 2011 11:27 PM
    @plifer
    Actually the record avg for a season is 17
    the record for a career is 12
    the average for a return is under 10

    Here is to the jets playing like they practice.

    ———–

    Here is to both of your EPIC failures at trying to come up with something witty

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