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Outgoing Jets special teams coach: Team mishandled Tim Tebow 01.11.13 at 1:57 pm ET
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Mike Westhoff

Mike Westhoff, who left the Jets this month after serving as special teams coach for the last 12 years, criticized the team’s handling of backup quarterback Tim Tebow this season.

“It was a mess,” Westhoff said during an interview on the Joe Rose Show on Miami radio station WQAM. “It was an absolute mess. You can say it however else you want it: It was really a mess. I was very disappointed.”

Westhoff had praise for Tebow, and he couldn’t understand why the Jets didn’t use him in the role they envisioned when they acquired him the Broncos last offseason. Tebow played for Westhoff on special teams and saw limited duty in the wildcat, but Westhoff said the team never had Tebow practice doing anything creative with the offense.

“To be honest, I don’t think anybody has really answered that question: Why did we do it?” Westhoff said. “I honestly don’t know. I know we didn’t practice it. We didn’t practice it in training camp. We were going to unveil it. Well, I’m still waiting for the unveiling. And it didn’t happen.

“It’s very disappointing. But again, if you just say this is a quintessential NFL dropback quarterback, no he’s not. He’s just not. But if you use him a lot of different facets, in my opinion, I think he’s outstanding. If you do that. But we didn’t do it. And it was a distraction … and really a shame. Because that’s a hard-working young man if you ever saw one. Believe me.”

Read More: Mike Westhoff, New York Jets, Rumor Mill, Tim Tebow
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Sponsors waver on Penn State commitment after punishment 07.25.12 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Dodgers at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Bill O'Brien faces major challenges at Penn State. (AP)

♦ Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday that no players have indicated that they plan to transfer in the wake of the NCAA penalties announced a day earlier, but all the team’s sponsors are not demonstrating the same loyalty.

The insurance company State Farm is pulling its ads from Penn State broadcasts, and General Motors is reconsidering its sponsorship deal.

“We will not directly support Penn State football this year,” State Farm spokesman Dave Phillips said Tuesday. “We just feel it was the best decision.”

Other sponsors, including Pepsi, PNC bank and Highmark (Pennsylvania’s largest health insurer) said they will stay on board.

Meanwhile, the school’s credit rating could take a hit, as Moody’s Investors Service announced that the school’s Aa1 rating is in jeopardy due to potential for a decline in enrollment and fundraising.

♦ Since Tim Tebow‘s arrival in New York, there has been speculation that he could be used on the Jets’ special teams in some capacity. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff discussed that possibility with the New York media.

“There are certain situations [on kickoffs] where he might be on the field that he could be utilized possibly to block or possibly to field a ball,” Westhoff told the New York Daily News. “If a team squibs it at you or pops it at you, he might be the perfect guy to put in that could make an adjustment. If they kick it deep, he could block. If they squib it or pop it, he could be a guy that we’d have with a ball in his hands. … Jerricho Cotchery did a nice job for us in that role. Brad Smith, before he became the [primary return] guy, did some of that for us. So, it’s just a situational thing.”

Added Westhoff: “His role with me won’t be a paramount role. I’m not counting on Tebow coming in and being a hard-core special teams player. That’s not what we want. We have a limited role for him, but it will be one that presents problems. That’s what Tebow is all about. He presents problems to good football teams in a lot of aspects. You have to be aware of it. If you’re not aware of it, it could jump up and smack you. … His role with me will be limited, but I think it’s a very important one. He can help us in a lot of ways.”

♦ U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo is coming out with a book in which she talks about her troubled childhood. “Solo: A Memoir of Hope” is set for an Aug. 14 release.

According to excerpts from the book that were released this week, Solo said her father had multiple families who lived in homes paid for by money he embezzled from his work. The goalie said she was conceived during a conjugal visit while her father was serving time in a Washington prison.

“It was hard. I came to grips with a lot of difficulties that I’ve overcome,” Solo told NBC. “Each challenge kind of makes you who you are. It wasn’t always a good thing. I have my own struggles in my life because of the things I was forced to overcome. So it was hard, it was a reality check, for sure. But I am really happy I’ve done it.

“I just want people to not judge with their eyes, but judge with their hearts, and I think that’s what this book is all about.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 25, 1966, Ted Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. During his speech Williams lobbied for the induction of which two players?

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Read More: Hope Solo, Mike Westhoff, Penn State, Tim Tebow
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Giants special teamers take shot at Jets coach 01.25.12 at 7:51 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Pacers at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Clippers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Villanova at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Missouri at Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Duke at Maryland, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Red Wings at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kicker Lawrence Tynes (9) and punter/holder Steve Weatherford (5) celebrate after Tynes' overtime kick Sunday sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. (AP)

♦ The rivalry between the Patriots and Giants does not compare to both teams’ dislike for the Jets. On Tuesday, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes took a shot at Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff for comments Westhoff made early in the season about Giants punter Steve Weatherford, a former Jet.

“There were times when he just didn’t do the job. … Wasn’t good enough, in my opinion,” Westhoff said of Weatherford, who averaged 42.6 yards per punt in 2010 for the Jets.

“Unbelievable. That’s the worst statement of the year by any coach in this game,” Tynes said. “How could you say that? You just broke an NFL record for your team and you throw him under the bus. We’re glad to have him. Mike Westhoff is a great coach, but I certainly think he missed on that one.”

Responded Westhoff: “Tynes should mind his own business.”

After switching to the Giants this season, Weatherford averaged a career-best 45.7 yards per punt.

“I think a lot of it has to do with playing for Tom Quinn and being comfortable and being confident and being strong,” Weatherford said. “I think playing for the Jets and playing for that positional coach was draining. I thought it was difficult. It was physically taxing.”

Weatherford said he did not speak to Westhoff when the teams meet in Week 16 and has not spoken to his former coach all year.

“To be honest with you, personally I don’t have anything to say to him,” Weatherford said. “I think I’ve kind of let my play speak for itself. That’s what I was planning on doing. It’s just motivation. It’s kind of like the situation — somebody’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’m trying my best to be Tom Coughlin’s treasure.”

♦ New Astros owner Jim Crane announced Monday that he is considering changing the name of the team as it prepares for a move to the American League in 2013. In the Houston Chronicle, Jerome Solomon writes that Crane should worry about changing the team from a loser to a winner and leave the name alone.

Jeff Fedotin at The PostGame has the story of Mamadou Ndiaye, a 7-foot-5, 310-pound basketball player from Senegal who plays at a a Christian high school in Southern California. “We’ve played with big kids before, but this is … different,” and opposing coach said. “It looks like a dad playing with a bunch of little kids.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 25, 1956, which former Red Sox infielder and manager was elected to the Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Jim Crane, lawrence tynes, Mike Westhoff, Steve Weatherford
Jets appealing $100,000 fine for sideline tripping incident 01.05.11 at 5:47 pm ET
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The Jets are appealing the $100,000 fine handed down by the league for violating rules when strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi ordered some players to form a line on the sideline, then tripped Dolphins rookie Nolan Carroll during a punt return, The Associated Press reports.

Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff said on Wednesday that he does not want to discuss the issue, because it has yet to be resolved by the league. It was the first time Westhoff met with the media since the incident, and although would not give much detail on the matter, did confirm that the Jets are appealing the fine.

Team officials said that appealing the fine is a “typical course of action.” Westhoff said after the incident occurred that other teams employ similar tactics on the sidelines during games.

Read More: Mike Westhoff, New York Jets, Rumor Mill, Sal Alosi