Mike Westhoff got to see the good, the bad and the ugly of Mark Sanchez's first four years while he was the Jets special teams coordinator.
Westhoff, who retired at the end of the season, said he believes Sanchez still can be a good quarterback, but the Jets need to work on his supporting cast. Westhoff said he feels the team's depleted talent on offense in 2012 is ultimately what led to Sanchez's struggles.
"There were times where we lined up with guys [last season] where I didn't know their names," Westhoff said Wednesday while attending Super Bowl festivities. "Guys were banged up. To me, that's the whole key. Just like he got an inordinate amount of credit, he absorbed an inordinate amount of blame. I don't think that's fair to him. I think he is salvageable, but you're going to have to build things back up. You have to run the ball. He has to be built back up."
Westhoff said when the Jets went to the AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010, the team had the right mix around Sanchez with a good running game, good defense and good special teams.
"I'm not necessarily a believer that he regressed," Westhoff said. "I think the first two years when we went to the AFC Championship Game, we were a very good overall football team. ... Mark was part of that package. That package dissipated just as much as Mark did. I think sometimes he gets the burden thrust on him. I don't think there was any drastic difference in Mark. I just think the whole thing wasn't as good and there was more pressure put on him."
Westhoff said the 2012 season was "the most frustrating and disappointing year I've ever experienced. It was just terrible for me." He made headlines a few weeks ago when he called the Tim Tebow trade "a total mess" on the radio. Westhoff said his intention was not to blast the Jets.
Sanchez not lost cause
New York Post | Jan 31