Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jets' new special teams coach a big Westhoff fan


This offseason, Thomas McGaughey became the New York Jets' third special teams coordinator in as many seasons.

Even though he's one person removed from the legendary Mike Westhoff, who spent 13 years with the Jets before retiring after the 2012 season, the former LSU assistant is well aware of how large the shoes that come with the job are to fill.

After all, he almost had to fill them a few years ago when Westhoff was forced to take a break from coaching for health reasons.

"I actually interviewed for this job when Mike had to get surgery (in 2008). That's kind of when we hit it off," McGaughey recently told "Then Mike came down last spring to clinic us at LSU."

McGaughey's most recent NFL experience dates back to the 2010-11 season, when he capped off a four-year term with the New York Giants that included a Super Bowl ring in 2007. Prior to that, he was an assistant with the Denver Broncos, the University of Houston, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe.

Throughout that time, he watched Westhoff maintain one of the most consistent, explosive and productive special teams units of the past decade.

"What Mike Westhoff's done in the league is unprecedented," McGaughey said. "People lie, numbers don't. And you look at the numbers he's had over the years, he's definitely a guy you look up to, a guy you follow and pick his brain."

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