New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford has never made it a secret about his personal disdain for playing under New York Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff when he was a member of the team back in 2009-2010. And despite his efforts to maintain a positive public relationship, Westhoff has taken a few potshots at the punter that have resulted in retaliatory fire.
On Wednesday, Weatherford expressed a bit that disdain for his former position coach when he talked with Dave Hutchinson of the Newark-Star Ledger as part of a Giants summer questionnaire.
"I enjoyed playing for Rex Ryan but the special teams coach (Mike Westhoff) was very difficult to get along with both on and off the field. Here, the Giants have treated me great since the moment I walked in here. I show up early and leave late and give everything I have. I think the Giants have an appreciation for that. I absolutely love being here. I'd play for free," Weatherford said.
Before the 2011 season, the Giants brought Weatherford into training camp to compete with second-year punter Matt Dodge, with most fans thinking Weatherford would push Dodge to play better and become a better punter, but Weatherford ended up winning the punting job — a decision that the Giants have no regretted ever since. After the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI, the team used the franchise tag on Weatherford, but then signed him to a five-year deal.
Back in February, while doing an interview on WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, Weatherford talked about how he and Westhoff did not get along during his two year stint with the other New York team.
"I didn’t get along with Mike,” Weatherford told Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton of WFAN, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “Mike was a really difficult person to play for. He’s a guy that kind of harped on the negative a little bit, and life’s short, man. I’m trying to have fun. And nobody works harder than me, so you can’t say anything like that. It was just difficult. … I don’t know exactly why we didn’t get along, but it was a mutual parting of the ways."
Weatherford did mention that he liked playing for the Jets and head coach Rex Ryan, but not for Westhoff, who was the Jets special teams coordinator for 11 years (2001-2012) before retiring after this past season.
Prior to the Giants playing and winning Super Bowl XLVI, Weatherford noted that the reason why the 2011 season was one of his best in his career was due to current Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn, who has made the 30-year-old feel very comfortable in his system.
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