How Mike Westhoff Turned Taysom Hill into the Saints' Do-Everything Guy

Tim Rohan - Sports Illustrated- Bleacher Report

METAIRIE, La. — In November 2017, the Saints were 7-2 and riding a seven-game winning streak when Sean Payton decided his team needed a shakeup. The Saints had Super Bowl aspirations, and, despite their record, Payton wasn’t satisfied with how his special teams units were performing, so he called up the retired special teams coach Mike Westhoff. Payton convinced Westhoff to come join the Saints staff midseason—and chase a ring.

That week, Payton introduced Westhoff to the players during a team meeting. Payton read off some of Westhoff’s lofty credentials: Miami Dolphins special teams coach, 1986-2000. New York Jets special teams coach, 2001-2012. “He’s one of the OGs in terms of special teams, man,” says Alex Okafor, one of the Saints’ special teams regulars.

Then Westhoff got up and addressed the room. Westhoff had a presence about him, even at 69 years old. He walks with a cane, the result of numerous surgeries and a decades-long recovery from having cancer in his left leg in the ’80s. He doesn’t have much patience for massaging egos or missed assignments. Hey, look, I’m the boss now, Westhoff told the Saints that day. If you can’t do it the way I ask you to do it, we’ll find somebody who will. ...

Full Story - SI.com
 
Andrus Whitewing

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