The Blame Game

In Mike Westhoff's mind, there is no doubt about what went wrong on the Jets blocked field goal in overtime: Kicker Doug Brien took too much time. <p>

"The train was pulling out of the station and he was not on it," said Mike Westoff the Jets' special teams coach, of the game winning field goal attempt Sunday in overtime. "That is inexcusable. I don't know what else to do about it, it was not a hurry up situation in my mind. Not at all.

"They spotted the ball fine it was not the officials. Really everybody was out there ready to go except the bus driver (Brien). Doug was a little methodical. He gets into a zone and concentrates on the kick, and I think he overdid it."

The field goal was a 51 yard attempt, and the Giants CB Will Allen blocked it, when he ran by wingman Kevin Mawae, with 4:02 remaining in overtime. Brien, the Jets place kicker, was slow in getting onto the field, and subsequently did not have enough time to get set, and make the kick.

Brien came running out onto the field with roughly 17 seconds remaining on the 40-second play clock, and still wasn't ready to kick. With two second on the clock, the ball was snapped, in utter chaos, and the kick was blocked.

On Monday, Herman Edwards and Westhoff reiterated that there was no indecision on their part in calling for the field goal.

"I had made the decision, it wasn't like I was sitting there waiting," said Edwards on Monday. "I had a conversation with Mike, like I said, the whole key for me was when Santana caught the ball; where he was at… At this point the ball is at the 32. I said Mike, it's at the 32, what do you think? He [Brien] made [field goals from 50 yards] in warm-ups, he can do it."

Westoff knew all along what his plan of action was to be.

"I did not feel we took too much time to make the decision, it was not the case," said Westoff. "To me there was no decision. [Edwards] has to make the decision, but in my mind, kick the ball, we can make it. Also Doug felt he could make it."

The Jets' long snapper James Dearth said that Brien was making kicks as far as 57 yards in the pre-game warm-up session.

Edward's admitted on Monday that he did think about going for the first down on fourth and three from the Giant 32. He had to make a decision as to put the pressure on the quarterback or the kicker.

Next time he might put the ball in Chad Pennington's hands.

"Now, today is a different day. You think about what you would have done and in my mind, I know what I am going to do if I get put in that situation again, I know where I am going to put the burden on, in other words," he said.

Because Edward's decision to kick did not work out he understands the criticism, and questioning, of fans and media.

"You can always second guess yourself," he said. "You always do when you don't achieve what you set out to do. That's human nature, I think, you always second guess yourself. I think at that point [in the game], and all of the information I was gathering, and feeling good about what Mike was saying. [I figured] we can get this thing done. We went with the field goal."


CB Donnie Abraham is still out. FS Jon McGraw is out. LB Mo Lewis is probable, with a hip. KR Michael Bates broke two metacarpals in his wrist and is in a cast. According to Edwards "He can't return kicks, but he can still play." Jonathan Carter will probably assume the role as KR. Wayne Chrebet is questionable with a neck and back. He will have tests taken and the team will go from there.

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