Jets sign punter Toby Gowin

One thing is clear about Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff - he doesn't like going with inexperienced punters.

The Jets signed four free agent punters over the last few months - Mark Mariscal, Tim Morgan, Dallas Neil and Brian Simnjanovski. None of them have kicked in an NFL regular season game, but all have strong legs and a lot of potential. They all probably figured the Jets would be a good team to sign with because they were not bringing back punter Dan Stryzinski.

Well, they all basically lost their shot at winning their "dream job." With Wednesday's signing of former Cowboys and Saints punter Toby Gowin, the competition is over before it starts. Mariscal and Neil were released, while Morgan and Simjanovski will basically now have to hope to catch another team's eye in training camp. Unless Gowin flounders terrible in camp, he's a virtual lock to win the job.

In his first year as Jets special teams coach in 2001, Mike Westhoff went with Tom Tupa as his punter. He followed Tupa, with Matt Turk in 2002, and then Dan Stryzinski last year. None of them worked out.

But once again the Jets are going the veteran route, instead of taking a chance on a young punter. But at least Gowin is younger than Tupa, Turk and Stryzinski. The North Texas State product is 29-years-old.

He is coming off his worst average as a pro with 39.0 yards per punt in 2003 with the Cowboys. He did land 25 punts inside the 20 though.


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