The New Orleans Saints have added another layer of expertise to the coaching staff with the hiring of longtime special teams coach Mike Westhoff, Coach Sean Paytonsaid Thursday morning in a teleconference with local media.
Westhoff coached special teams for the Indianapolis Colts (1982-84), Miami Dolphins (1986-2000) and New York Jets (2001-2012) before retiring.
"A number of teams have reached out in the past to try to get him to come in and work," Payton said. "I felt like we needed help and I felt like he can bring a level of expertise to our groups. Sometimes, what can happen during success is you can lose track of where you're needing to improve.
"I think (special teams coordinator) Brad(Banta) and (assistant special teams coach) Kevin (O'Dea)* *will work well with him. I just think that the opportunity to bring someone with his credentials to our team is one that made so much sense. Fortunately, we were able to recruit him off of his boat down in Florida."
Westhoff will oversee the special teams units for the Saints.
"He's going to work with all four core (groups)," Payton said. "This is a guy that's coached 38 years, 30 years in the NFL. My best memories – and it's not like he hasn't coached too long ago – were with Mike while he was with the Jets.
"I didn't work with him but clearly, in our league, his reputation of being an outstanding teacher as well as someone that has good thoughts, I think is going to benefit our group. I think it'll benefit Brad and Kevin as well, just having a chance to work with a guy like this.
"He'll oversee it (special teams). Ultimately, we come together as a group, with (defensive coordinator) Dennis(Allen) and myself and (offensive coordinator) Pete (Carmichael*), the coaching staff, but he'll oversee that aspect of it. But Brad and Kevin are going to work closely with him and the transition of where we're at now, who the players are, who's been playing in these roles. I just think it's a unique opportunity and it was something that I felt would help us."