Steve Weatherford had the underrated play of the postseason when he deftly handled a low snap from Zak DeOssie on Lawrence Tynes‘ conference-clinching field goal against the 49ers.
Moments later, Fox cameras showed a slow-motion replay of Weatherford sprinting down the field mouthing an expletive in celebration of his first trip to the Super Bowl. I asked Weatherford if he was aware the replay made him a YouTube star.
“Oh yeah, my sister and my younger brother were like, ‘Man, you’re famous!’ ” he said. “And I was like, ‘You know what, if you got to be known for something, at least (it’s) a game-winner.”
Last week, Weatherford credited special-teams coach Tom Quinn for his strong debut season with the Giants and criticized venerable Jets special-teams coach Mike Westhoff for his “draining” coaching methods.
I asked the punter if he was surprised to learn about the locker-room discord that helped bury the Jets this season.
“I don’t really think it had to do with the guys they had in the locker room. I think it was the guys they didn’t have in the locker room that was the problem,” he said. “When you let guys like Brad Smith leave, Tony Richardson, Damien Woody, those are the guys who are the nucleus, the morale of the team, the guys who hold the locker room together. When those guys leave, you’re going to notice it.”
Weatherford also expressed surprise that Jets coach Rex Ryan admitted to “losing the pulse” of the locker room.
“Rex is such a player’s coach, such a guy who takes pride in getting the guys what they need and getting what he needs out of the guys,” he said. “And I love Rex, I loved playing for him, he was fantastic, but I was disappointed to see how their season ended.”
– Dan Hanzus