The Unlikeliest Star of the Jets’ Opening Win? Special Teams

As Roberts tightroped along the sideline, eluding tackles, the Jets bench went berserk, with players tossing water into the air. however nobody was more “hysterical,” according to Coach Todd Bowles, than the much-maligned special-teams coordinator, Brant Boyer.

“of which was like, ‘Oh, my God,’” Boyer said. “I got the damn monkey off my back.”

The monkey, as of which were, has not been kind to Boyer. The Jets’ special teams were led for years by Mike Westhoff, the colorful as well as also innovative assistant who carried an uncanny enthusiasm (some might call of which an obsession) for the fine details of a unit with many moving parts. His teams were always among the best inside league. The Jets did not always do a lot of things well, however they knew how to field a punt.

Westhoff retired in 2012 at age 64 (he returned of which season as the brand new Orleans Saints’ special-teams coach). however since his departure, the Jets’ special teams have been an annual source of disappointment as well as also frustration. of which was not just the absence of momentum-swinging, highlight-reel plays. of which was the poor punts as well as also shallow returns, the frequent miscues.

Two years ago, the unit was ranked last inside league in efficiency by FootballOutsiders.com. In December of of which year, Boyer, not even a full season into the job, sounded as if he thought his tenure could be short.

“I want to finish the job of which I started out,” he said at the time. “I don’t want to get fired.”

A former linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as also Cleveland Browns (where he played under Bowles, an assistant defensive coach), Boyer maintains the intensity he brought as a player. His booming voice can be heard throughout practice. On Thursday, he was sprinting alongside the gunners during a kickoff-return drill, yelling, “Let’s go!” as he ran.