Figure It Out

My Thirty-Two-Year Journey While Revolutionizing Pro Football's Special Teams

“We called Mike Westhoff the mad scientist. He changed the game.”

— Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner

Simply put, Mike Westhoff is the greatest special teams coach in National Football League history.

Sharp-witted, creative, and intensely focused, Westhoff spent thirty-two years working alongside and learning from some of the legends of the sport—including Don Shula, Dan Marino, Bear Bryant, and Woody Hayes—while revolutionizing the most misunderstood phase of the game.

Over the course of 657 games, primarily with the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins, Westhoff was a relentless innovator—constantly figuring out new ways to help the individual skills of hundreds of players surface and develop.

Interviews with dozens of his contemporaries and former players such as Sean Payton, Taysom Hill, and Zach Thomas provide a rare glimpse of NFL life beyond the field—inside the offices, meeting rooms, and locker rooms with one of the game’s most unforgettable personalities.

But his story isn’t just about football. Westhoff also shares intimate details of his multiple battles with cancer and the life lessons learned through the fights.

In Figure It Out, Westhoff presents his one-of-a-kind experiences and unfiltered views in his trademark style—a refreshing blend of honest (sometimes brutally so), funny, and poignant. His deep insights into the workings of special teams—illustrated by 27 detailed original diagrams—and timely commentary on the current state of pro football reveal a critical side of the sport that very few truly understand.

ISBN: 978-1-63755-267-4
Imprint: Mascot Books
SKU: 18-967-01
Categories:Mascot Books, Memoirs and Biographies, Sports, Sports and Recreation, Coaching

“We called Mike Westhoff the mad scientist. He changed the game.”— Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner

“In my opinion, Mike will always go down as the best special teams coach in the history of the NFL. Hall of Fame-type special teams coach. The same type of influence my dad [Buddy Ryan] had in the NFL on defense, and that Bill Walsh had on offense, Mike Westhoff had on special teams.”—Rex Ryan, Former NFL coach

“I think the world of Mike. He’s a dynamic special teams coach and a difference maker on any staff he’s been on. All of his statistical numbers and the teams that he has coached give evidence to that. He’s an extremely talented teacher.”—Sean Payton, Former New Orleans Saints coach

Figure It Out is a vital addition to football libraries everywhere. Mike’s stories from a life in football are spot-on. You’ll learn a ton about the game and about so many of the major players in it.”—Peter King, NBC Sports football analyst

Figure It Out is a hilarious, profane, blunt look at a remarkable NFL career and memorable characters by a master special teams coach and one of the game’s best storytellers.”—Judy Battista, reporter and columnist, NFL Network and

“Mike Westhoff is a pioneer among NFL assistant coaches. The story of his journey in Figure It Out is well worth your time.”—Bob Glauber, NFL columnist, Newsday