Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Chicken Little attitude is foolish this time of year 05.21.19

Was there a power struggle leading to the bloodless coup that toppled Mike Maccagnan?

Adam Gase, the man accused of executing the coup d’etat, claims there wasn’t.

“I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle,” Gase said on Monday. “Because whoever is getting hired [as the new GM] is going to have the same role — control of the roster. I will coach the football team. That’s what I’m going to do. Nothing is changing in that structure. In this business, s— like that happens all the time. It happened to me last year [in Miami].”

Word games. Semantics.

Yes, the new GM will have final say, but that doesn’t mean Gase didn’t win a power struggle forcing Maccagnan out.

Apples and oranges.

Gase battled with Maccagnan in front of the owner, the owner saw a untenable relationship between the GM and coach which made him comfortable, and this led to the owner giving the GM the boot. So yes, Gase won a power struggle.

But with all that being said, the Jets are 0-0 right now. They could end up landing a pair of prime candidates for their GM and VP-Player Personnel roles, and things could turn out fine.

Nobody knows how this is going to turn out.

Was there a power struggle? Yes.

Will this turn out bad?

Who knows, so chill out with the Chicken Little crap.

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Can you wear a “dunce hat” when you are 0-0? 05.20.19

Mike Westhoff is a very wise man, but here is the issue with what he said.

Westhoff was asked by NJ.com about what’s going on with the Jets. Recently, new coach Adam Gase pulled off a successful coup d’état leading to the ouster of Jets GM Mike Macccagnan. Gase is now the interim GM until the Jets find a replacement for Maccagnan.

Westhoff told NJ.com the Jets are now wearing the “dunce hat” in New York.

“It’s almost like the Giants were wearing the dunce hat in the city, and all of a sudden, the Jets came along and took it,” Westhoff said.

A fair question would be – “What is an off-season dunce hat?”

The Giants got destroyed by some fans and reporters for moves like trading WR Odell Beckham to Cleveland and drafting QB Daniel Jones sixth overall this off-season.

Do any of us know how those moves are going to turn out? So why where they supposedly wearing a “dunce hat” before the Jets this off-season.

Even though Gase’s coup against a man who helped get him the job is a terrible optic, nobody knows what kind of job he will do as Jets coach.

And Westhoff kind of admitted to NJ.com that he doesn’t know what kind of job Gase will do.

“I’m not knocked out on the guy,” Westhoff said. “What do you want me to say? I don’t know everything there is to know about him, but what I do know, I’m not knocked out. Maybe he’ll be fine. Maybe he is a heck of a coach.”

So with that being said, how can the Jets become the off-season dunces before they’ve played one game in 2019?

This isn’t a defense of Gase’s nefarious coup d’état, but just dealing with the reality that none of us can see the future.

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Does anybody know how Jets will fare after coup? 05.17.19

The New York Daily News back page stated “The Jets are the biggest joke in town again.”

This after the Thursday firing of GM Mike Maccagnan after he just ran free agency, the draft and helped pick the new coach.

WFAN’s Evan Roberts called Christopher and Woody Johnson “fools” after the news came out.

But the thing is none of us know how Adam Gase’s successful coup d’etat will turn out.

Don Mattlingly once said, “Nobody can see into the future. Nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

So it’s probably too early to call the Jets “the biggest joke in town” or “fools” before we see who they hire, and how they do once the real games start.

Now some might want to blast Gase for his bloodless coup, but that is an entirely different matter than how this is going to turn out.

So to label the Jets “a mess,” which is all over the internet following Adam Schefter’s announcement that Maccagnan was dismissed, might be premature.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Jets Confidential – blunt, but fair.


Chris Johnson Explains His Decision to Fire Mike 05.15.19

Jets owner Christopher Johnson was at One Jets Drive more the last few months than in the past.

And he didn’t like what he saw observing the GM, so he fired GM Mike Maccagnan today.

“I watched this process,” Johnson said about the last few months at One Jets Drive. “I understood more fully Mike’s role in this building and what I’m hoping for in a future GM. It was a decision that evolved. It took a while. Maybe I was slow with that decision. I finally came to it in the last few days.”

He added, “The more I saw, the more I saw I wanted to move on.”

He wants a different kind of GM.

“I want to find a better fit for this building,” Johnson said. “Not talking about Mike. I want a great strategic thinker. Somebody who can collaborate well with the building.”

Johnson feels there is more to the GM job than being a great “talent evaluator.”

“There is more to the job of a GM than adding great players,” Johnson said. “[Jets fans] should be excited about Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder, Quinnen Williams and all the rest. This is more than Mike, more than Adam, it’s about this team moving forward.”

Johnson dismissed the nation that Gase won a power struggle over Maccagnan.

“This wasn’t one person or another winning a power struggle,” Johnson said. “This is completely my decision.”

And the new GM will have final say on the draft, which has always been the case since the Johnson family bought the team in 2000.

“There is going to be no change in the structure going forward,” Johnson said.


How will Gase/Bell deal with Ian’s announcement? 05.15.19

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced that Mike Maccagnan and Adam Gase fought over the value of two Jets free agent additions.

Rapoport announced today that Gase thought the Jets overpaid for running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley in free agency.

“Adam Gase likes Le’Veon Bell, just did not love spending that much money for a player at that position,” Rapoport said of the Jets signing Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal. “It’s really just the running back position itself. So he likes the player just didn’t love the price tag.

“I was told Gase didn’t want to pay more than about $13 million (for Mosley). So the disagreements on the price were something that were clearly issues.”

Considering Gase must coach these two key free agent additions moving forward, how are these two players going to feel about their coach thinking they’re overpaid?

If somebody from Gase’s camp leaked this, perhaps they should have thought twice about.

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Strange timing indeed . . . 05.15.19

It’s very common to make moves with people in the scouting department following the draft.

Often teams let scouts stay until the draft and then fire them.

But for a GM to help pick the new coach, run the draft, spend $120 million (in guarantees) of the owner’s money on free agents, and then get fired shortly after the draft, is very unusual.

Adam Gase won.

And a hat-tip to Mike Lombardi, Tony Pauline and Jason La Canfora for being ahead of the curve on this story.


If you don’t think they’ll argue, you’re delusional 04.27.19

Board room arguments over personnel decisions have been going in on pro football since the league started in 1920.

It’s the nature of the beast.

General managers and coaches often don’t see eye-to-eye on certain players.

There’s reportedly already been some strife between Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Adam Gase behind the scenes.

There will be more.

And wait until they have to cut down from 90 to 53 in the summer. That could get real ugly.

Gase reportedly ripped into Dolphins owner Stephen Ross at the end of his coaching tenure in Miami.

He clearly has a temper. Hey, so do I. A lot of us do.

But if Gase is willing to get in the face of Ross, you don’t think he’s going to go after Maccagnan at times over player decisions? Remember, Mr. Coffee has final say on the draft and 53-man roster based on the Jets’ corporate structure. If you don’t think this will bother Gase at times, you’re kidding yourself.

So maybe they have had fights.

And you know what, get used to it.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about Gang Green you will not read anywhere else.


Three Jet players who can mentor Jachai Polite 04.26.19

The Jets picked Florida outside linebacker Jachai Polite with their first pick of the third round.

He’s a gifted 21-year-old edge-rusher, who had 11 sacks last year, but reportedly didn’t interview well at the combine, and perhaps needs to mature.

The Jets have three players who can be like big brothers to Polite upon his arrival in Florham Park.

They have two former Florida teammates on their defense in safety Marcus Maye and nickel back Brian Poole. These two guys already know Polite, and will a big help to their former Gator teammate in his acclimation to the Jets and the NFL.

Also, Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams is from the same hometown (Daytona Beach) and high school (Mainland) as Polite, which will create a strong bond. Williams will be a good mentor for his fellow Mainland Buccaneer.

These three guys should help Polite a great deal in his maturation process.

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Something I noticed in the first open practice 04.23.19

Florham Park – This one thing was obvious watching the Jets’ first open spring practice to the media.

There was a tremendous amount of chatter on the field between defensive players.

In other words, guys trying to communicate on a high level, get on the same page.

Considering all the blown assignment the Jets had on defense in recent years, this level of communication is of the utmost importance moving forward.

It was very loud out there today.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must-read for Jets fans.


Jets lose an assistant coach to college 04.22.19

A Todd Bowles assistant coach, who was retained by Adam Gase, has left the Jets’ coaching staff to join the West Virginia Mountaineers.

New West Virginia football coach Neal Brown has hired Jets defensive assistant Robby Brown as the special assistant to the head coach for football and senior analyst (offense). Brown was with the Jets since 2015.

“Robby brings outstanding organizational skills and great attention to detail,” Brown said. “I have known him for many years and have watched him develop into an excellent administrator and coach. He also brings offensive experience to our coaching staff, including several years in the NFL. He will be a good addition to our staff.”

While with the Jets, Brown assisted the offensive and defensive coordinator in all aspects of day-to-day operations and also assisted the wide receiver and outside linebacker coaches. He was responsible for all instant replay and time management decisions, assisted the head coach in all point after and fourth-down decisions and was the coaching staff liaison to the analytics department.

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Jets Schedule With Times and TV Networks 04.17.19

Game 1 — vs. Buffalo Bills, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 2 — vs. Cleveland Browns, MetLife Stadium, Monday, Sept. 16, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Game 3 — at New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m., CBS

Week 4 — Bye week, Sunday, Sept. 29

Game 4 — at Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 5 — vs. Dallas Cowboys, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 13, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Game 6 — vs. New England Patriots, MetLife Stadium, Monday, Oct. 21, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Game 7 — at Jacksonville Jaguars, TIAA Bank Field, Sunday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 8 — at Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 9 — vs. New York Giants, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 10, 1 p.m., FOX

Game 10 — at Washington Redskins, FedEx Field, Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 11 — vs. Oakland Raiders, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 12 — at Cincinnati Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 1, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 13 — vs. Miami Dolphins, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 14 — at Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 12, 8:20 p.m., FOX/NFLN/Amazon

Game 15 — vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 22, 1 p.m., CBS

Game 16 — at Buffalo Bills, New Era Field, Sunday, Dec. 29, 1 p.m., CBS

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must-read for Jets fans.


What Gregg Williams told Steve McLendon 04.17.19

After veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon re-signed with the Jets on March 14, he got a call from the team’s new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

“He told me ‘congratulations’ and that he’s ready to get to work,” McLendon said recently on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He said he understands how I feel about a championship.”

McLendon didn’t come back just to play another season, he wants to win a championship.

“I play this game to try and win a championship,” McLendon said. “You don’t want to be 50-50, win this week, lose [the next] week. That is not how I am.”

McLendon said Williams totally agrees with him and told the nose tackle, “I’m with you on that.”

And according to McLendon, Williams said to him, “I’m coming in here with one single focus to help this team bring a Lombardi (Trophy) here.”

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Okay, we get it! 04.16.19

Maybe it’s time for AB to turn the page.

How many times does the story need to be rehashed?

On March 11, 2019, it was announced by NFL media insiders that linebacker Barr agreed to a multi-year deal with the Jets. But he changed his mind, and re-signed with the Vikings on March 13, 2019

On March 15, Barr told NFL Network on why he backed out of the Jets deal, “It was mostly when I hung up the phone after saying, ‘Yeah, I can do New York. My stomach dropped, I kind of get some cold sweats. It was like you’re about to go down the altar and marry the wrong woman. I think I’m making a bad choice. I did what I felt was right for myself.”

And now this week Barr told ESPN in an extensive feature on his decision to back out of the Jets’ deal, “I was trying to convince myself of something I knew that in my heart didn’t feel right, and I think if you follow the heart, I can live with the results.”

Okay, we get it, you backed out of your agreement with the Jets to follow your heart. Point made.

But perhaps it’s time for Barr and his camp to focus 100 percent on the Vikings and move past this saga already.

Or maybe make a TV movie about it.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out – it’s our draft preview issue. It’s available at convenience stores and by subscription. You can subscribe to this must-read magazine for Jets fans by clicking below, or calling 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


Bilal situation needs to be handled with care 04.15.19

There’s been speculation that Bilal Powell is likely done with the Jets after the signing of running back Ty Montgomery.

Along with Montgomery, the Jets have Eli McGuire, Trenton Cannon and De’Angelo Henderson behind starter Le’Veon Bell.

So they might be set at the position. I have no idea if Powell is done with the team, but if he is, his exit needs to be handled with aplomb.

This is a player who toiled for Gang Green for eight years with class and professionalism. He hardly said a word, just went out and did his job, and usually did it very well.

So if it’s indeed the end of Powell’s time with the Jets, the team needs to be careful, and not allow him to be a player who leaves on bad terms, like D’Bricksashaw Ferguson, David Harris and Jerricho Cotchery.

Powell deserves the royal treatment on his way out. Maybe even offer him a job in the organization.

All parties involved need to make sure this ends the right way.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential is out; it’s on news stands and at convenience stores. It’s our draft preview issue, loaded with previews of all the top prospects, and an extensive breakdown of the Jets’ need at every position. Also tons of Jets Whispers. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must read for Jets fans.


What to make of Rap’s Lee announcement 04.08.19

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced on Monday that the Jets are shopping linebacker Darron Lee.

“One player whose name has been mentioned in trade talks is Jets former first-round pick LB Darron Lee, thanks to the big-money addition of CJ Mosley,” Rapoport said via Twitter. “Lee will be there for the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program, as his status remains unchanged, I’m told.”

Rapoport’s announcement makes sense since Lee isn’t an ideal fit for the inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense because he’s not great at shedding blocks, a big part of the job. He’s a much better fit in a 4-3 defense as a run-and-hit weakside linebacker.

But it might be a little surprising the Jets are reportedly shopping Lee, since Adam Gase raved about the linebacker at the combine, blaming the media for the negativity surrounding the linebacker’s play.

“He was always getting beat up by you guys (media) a lot of the times,” Gase said. “And he would play a great game against us (the Dolphins). We would have problems blocking him. We have would have problems making sure he was accounted for. He would do a good job in coverage.”

But now he’s on the trade block according to Rapoport’s announcement.

A fresh start in a 4-3 defense might be a good thing for Lee, who might be miscast in a 3-4 defense.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out and available at convenience stores and by subscription. It’s our of extensive draft preview issue with tons of prospect bios and Jets-related previews of every position; also lots of Jets Whispers. To subscribe, click below, or call the number below.


Approved 2019 Playing Rule Change 03.26.19

Approved 2019 Playing Rules Summary

1. By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the kickoff rule changes that were implemented during the 2018 season.

2. By Competition Committee; Expands protection to a defenseless player.

3. By Competition Committee; Changes the enforcement of double fouls when there is a change of possession.

4. By Competition Committee; Simplifies the application of scrimmage kick rules for missed field goals.

5. By Competition Committee; Allows teams to elect to enforce on the succeeding try or on the succeeding free kick an opponent’s personal or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a touchdown.


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