Dan Leberfeld's Blog

With Lucky hurt, this guy is in the spotlight #gators 08.15.17

With Lucky Whitehead out with a broken foot, this player is a leading candidate for the Jets kick/punt return jobs.

His name is Frankie Hammond.

Who is Frankie Hammond?

Well people in Hallandale, Florida certainly know who he is.

He was a star at Hallandale High School. University of Florida fans might remember him for his 75-yard TD pass against Tennessee in 2012. But his career for the Gators was kind of nondescript. The quarterback situation during his time there didn’t help. Not only did it hurt the receivers there, but it ended up getting coach Will Muschamp fired.

He signed as an undrafted free agent with Kansas City in 2013, and spent the next four seasons bouncing between their practice squad and regular roster. The fact that Andy Reid kept him around that long, tells you something about him. The emergence of Tyreek Hill last year forced Hammond to spend last season on the Chiefs’ practice squad. Hill was the best returner in football last year. They certainly didn’t need Hammond.

After last season, when Hammond’s time on the Chiefs’ practice squad ended, the Jets jumped on him, and signed him to a future’s contract.

And now he’s one of the leading candidates to be the Jets kick/punt returner. He had 29 punt returns for the Chiefs in 2014-15.

He’s got 4.4 speed, and keep in mind, he was also a high jumper on the University of Florida track team, which is a sign of athletic explosiveness. And he got some great training the last four years from Chiefs special team’s coach Dave Toub, considered by many to be the best in the business.

2017 is certainly a year of opportunity in Jetsville. Hammond needs to take advantage of that, grab this kick/punt returner job, and run with it.

*****To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5) to subscribe. The new issue of JC, with tons of inside info from Jets camp, comes out later this week, You won’t want to miss it.

CBS NFL Broadcast Teams for 2017 08.15.17



Beth Mowins to Become First Woman to Ever Call NFL Play-by-Play for CBS; James Lofton and Jay Feely Added as Game Analysts

With the deepest NFL announcer lineup in sports television, THE NFL ON CBS debuts five new broadcast crews this season led by the CBS Television Network’s new lead announce team of Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson. CBS Sports is set to once again produce and distribute more NFL games than any other network this season with NFL ON CBS Sunday afternoon games and THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. Nantz, Romo and Wolfson also will call THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL games on CBS and NFL Network, in addition to the marquee games on Sunday. Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports, and Executive Producer, THE NFL ON CBS, announced today the complete list of THE NFL ON CBS broadcast pairings.

CBS Sports has added play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins to the 2017 NFL lineup. Mowins will become the first woman to ever call play-by-play for the Network’s NFL games when she teams with new game analyst Jay Feely to call Cleveland-Indianapolis on Sept. 24. Pro Football Hall of Famer James Lofton also joins as new game analyst alongside Andrew Catalon. Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn continue to serve as CBS Sports’ No. 2 team and call the Network’s top game on Sundays when Nantz, Romo and Wolfson do not call a game.

The following are the Network’s NFL announcer pairings for the 2017 season (play-by-play/analyst//reporter):

Jim Nantz/Tony Romo//Tracy Wolfson
Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts//Evan Washburn
Greg Gumbel/Trent Green//Jamie Erdahl
Kevin Harlan/Rich Gannon
Andrew Catalon/James Lofton
Spero Dedes/ Adam Archuleta
Tom McCarthy /Steve Tasker/Steve Beuerlein
Beth Mowins/Jay Feely

In addition to Wolfson and Washburn, game coverage includes sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl with Gumbel-Green, as well as regional sideline reporters for selected games throughout the season.

This season marks THE NFL TODAY’s 50th year. Phil Simms and Nate Burleson join the show as new analysts alongside host James Brown and analysts Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Jason La Canfora continues to serve as the “NFL Insider.”

Jim Rikhoff is the new lead game producer for THE NFL ON CBS, and Michael Arnold is the lead game director. Drew Kaliski is producer for THE NFL TODAY, while Bob Matina directs.

*Press Release

Steven. A. Smith blasts Jets for not signing Kaepernick 08.09.17

ESPN’s Steven A. Smith feels that the Jets are the most egregious example of the blacklisting.

Smith told SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter that free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being blacklisted by NFL teams, and the Jets are the most egregious example.

“Where the most egregious example lies, Karen, is with the New York Jets,” Smith told Hunter. “You have a team that has a 38-year-old in Josh McCown who is a journeyman, a second or third year player who is a Christian Hackenberg, who’s a puppy in the NFL, and some dude named Bryce Petty. None of whom have really played other than Josh McCown who is a journeyman, like I said. Colin Kaepernick, you can make an argument, he’s better than all three of them combined. But, they haven’t called Colin Kaepernick. They’re not considering him and remember who their owner is, it’s Woody Johnson, who’s an ambassador to the UK for the Trump administration. So, that’s the most egregious example.”

“The Karen Hunter Show” can be heard on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.

Todd Bowles gets ticked at all the Richardson-Marshall questions 08.08.17

Q)What did you think of Sheldon Richardson’s comments about Brandon Marshall?

Todd Bowles: My thoughts on it are they know how I feel. We’ve addressed it. I really don’t have time for a bunch of BS that happened a year ago. We had sixth months to talk about it. All that (stuff) is over. He’s been well informed of that, and we’ve moved on from that.

Q)Have you talked to Richardson since yesterday?

Bowles: We’ve moved on from there. Believe me. We’ve had team discussions, individual discussions and we’ve moved on.

Q)Do you mean Richardson has been informed?

Bowles: Everybody’s been informed. He’s been informed. Everyone’s been informed.

Q)Has everyone been informed since yesterday?

Bowles: That’s when it happened. I don’t have time for the BS. We’ve moved forward. It’s not my discussion to have.

The Jets could be really bad, or they could 08.08.17

be very average or they could go 0-16 or they could surprise people and be competitive.

I have no idea.

Others pretend to know what is going to happen to the Jets this season.

I have no clue.

Perhaps they go 1-15.

I have no idea.

I’m not a tarot card reader. I have no ability to predict the future. None.

And I think it’s the height of arrogance to talk with certainty about how bad something is going to be before it happens.

Quincy wasn’t the Jets #1 target, it’s this guy 08.07.17

Florham Park – It was announced today by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo that Jets WR Quincy Enunwa is out for the season with a neck injury.

While the Jets lost a good receiver, they didn’t really lose their #1 receiving target as many have stated.

The #1 target in the Jets’ passing game, in the spring and summer, has been tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He has been dominant in practice.

In fact, today’s Jets practice ended with Seferian-Jenkins making a sensational touchdown catch in the end zone with linebacker Demario Davis in tight coverage.

A tight end can be the #1 target in a passing game.

That was certainly the case with the San Diego Chargers when Antonio Gates was in his prime. Also, when Jimmy Graham was in New Orleans, this was the case for a couple of seasons.

As for the Jets’ wide receiver position, a number of guys have looked very good this summer, but I will get into that at another time. Don’t always get caught up in big names. This isn’t fantasy football.

But overall, the Jets’ passing attack is going to center around Seferian-Jenkins (who will miss the first two games due to an NFL suspension).

*****To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, a must-read for Jets fans, with so much stuff you won’t ready anywhere else, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5) to subscribe.

When it comes to secondary decisions, forget politics, listen to this man 08.04.17

The Jets hired a new position coach to lord over a unit that struggled last year.

The Jets’ secondary didn’t have a good season last year, and not only did they get rid of several players, but they hired a new defensive back’s coach – Dennard Wilson.

Wilson comes very highly-regarded, and is coaching the heck out of the Jets’ defensive backs this summer. He’s giving it everything he’s got.

But to me, Wilson’s input shouldn’t end on the coaching field, but should extend to the player personnel meetings.

Some of the Jets’ decisions in regard to the secondary the previous two years weren’t ideal. They could use a new set up eyes to help them evaluate the secondary.

Forget how much guys make, or where they were drafted – eschew political personnel decisions.

The Jets should lean heavily on Wilson as to who they keep and who they play.

Listen to the new kid in town – he’s really smart.

1 part of this player that looks better than advertised 08.03.17

When he came out of college, there were a lot of questions marks about this player’s ability in this area.

Tight end Jordan Leggett’s receiving skills weren’t in question during the draft process, but some scouts wondered about his blocking.

But watching him today in practice, I really saw him getting after defenders as an in-line blocker.

Aside from good technique, you also have to have the desire to do it, to really get after defenders.

Leggett was really getting after defenders today.

In a matter of a few minutes, I saw him lock up OLB Corey Lemonier and then OLB Freddie Bishop.

If he continues to block this way, he could turn out to be a fifth-round steal for the Jets.

Because he’s already very good at the receiving part of the job.

*****To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff you won’t read anywhere else delivered to your mailbox.

The kid has laser-beam focus . . . 08.01.17

Aside from having rare arm talent, something impressive about Hackenberg is he doesn’t pay attention to the white noise, the chatter outside One Jets Drive.

He’s just focusing on the job at hand – moving up the growth curve as an NFL QB. He really doesn’t give a rat’s behind what people are writing or saying about.

Perhaps his experience at Penn State helped thicken his skin.

Look, I’m not making any predictions on how he will turn out. I have no idea.

I’m just saying he does a good job of having a laser beam focus on what’s important, and not worrying about things like Twitter, talk radio and message boards.

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

Jamal Adams on Death-gate 08.01.17

Q)What do you think of the reaction to your comment about dying on the field?

Jamal Adams: Honestly, I really did not see it getting that far. Again, I was speaking about being passionate about the game that I love. I understand that some families were affected by (CTE), and I definitely did not mean it any type of way.

Q)What made you feel as if you should further address it?

Adams: When you see something that’s blowing up, that’s on First Take and ESPN, I think it should be addressed. My words were simply that I’m very passionate about what I do. I said at the beginning while you guys were there that I’m all about making the game safer. I understand the CTE symptoms and what not and what families are affected, but it’s simply about passion.

Q)Did Coach Bowles said anything to you about it?

Adams: Yes, he did.

Q)What did Coach Bowles say?

Adams: Basically, he just said that you have to clear it up. He understood what I said, and it’s all about passion, but I can see where it affected some families and some people. But again, it’s all about passion and love for the game.

Q)How would you describe your love for the game of football?

Adams: (It is) indescribable. I love this game so much. I come on this field, this is my job now. I’m very passionate. I go to war with my brothers every day. It’s sacrifice, it’s a long sacrifice. A lot of people don’t understand what we go through – ins and outs – so when we’re on this field, this is my playground. This is where I’m most at peace and this is what I love to do.

Q)Would you make the same comments if you had a chance to do it all over again?

Adams: My comments were simply for passion – nothing else – not one time did I say anything about CTE, say anything negative (about it). I respect it. I understand what is the outcome of it, and I know there are families that are affected, but, at the same time, everything is about passion (with) what I said.

Q)Were you referring to CTE when you made the comments yesterday?

Adams: I was not.

Q)What were you talking about?

Adams: Passion.

It was unfair to Darron Lee to do this to him 08.01.17

New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee made a starting revelation on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday.

Lee was asked about how his rookie season went in 2016.

“I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with the playbook in 2016,” Lee told hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. “I couldn’t tell you half the terminology. Now I’m much more comfortable.”

If that was the case, why did he start nine games?

Why rush him out there before he was comfortable with the playbook?

Honestly, it’s hard to blame Lee for his struggles last year.

He was clearly put out there before he was ready.

Why not just play him in sub-packages, on passing down, until he was truly ready to start.

I don’t get it.

*****To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below.

This cat gives Jets something they desperately need 07.31.17

Florham Park – He looked good in the spring, and in training camp thus far, and he’s the kind of guy the Jets lacked in recent years.

I’m talking about cornerback Morris Claiborne, who has a #1 cornerback skill set when healthy.

If Claiborne can finally stay healthy, the former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick can help the Jets a great deal.

Claiborne has really long arms for a cornerback, which is always helpful for jamming receivers at the line and on jump balls. He has elite speed to run with receivers down field, and smooth hips to effortlessly cut with wide-outs. With his quick feet and loose hips, he can shadow top receivers in man coverage. He will also be good for the Jets’ football culture with his upbeat locker room presence. He’s a terrific person.

The Jets are rolling the dice on Claiborne with his injury history (he missed 33 games in Dallas), but if he finally beats the injury bug, he will help the Jets a great deal.

*****To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).

Looks like Jets are going with these two youngsters from get-go 07.30.17

The Jets aren’t wasting any time with these two cats. It looks like they are both starting from jump-street.

The Jets have already anointed rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye as starters.

Why so quickly?

“They can play,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said on Sunday. “It’s rare that these type of things happen, but those two guys showed so much in the spring in what we brought them along with, they can only get better. Their maturity level, as far as learning the plays, exceeded what we wanted for our expectations as a rookie, so we think those guys are ready to play.

Are these two guys farther along then average rookie safeties?

“From the average that I’ve been around, they’re a lot farther along,” Bowles said.

We will find out for sure if they are ready once the real games start in September.

New assistant is very impressive 07.29.17

Todd Bowles made myriad changes to his coaching staff this off-season.

And while all of them might be very good -we shall see, one guy who has really caught my eye is the new secondary coach – Dennard Wilson.

He’s a terrific teacher and does a really nice job of teaching technique.

After almost every play he gives a tutorial to one of his players about what he did right or wrong. Wilson is a master communicator.

Bowles said Wilson, the former Rams secondary coach, might end up being an NFL head coach one day.

I don’t doubt it.

*****To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below.

SiriusXM’s Gil Brandt doubts Whitehead’s dog story 07.29.17

Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead recently claimed his dog was kidnapped.

Whitehead said his pit bull “Blitz” was kidnapped from his Texas home a couple of weeks ago, and the kidnappers asked for $20,000 in ransom.

Gil Brandt of SiriusXM NFL Radio claims the story isn’t true.

“The dognapping was fictitious,” Brandt said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Saturday.

So this might explain why the Cowboys released Whitehead.

*****To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine click below.

Jets players look to block out the noise 07.28.17

You can’t play the sport of football in a half-baked fashion. You will likely either get hurt or cut.

So while many think the Jets are tanking this season, the Jets’ player think that speculation is nonsense. They intend on playing hard and trying to win every game they can.

Upon the opening of Jets camp today, several Jets player were asked about the media/fan perception they’re tanking this season, and all of them found that narrative foolish.

“You’ve really got to block out the noise,” said Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis.

And that is what the negativity is now, “noise.”

Nobody knows what kind of season the Jets will have, even the Nostradamus-types who make off-season predictions.

They could go 0-16 as one tabloid writer predicted, or they could surprise and challenge for a wildcard spot.

Nobody knows. Nobody!

We will find out soon enough.

So the best approach for the players is the one running back Matt Forte is taking.

“It’s real easy – I don’t listen to [the doomsayers],” Forte said.

*****To subscribe to the amazing Jets Confidential Magazine, that comes out monthly, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about the Jets you won’t read anywhere else delivered to your mailbox.

Next Page »