Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Plenty of blame to go around with this Wilkerson mess 12.15.17

Mo Wilkerson was a hometown guy who made good.

He was a late first-round pick who turned into a star in his hometown.

And now he’s being left home for the Jets’ trip to New Orleans, and there is a good chance he’s done with the team after the season.

While he’s had some lateness issues which is unacceptable, I also think a particular newspaper poisoned the well.

That newspaper has destroyed this guy in his hometown over and over and over again, including an article that compared him to a “Goodyear Blimp.” You know how tough this stuff had to be on his family?

Did the team have his back? Not sure. Don’t think they have an answer on this front.

I’m sure he wants to get the hell out of here after getting the Douglas Marrone treatment from this paper. How’s Marrone working out in Jacksonville.

The Jets shouldn’t have given him a big-money contract extension before his leg was 100 percent healed. That was not a good business decision. They should have let him play on a one-year tag and see if he got back to his old dominant self.

Wilkerson, as team leader, should never be late to meetings. That is unprofessional.

Plenty of blame to go around here.

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Can McCown help Petty “see the game?” 12.14.17

Injured Jets QB Josh McCown will be on the sidelines in New Orleans to help starter Bryce Petty.

Jets coach Todd Bowles was asked on Wednesday how McCown can help Petty.

“It can help him see the game,”Bowles said.

As for McCown’s presence helping Petty “see the game” – perhaps to a degree. When the Jets’ defense is on the field, McCown can talk to Petty and review the blue tablet. But so often, when you talk to young quarterbacks about reads, when they go back on the field, with pass rushers trying to hit them, defenses being disguised, their mind starts racing and much of info goes by the wayside.

So McCown can’t help him “see the game” while Petty is in the game. He can help him a little going over things on the bench. But since can’t can be his eyes and mind when he’s actually on the field, the impact of these skull sessions in minimal.

*****A subscription to Jets Confidential Magazine makes a great holiday gift for a Jets fan. To order a gift subscription, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).

The challenge for John Morton 12.13.17

So far, John Morton has done a solid job in his first year as Jets offensive coordinator. However, we will learn even more about him in the last three games.

In the Jets’ first 13 games, Morton had Josh McCown under center. McCown proved the off-season psychics wrong and did a very nice job for the Jets, but he’s now on IR with a broken wrist.

So in the last three games, Morton is going to have Bryce Petty under center; maybe a little Chistian Hackenberg.

McCown was like a coach on the field with his ability to get guys lined up right and calling workable audibles. He also displayed good pocket presence, field vision and accuracy. With one of their young quarterbacks under center, all these strengths likely won’t be as well represented.

So it’s up Morton to micromanage what his quarterback is doing on the field with confidence-building play-calling. Now, Morton needs to be more the eyes and ears on his quarterback on the field.

Morton needs to do a masterful job from the booth for the Jets to have a chance at winning any of the last three games.

Let’s see what he’s got.

*****Jets Confidential Magazine makes a great holiday gift for a Jets fans. To order a gift subscription, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).

Bar needs to be raised on Petty 12.11.17

This isn’t a T-Ball league, it’s the NFL.

When your number is called, even if you didn’t get a lot of reps in practice, you need to get the job done.

After Jets starting QB Josh McCown broke his left in the third quarter at Denver, backup QB Bryce Petty entered the game, and finished 2-9 for 14 yards.

Some people are making excuses that he was rusty after not playing for a while. Some people are also saying he didn’t get a lot of reps in practice since he entered the game as the backup.

As Herman Edwards loves to say, “No excuses, not explanations.”

When your number is called, you need to perform.

Look, I understand, the Broncos’ defense was playing on a high level, and McCown didn’t fair much better, but that doesn’t excuse Petty’s accuracy issues.

Moving forward, he needs to be more accurate. There were three deep outs in Denver – two to Jermaine Kearse and one to Austin Seferian-Jenkins – that weren’t even close.

There is a good chance Petty starts the Jets’ last three games of the season.

He needs to be more accurate.

End of story.

Josh McCown Finalist for Art Rooney Award 12.11.17

*The eight finalists for the 2017 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD have been named, the NFL announced today. The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, are tight end ANTONIO GATES (Los Angeles Chargers), quarterback JOSH MC COWN (New York Jets), quarterback ALEX SMITH (Kansas City) and tackle JOE THOMAS (Cleveland) in the AFC, and tight end VERNON DAVIS (Washington), linebacker LUKE KUECHLY (Carolina), defensive tackle HALOTI NGATA (Detroit) and tackle JOE STALEY (San Francisco) in the NFC.

Staley (2015 and 2016), Smith (2014) and Kuechly (2015) have been named finalists in the past. Gates (2014), McCown (2015) and Thomas (2016) have been nominated by their teams in previous seasons but are first-time finalists. Davis and Ngata were each nominated for the first time this season.

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes those who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer ART ROONEY, SR.

A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected the eight finalists from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of WARRICK DUNN, CURTIS MARTIN, KARL MECKLENBURG and LEONARD WHEELER.

The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 15. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

Past recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award are FRANK GORE of the Indianapolis Colts (2016), CHARLES WOODSON of the Oakland Raiders (2015) and LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals (2014).

The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 3 on NBC, the night before Super Bowl LII. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.

*Press Release

Quincy Enunwa Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year Nominee 12.07.17


Quincy Enunwa is the New York Jets nominee for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, Enunwa was selected as the New York Jets Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the League’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.

Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON. Finalists will be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.

Enunwa has been a stalwart in the community for the Jets where he volunteers with middle school students through the Jets PLAY 60 Challenge. He was also heavily involved with the launch of the Jets NFL Flag Football League in partnership with the NYC PAL that allows more than 1,200 NYC children to participate in the athletic program at no cost. Through the Jets relationship with the New York City Department of Education’s Public School Athletic League’s High School Football program, Enunwa has spoken to teams that the Jets support. In 2016, the New York Jets named Enunwa the Marty Lyons Community Service Award Winner for his involvement and dedication to all aspects of the Jets Community Relations program and commitment to his community. On May 9, 2017, Enunwa received the United Way of New York City’s Hometown Hero award at the 24th annual Gridiron Gala.

Five hundred thousand dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner. $250,000 will be donated to the winner’s charity of choice and $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and United Way Worldwide. Enunwa’s charity of choice is Harlem Grown, an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition.

The NFL announced last month a Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, a new initiative this season to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As a Man of the Year nominee, Enunwa received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to community heroes.

*Press Release

Owner’s Memo on Goodell Extension 12.06.17

Dear Owners,

Please see the below message sent on behalf of the Compensation Committee.


In recent days, we have spoken with each of you individually regarding the status of the negotiations to extend Commissioner Goodell’s employment contract. In the course of those discussions, we have reviewed with you the details of the contract extension. Our Committee unanimously supports the contract and believes that it is fully consistent with “market” compensation and the financial and other parameters outlined to the owners at our May 2017 meeting, as well as in the best interests of ownership. We also have expressed in those conversations our strong and unanimous belief that we should proceed to sign the agreement now, consistent with the unanimous May resolution and to avoid further controversy surrounding this issue. We are pleased to report that there is a nearly unanimous consensus among the ownership in favor of signing the contract extension now.

Accordingly, this will advise the ownership that a binding contract extension has been signed by the Commissioner and by Arthur Blank, on behalf of the League entities.

We are pleased to have resolved this issue and we appreciate the strong support received from our partners. It was particularly gratifying to hear so many owners commit to being more engaged in League affairs and to express the desire to work more closely with the Commissioner and League staff on matters critical to the League. We know that we speak for all of you, as well as for the Commissioner, in saying that the NFL is strongest when our ownership is active and unified.

We look forward to seeing each of you at the Special Meeting in Dallas on December 13th and to working together, as a partnership, to address the important issues facing the League.


Compensation Committee:

Arthur Blank, Chairman

Clark Hunt

Robert Kraft

John Mara

Bob McNair

Art Rooney

If Jets don’t improve this, they have no shot 12.06.17

While the Jets’ playoff hopes are a long-shot, if they don’t improve in this area, it’s a no-shot.

The Jets’ pass defense in their win against Kansas City last Sunday was substandard.

They gave up four wide-open touchdown catches – two each to tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

They’re lucky they had AFC Offensive Player of the Week Josh McCown at quarterback to help them overcome this.

But if this kind of porous pass defense keeps up, they have almost no chance of running the table and making the playoffs.

The NFL’s a passing league, and you can’t play pass defense like the Jets did against Kansas City and have sustainable success.

*****The latest issue of the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine is on news stands. Tons of hot stuff on the Jets in this issue. Pick one up on a news stand, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5) to subscribe. Or you can also subscribe on this website. A subscription makes a great holiday gift for a Jets fans.

McCown a nominee for FedEx NFL Air Award 12.05.17

The NFL announced the New York Jets Josh McCown is a finalist for this week’s FedEx Air Player of the Week award for his performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, completing 26 of 36 passes (72.2 percent) for 331 yards and 1 touchdown for a 109.8 passer rating while adding 2 rushing touchdowns in the Jets’ win. This is McCown’s first nomination of the season. You’ll find a list of nominees below:

Air Nominees

· Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 19 of 33 passes (57.6 percent) for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns for a 135.9 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 38-31 loss to the New York Jets.

· New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown completed 26 of 36 passes (72.2 percent) for 331 yards and 1 touchdown for a 109.8 passer rating while adding 2 rushing touchdowns in the Jets’ win.

· Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 31 of 43 passes (72.1 percent) for 344 yards and 1 touchdown for a 103.2 passer rating in the Chargers’ 19-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Ground Nominees

· Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries (4.7 avg.) and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 38-14 win over the Washington Redskins.

· Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries (5.2avg.) and 1 touchdown in the Dolphins’ 35-9 win over the Denver Broncos.

· Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries (5.4 avg.) and 1 touchdown in the Packers’ 26-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fans can visit NFL.com/FedEx or tweet using #AirandGround and the nominees’ last name to cast their vote. FedEx and the NFL will announce the winners every Thursday afternoon and then FedEx will award a $2,000 donation in the winning players’ names to The USO.

Jets donate big to NYC flag football 12.04.17

*December 4, 2017 – The New York Jets and New York City Department of Education will announce details of a $100,000 donation to the CHAMPS flag football program along with in-kind support and coaching training from USA Football, GENYOUth & Fuel Up to PLAY 60. Through this annual contribution, the Jets will support 104 CHAMPS flag football programs reaching 3,500 students this academic year. Fuel Up to Play 60 and GENYOUth have also provided 200 NFL Flag-in-Schools kits for this year and hosted a flag football training for 150 physical education teachers led by a SHAPE America representative on November 11.

In September, the NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth, Fuel Up to Play 60 and their partners announced the expansion of the NFL FLAG-in-Schools Program, an initiative that increases physical activity among youth by supporting America’s physical education teachers with resources to help students build a foundation for healthy, lifelong physical activity through football. NFL FLAG-in-Schools Kits, which include footballs, flag belts, posters and a PE curriculum designed by SHAPE America and NFL FLAG for elementary and middle school students, allow for students to get active and learn the basics of football in a fun environment. This year, NFL FLAG Kits will be distributed to an additional 4,700 schools nationwide, reaching approximately 2.6 million new students. The expansion was made possible by a renewed commitment from the NFL Foundation, amounting to nearly $1.5 million.

Jets players Tom Hennessy, Jojo Natson and Deon Simon will present a check for $100,000 from the team to the New York City Department of Education to support the CHAMPS flag football program and engage in flag football activities with the students at I.S. in Staten Island.

The CHAMPS Sports and Fitness Program is an initiative of the New York City Department of Education that promotes student physical activity by engaging thousands of students each year in fun, safe, supervised sports and fitness activities before school, after school, and on weekends.

*Press release

Bowles on Lee – ‘Some things are etched in stone that you can’t do’ 12.03.17

Q)Why was Darron Lee inactive?

Bowles: He wasn’t hurt. Just a coach’s decision.

Q)Was it disciplinary?

Bowles: It was a coach’s decision.

Q)Will Lee be active next week?

Bowles: He’ll be active.

Q)Are you disappointed you had to make a coach’s decision?

Bowles: I make coach’s decisions every week. You’re disappointed and then you move on. We handle it. We take care of it. We don’t let it linger. We move to the next week.

Q)What is the criteria you use for disciplining players?

Bowles: All different. Every case is different. Some things are etched in stone that you can’t do and we go from there.

Kearse – ‘It’s not proving people wrong. It’s proving people who believed in us right’ 12.03.17

Q)Has the receiver group proved people wrong who thought this would be one of the worst groups in the NFL?

Kearse: It’s not necessarily proving people wrong. It’s proving the people who believed in us right, so I think that’s our focus. We don’t necessarily worry about people who doubt us, but the people that support us and have our back, we do it for them.

Q)What are your thoughts on you and Robby Anderson both going over 100 yards in consecutive games?

Kearse: We try to push each other whether he’s trying to push me or I’m trying to push him. We’re real competitive out there. It’s a testament to our whole group. I don’t think it’s just me and Robby, our young guys are contributing to that as well, and it’s also good to have a win come behind it.

Q)On Josh McCown’s rushing . . .

Kearse: He’s 38 but he looks like he’s 26 out there. He’s been huge for us, his leadership throughout the week and the whole season has allowed us to get better and better.

Q)On how well team played on third down . . .

Kearse: Chad Hansen made some big third downs for us. He came up huge. He’s been playing really well for us, and we just have to continue to build off that. If we want to be successful on offense, we’re going to have to convert on third down, and I feel like we’ve been doing a good job of that lately.

Q-and-A with Robby Anderson 12.03.17

Q)What has Jermaine Kearse meant to you this season?

Anderson: He’s been a good mentor. Somebody that’s kind of had a similar path to me, undrafted. He’s been around for a while and around a lot of good players and seen a lot of things. So you know, he passes that onto me.

Q)What was it like going against Marcus Peters?

Anderson: It was cool, he’s a real good corner. I like playing against him. It was cool.

Q)How much do you want the ball in big situations?

Anderson: As a competitive player, you always want the ball. Not selfishly, you just want the ball to help your team. If a player shies [away] and doesn’t really want the ball, you don’t really want to play with people like that. You want to play with people that are hungry, that want to contribute at all times.

Q)What has Josh McCown brought to this team?

Anderson: Resiliency. He keeps fighting. He doesn’t let things affect him. His energy and his passion, it’s easy to play with someone like that. It’s fun to play with someone that has the same hunger as you.

It Jets want to cut down on penalties, perhaps try this . . . 12.01.17

The Jets are committing too many penalties.

They clearly need to play more disciplined football.

How do you correct this problem?

Well the fear factor certainly would help.

If players start getting benched over their sloppy play, this could change mindsets.

“Players understand when you take away the stage and that is the only way to get through when you don’t allow them to play,” said ESPN’s Louis Riddick, a former NFL safety and executive.

But if the lineup always stays status-quo, perhaps some players will think penalties aren’t a big deal.

****Jets Confidential Magazine makes a great holiday gift. To order a gift subscription for a friend or relative, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).

Q-and-A with Kacy Rodgers about the Tennessee job #TennesseeVols 11.30.17

Q)Has the University of Tennessee approached you about their coaching vacancy?

Kacy Rodgers – Jets Defensive Coordinator: I really don’t want to talk about Tennessee with all due respect. I’mjust concentrating on Kansas City.

Q)There was a published report (Daily News) stating they expressed interest in you . . .

Rodgers: I have no idea in all honesty. I’ve been concentrating on Kansas City.

Q)Is it possible they’ve reached out to his agent?

Rodgers: I haven’t talked to him, so I have no idea.

Q)Are you interested in the job?

Rodgers: I’m just interested in Kansas City. (Tennessee) is my alma mater, right now I’m interested in Kansas City.

Q)Do you have any thoughts on what’s transpired at Tennessee?

Rodgers: I really haven’t thought about it. I’m just concentrated and we’re trying to get ready for Kansas City.

Q)Do you think Greg Schiano was treated fairly?

Rodgers: I really have no comment. I really don’t know what to say, right, wrong or indifferent.

Jets Women’s Organization hosts military families at team facility 11.30.17

*November 30, 2017 — For the third consecutive season, the Atlantic Health Jets Women’s Organization (AHJWO) will host military families for a holiday themed appreciation event. This year, Tuesday’s Children, the leading nonprofit organization providing long-term support to communities and people impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss, has identified military families of the fallen to attend the event at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center (AHJTC) on Saturday, December 2.

The day begins with a VIP viewing of Jets practice at the AHJTC. Following practice, children will prepare for the holiday by decorating gingerbread houses and cookies, and enjoying Jets Fest inflatables. While children are occupied with their activities, parents can relax with a mini spa-day including pampering services such as nails and massages or experience the Jets virtual reality programs.

Attendees will also be provided a holiday lunch and the opportunity to take photos with the Jets very own Santa Claus, center Wesley Johnson.

Through the services provided by Tuesday’s Children, the AHJWO is able to identify military families to recognize and give back to for their continual sacrifices. Tuesday’s Children offers a time-tested, long-term approach that enables families and communities to heal, recover and thrive.

In 2008, the Jets Women’s Organization and Atlantic Health partnered to form the Atlantic Health Jets Women’s Organization (AHJWO). Through this partnership the AHJWO can accomplish its mission of working together to build goodwill in the tri-state community through active volunteer participation. The AHJWO is an organization comprising the wives, fiancées and significant others of New York Jets players, coaches and football support employees along with Jets female staff. T

he Jets Community Relations Department oversees the organization with the assistance of Dana Glat wife of the Jets team president, Taneka Bowles, wife of the Jets head coach and Betty Maccagnan (Mrs. Coffee), wife of the Jets general manager. The AHJWO serves as a unique and positive outlet in the community on behalf of the New York Jets and seeks to team-up with select charities to assist in maximizing the impact of their events. The work of the AHJWO would not be possible without the partnership with Atlantic Health.

*Press Release

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