Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Jets donation to help Community Kitchen & Pantry of Harlem On Thanksgiving 11.23.20

*The New York Jets have teamed up with their longtime partner, Food Bank For New York City, to tackle hunger this holiday season. For Thanksgiving the Jets made a $15,000 donation to Food Bank For New York City. This contribution will provide 75,000 meals for New Yorkers in need and included a delivery of turkeys and fixings to the Community Kitchen & Pantry of West Harlem. This is one of the toughest times of the year for struggling New Yorkers and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse. To support Foodbank for New York City go to foodbanknyc.org and click donate now.

*Press Release


Steve Castleton nominated 11.11.20

*New York Jets Military & Law Enforcement Team Liaison Steve Castleton was announced today as the Jets nominees for the “Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.” The award, presented annually by USAA and the NFL, honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. USAA holds the designation of Official NFL Salute to Service Partner.

WHO: Steve Castleton, New York Jets Front Office Staff/Military & Law Enforcement Team Liaison

WHAT: Nominated for the tenth annual “Salute to Service Award presented by USAA”

WHEN: Finalists for the award are scheduled to be announced in January. The recipient will be recognized at the NFL Honors awards show, which is set to air the week of Super Bowl LV.

OTHER INFO: Past recipients of the award include Donnie Edwards (2019), Ben Garland (2018), Andre Roberts (2017), Dan Quinn (2016), Vincent Jackson (2015), Jared Allen (2014), John Harbaugh (2013), Charles Tillman (2012), and the late Tennessee Titans owner, K.S. “Bud” Adams, a WWII veteran (2011).

Steve Castleton – Award Nomination Bio

“Steve has been the Jets Military Liaison since 2013 where he first coordinated on-field and satellite activities at numerous military bases in Kandahar, Afghanistan and Bagram, Afghanistan for our U.S. Armed Forces and has coordinated all the pre-game and half-time activities for the Jets at both their Salute to Service and First Responder appreciation days – organizing the enlistment/re-enlistments of over 1,000 members of the armed forces at professional sporting events. Thanks to Steve in 2016 at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the Army held the first “NY Sports Event” where a “sports field” was carved out of the Afghanistan soil and custom jerseys were sent. Since 2016, Steve has coordinated the “Turkey Bowl” flag football game which was held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. In 2019 he organized the first annual Navy vs. Marines Flag Football game at the Jets Florham Park, NJ training facility. During the early stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Steve personally obtained and delivered SUV filled with personal protective equipment (PPE’s) to the New York State Veterans Home and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Northport, New York on over 15 occasions. Coordinating the delivery with the Suffolk County Police Department, he personally funded #FeedOurHeroes, 8 Hospitals in 8 Days, which was an initiative of his to feed the front-line workers in 8 Long Island Hospitals in 8 days. Steve has also been sworn in as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.

*Press Release


This Jets player a pleasant surprise 11.05.20

It was a transaction that didn’t garner a lot of attention, but this player is starting to get people’s attention.

“John Franklin-Myers has really come on,” Jets GM Joe Douglas said on Tuesday.

So September 1, 2109, Douglas claimed Franklin-Myers, a defensive end, off waivers from the Los Angeles Rams. The move didn’t move the needle much, especially since Franklin-Myers quickly got hurt, and landed on injured reserve in early October.

But in 2020, this waiver claim is starting to starting pay some dividends.

At 6-4, 288, he has a nice combination of size and quick twitch, and has made a number of impressive plays this season.

It was a little surprising the Rams released Franklin-Myers on August 31, 2019. This is a player who played a lot as a rookie in 2018, and recorded a sack on then-New England QB Tom Brady in Super Bowl LIII, forcing a fumble (recovered by NE).

Franklin-Myers was a fourth-round pick of the Rams in the 2018 draft out of Stephen F. Austin, a school located in Nacodoches, Texas.

He was under-recruited because his high school team, in Greenville, TX, went 0-40 during his four years there.

But he had a nice career in college for the Lumberjacks, and really helped his draft stock when he ran a 4.75 forty at the 2018 combine, a very good time for his size.

And during a rough Jets season, he’s been one of the few bright spots.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). This is a must-read for Jets fans, loaded with great inside information on the Jets, minus the cheap shots. Check it out!


What is Joe supposed to say? 11.03.20

Jets Douglas will address the media this afternoon. When talking Jets football, this one question is the $64,000 question, but don’t expect the Jets GM to be able to answer this.

Talking about the future of Jets coach Adam Gase. There is speculation he might be on the hot seat. The Jets have been blown out in most games this year, being outscored by 142 points through eight games.

So Douglas will be asked about Gase’s future today.

But don’t expect any concrete answers from him on this topic.

Why?

He’s not Gase’s boss. In the Jets’ current power structure they are equals. Douglas picks the players, Gase coaches the team, and they both equally report to the team owner.

So Douglas is in no position to evaluate the job Gase is doing coaching the team, or whether he should coach the team in the future.

In fact, Douglas can’t even say “boo” about game plans, in-game adjustments or how players are used on game day. None of that is in his wheelhouse according to the Jets’ chain of command.

So when Douglas addresses the media today, reporters might be wasting their time asking him about the job Gase is doing, or if he should be the team’s coach in the future.

Not his job.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). The new issue is loaded with answers for how the Jets can get out of their current state. Jets Confidential – extensive Jets coverage without the cheap shots. Check it out!


Could get something in a trade 11.02.20

The Jets have traded three players over the last couple of weeks for late-round picks, but they might be able to get an even higher pick for this player.

Talking about offensive tackle George Fant.

Teams like the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys have all lost their starting left tackles for the season.

While Fant is currently playing right tackle for the Jets, left tackle is his more natural position, the one he prefers to play.

He played left tackle for the Jets for a couple of game when Mekhi Becton hurt his shoulder earlier this season.

With left tackle being such a premium position, and with teams like Tennessee, Baltimore and Dallas in dire need of one, perhaps the Jets could land a third- or fourth-round pick, or a good player, for Fant.

The Jets have a number of players in the building who can play right tackle if they trade Fant.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). So much good stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. Check it out!


‘I would do it all over again’ 10.30.20

In the latest issue of Jets Confidential Magazine, we have a interview with all-time Jets great, defensive lineman Marty Lyons, who has a new book out – “If These Walls Could Talk – New York Jets.” During the interview, we covered a ton of things, including how his body feels these days after all those years of playing football. We also asked how players dealt with injuries in the 1980’s. Here is what he had to say:
JC: How does you body feel this many years after playing?
Lyons: My back hurts, my neck hurts, my legs hurt, but I would do it all over again. I chose to go down that path. I chose to be a football player in high school, and very fortunate to experience a national championship in college with Coach (Bear) Bryant, be a #1 pick with the Jets, stay with the Jets my whole career, so if I had to do it all over again, I would.
I have no regrets at all. There are always going to be a risk no matter what you do in life. I took the risk playing football and now I’m paying the price. I look back at it and cherish all the memories and the friendships I was able to build, and unfortunately we didn’t win a Super Bowl and we didn’t get to a Super Bowl, but some of the friendships I made through the game have lasted a lifetime.
JC: It was kind of like the Wild, Wild West in the NFL back in the 1980’s with how they would deal with injuries . . .
Lyons: It was pretty simple, if you wanted to play, they gave you an option. They put a needle down with some kind of painkiller and say, “Hey, you know what, we are not going to force you to take this, it’s your option, your choice. you want to play or you don’t want to play, you can’t play without it.” I always wanted to play. When I had both shoulders shot up before a game, and then shot up at halftime, shot up after a game, that was my choice. If I have any repercussion now, it’s not on the New York Jets for doing it, that is on me.

Like I said, if I had to do anything all over again, I would still do it, the same way I did it, and hopefully I could play a little bit better than I did and give it a little better effort in some of the games, maybe we would have won a few more games.

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To order Marty’s book, go Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.


Is it disrespectful to ask Sam Darnold about Trevor Lawrence? 10.28.20

So much can change between now and then.

Talking about the Jets possibly landing the first pick in the 2021 draft, and picking Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.

It’s really too early to be talking about this.

The NFL season is only seven weeks old, and there is a lot of football to be played. Who even knows what team will get the first pick?

Also, Lawrence is the middle of his junior year, and focused on helping Clemson win another national championship. That’s what he’s focusing on right now. Not the draft.

It’s also unfair to the current Jets QB, Sam Darnold, to be asking him about Lawrence. He deserves better and has enough on his plate already.

And now you can add this foolish angle, that has taken off like wildfire the last couple of days, that Lawrence might stay in school to avoid the Jets. This was made up out of whole cloth.

Lawrence was asked this week if he was going to enter the draft after this season.

“I don’t know, we’ll just have to see how things unfold. There’s a lot of factors in that,” Lawrence said.

What did you expect to say in the middle of Clemson’s season: “I’m declaring for the draft today?”

That usually happens after the season. Some people interpreted this quote as a roundabout way of him saying he wants to avoid the Jets.

Talk about jumping to conclusions.

Can we do all parties involved a favor, and put this “Lawrence to the Jets” angle to rest for a while?

It’s unfair to Darnold, Lawrence, Dabo Swinney and so forth.

We will have plenty of time to talk about this in a couple of months.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, and loaded with great info on Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else, including a comprehensive plan for the Jets to get out of their current state. Check it out! To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4).


Is it disrespectful to ask Sam Darnold about Trevor Lawrence? 10.28.20

All of this can wait, and so much can change between now and then.

Talking about the Jets possibly landing the first pick in the 2021 draft, and picking Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.

It’s really too early to be talking about this.

The NFL season is only seven weeks old, and there is a lot of football to be played. Who even knows what team will get the first pick?

Also, Lawrence is the middle of his junior year, and focused on helping Clemson win another national championship. That’s what he’s focusing on right now. Not the draft.

It’s also unfair to the current Jets QB, Sam Darnold, to be asking him about Lawrence. He deserves better and has enough on his plate already.

And now you can add this foolish angle, that has taken off like wildfire the last couple of days, that Lawrence might stay in school to avoid the Jets. This was made up out of whole cloth.

Lawrence was asked this week if he was going to enter the draft after this season.

“I don’t know, we’ll just have to see how things unfold. There’s a lot of factors in that,” Lawrence said.

What did you expect to say in the middle of Clemson’s season: “I’m declaring for the draft today?”

That usually happens after the season. Some people interpreted this quote as a roundabout way of him saying he wants to avoid the Jets.

Talk about jumping to conclusions.

Can we do all parties involved a favor, and put this “Lawrence to the Jets” angle to rest for a while?

It’s unfair to Darnold, Lawrence, Dabo Swinney and so forth.

We will have plenty of time to talk about this in a couple of months.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, and loaded with great info on Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else, including a comprehensive plan for the Jets to get out of their current state. Check it out! To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4).


Not bad to get a sixth-round pick for a waiver claim 10.22.20

On Wednesday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero announced the Jets traded DE Jordan Willis, and a 2021 seventh-round pick, to the San Francisco 49ers, for a 2022 sixth-round pick.

Willis was inactive for the Jets last game, so to get a sixth-round pick for him is decent value.

Also, considering they claimed Willis on waivers last year, getting a sixth-round pick for him is not bad.

You can get talent in the sixth-round if you play your cards right.

In the 2020 draft, the Jets picked punter Braden Mann, and the year before, they landed CB Bless Austin.

Hey, Tom Brady was picked in the sixth-round.

The Jets made a similar trade on Sunday, sending nose tackle Steve McLendon to Tampa Bay, along with a 2023 seventh-round pick, in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick.

These two deals by Jets GM Joe Douglas make perfect sense, as he continues to compile future draft capital to help rebuild the Jets the right way, and not through reckless spending in free agency, which helped land them in their current mess.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). A must read for Jets fans, with so much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else, without the cheap shots. The new issue is out now. Check it out!

 

 

 

 


It’s time for the Jets to fix this! 10.21.20

The New York Jets are having major issues in this area on defense.

Talking about covering opposing tight ends.

The Jets are having a problem with tight ends sneaking off the line and being uncovered.

It happened twice in the first half against Miami.

In the first quarter, TE Adam Shaheen was wide open for a 4-yard TD pass.

In the second quarter, TE Durham Smythe was uncovered on another 4-yard TD pass.

The week before, on a fourth-and-one, Arizona tight end Darrell Daniels snuck off the line for a wide open 31-yard completion.

Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and his assistants need to fix this.

Too many tight ends are flashing wide open against the Jets’ scheme.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). Unfiltered, blunt Jets coverage without the cheap shots. Check it out. New issue out now! Check out the cover pictured above.


Gase on whether he’d give up play-calling 10.20.20

A Newsday reporter asked Adam Gase on Monday if he would consider giving up play-calling to “shake” things up. Here is that exchange:

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Yeah Adam, I was just wondering, I’m sure you are trying to figure out what’s going to jolt this team, you talked about it last week, do you feel like it’s the right time to just say, let somebody else call the plays and see if that shakes anything up?

Adam Gase: Yeah, I mean, like I said, like every week we’re looking for what’s the right thing to do. I got a couple other things I got to really kind of sort through offensively before we make any kind of decisions whatsoever on stuff like that, we got to get some adjusted, figure out who we have available for this week. So, I mean that’s step 10 right now and we’re on step two.


Jets must make changes. Now! 10.19.20

As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting a different result.”

The 0-6 Jets need to make some major changes this week, like perhaps letting Jim Bob Cooter call the offensive plays. Yesterday, the Jets were the NFL’s first team to be shut out this season.

And it’s not like the Miami Dolphins defense are the 1986 Chicago Bears, and they were playing without two key players – defensive lineman Davon Godchaux and linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

And speaking of defense, the Jets’ defense is struggling mightily as well, with a lot of gap integrity issues against the run, and opponents consistently coming wide open in the passing game. Maybe there is too much rotating going on.

The Jets clearly need to make major changes this week strategically, personnel-wise and perhaps with some coaching re-assignments.

The status quo is clearly unacceptable.

Or at least it shouldn’t be.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). A must read for Jets fans who want real answers without the cheap shots. New issue coming out later this week.

 


Another example of why Jets need czar 10.15.20

It was a possibility on Monday, but then it didn’t happen, and some people might consider the reasoning a little perplexing.

On Monday, Jets coach Adam Gase was asked if he would be open to giving up offensive play-calling to change things up a little bit.

“For the last four years, I’ve toyed with the idea every once in a while,” Gase said on Monday. “I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever been opposed to trying something to try to change things up. I’d say everything is on the table at this point.”

He decided to keep the play-calling role, and explained it this way on Wednesday:

“We talked about it as a staff. None of the guys thought that was the right move to make. That was just kind of talking with those guys and seeing if we needed to make any changes in that area, nobody thought that was the reason why anything is going the way it’s going.”

Some people considered this an odd rationale, since what did you expect an assistant to say, “Adam, you should step aside and let me call the plays?”

This is yet another example of why the Jets need a football czar, one central football boss, who everybody on the football side reports do, including the coaches.

And a person in that role could have said, “Adam. I want you to give up the play-calling to Jim Bob Cooter, and take more of a 30,000 foot view of coaching the team.”

Its now clear, more than ever, that the Jets need a football czar.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). Great Jets coverage without the cheap shots. So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read ANYWHERE else. Check it out!


Le’Veon’s release/Gase’s future 10.14.20

The Jets released running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night.

But this move has little to do with Adam Gase’s future with the team.

And has everything to do with GM Joe Douglas trying to build a strong football culture.

Who knows what the future holds for Gase. Douglas probably doesn’t even know that. Douglas isn’t Gase’s boss. Christopher Johnson is.

All Douglas can control is the players on the roster.

He needs players who are going to buy-in. Bell clearly isn’t buying in, and probably never did, and you throw in the player’s mercurial behavior on social media, it was probably time for Douglas to move on from another wasteful signing by the former regime. You always need to mindful of how disgruntled veterans can impact the mindset of young, developing players.

It’s still shocking, regardless of who the coach is, that Bell didn’t attend his first off-season program with a new team right after signing in 2019. Don’t you want to show your commitment to your new team, by working out with your new teammates, and getting comfortable in the playbook? That was bizarre, man.

WFAN’s Boomer Esiason reported that Bell was also late for meetings last year.

And he really hasn’t had much of an impact on wins and losses. The Jets should be able to function at running back with La’Mical Perine, Josh Adams, Ty Johnson and Frank Gore.

So it was perhaps time for the Jets to move on from Bell, and it has zero to do with Gase and his future with the team. People shouldn’t mix up the two issues.

This has everything to do with Douglas, who is one year into a six-year contract, trying to build a strong football culture.

Douglas can only control the roster right now. He has no say in who the coach is, though he obviously should moving forward. He clearly should be promoted to football czar and lord over the entire football operation. That is a no-brainer.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else, and no cheap shots. Check it out!


Bell’s release and Gase’s future are different 10.13.20

The Jets released running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night.

But this move has little to do with Adam Gase’s future with the team.

And has everything to do with GM Joe Douglas trying to build a strong football culture.

Who knows what the future holds for Gase. Douglas probably doesn’t even know that. Douglas isn’t Gase’s boss. Christopher Johnson is.

All Douglas can control is the players on the roster.

He needs players who are going to buy-in. Bell clearly isn’t buying in, and probably never did, and you throw in the player’s mercurial behavior on social media, it was probably time for Douglas to move on from another wasteful signing by the former regime. You always need to mindful of how disgruntled veterans can impact the mindset of young, developing players.

It’s still shocking to me, regardless of who the coach is, that Bell didn’t attend his first off-season program with a new team right after signing in 2019. Don’t you want to show your commitment to your new team, by working out with your new teammates, and getting comfortable in the playbook? That was bizarre, man.

WFAN’s Boomer Esiason reported that Bell was also late for meetings last year.

And he really hasn’t had much of an impact on wins and losses. The Jets should be able to function at running back with La’Mical Perine, Josh Adams, Ty Johnson and Frank Gore.

So it was perhaps time for the Jets to move on from Bell, and it has zero to do with Gase and his future with the team. People shouldn’t mix up the two issues.

This has everything to do with Douglas, who is one year into a six-year contract, trying to build a strong football culture.

Douglas can only control the roster right now. He has no say in who the coach is, though he obviously should moving forward. He clearly should be promoted to football czar and lord over the entire football operation. That is a no-brainer.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else, and no cheap shots. Check it out!


Jets Statement On Releasing Le’Veon Bell 10.13.20

Statement from New York Jets
General Manager Joe Douglas
“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon. The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”

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