Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Jets need to learn from Milliner handling 09.17.14

Cornerback Dee Milliner, who has a high ankle sprain, actually played pretty well early in his stint against the Green Bay Packers.

He had good coverage on Jordy Nelson on a pair of plays at end of first half.

But you could see his play slipping the longer he was out there, culminating with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Nelson in the third quarter. He looked very slow chasing Nelson after the catch on this play. There were a lot of yards after the catch. Nelson isn’t faster than Milliner, but he looked much faster on this play.

Milliner pulled himself out of the game after this play.

“I felt good,” Milliner said. “When I first got out there, I was moving around pretty good. I came in at halftime and felt good. But when I went back out towards the end, I felt like it was tightening up a little bit, and that’s when I told Antonio (Allen) he could come in for me.”

Milliner played 40 snaps against the Packers. That was way too much.

And considering Milliner didn’t practice today due to the ankle, the Jets shouldn’t let history repeat itself, and overdue his reps in the Chicago Bears’ game.

If Milliner plays against the Bears on Monday night, keep the reps down.

He’s clearly not 100 percent yet, and won’t be by Monday night.

20-25 reps make more sense.

Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.

**The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, and a page turner – a must read for true Jets fans. Don’t miss it. It will be on news stands tomorrow. To subscribe to this monthly magazine, you can do so on this website, or by calling 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


NFLPA statement on it’s appeal of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension 09.16.14

The following is a statement from the NFLPA regarding Ray Rice’s suspension . . .

Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players.

The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators.

The terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement require a hearing date to be set within 10 days of this appeal notice.

Under governing labor law, an employee cannot be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment.

The hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available.


Don’t like how Jets managed this position against GB 09.16.14

Chris Johnson is still a good running back.

We saw that in the third preseason game, and the Jets’ opening day win over the Oakland Raiders.

But the Jets should not feel they need to placate him with requisite carries each week.

Chris Ivory should have been used more against the Green Bay Packers. In the Packers’ opener, Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch ran all over them. Ivory is a big, powerful, violent runner like Lynch. Johnson is more of a speed back.

In the Jets-Packers game, Ivory ran 13 times for 43 yards. Johnson ran 12 times for 21 yards.

Based on what Lynch did to them, Ivory was a better match-up against the Packers than Johnson.

The Jets shouldn’t feel they need to make the carries even every week.

**The new issue of the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine is in the mail, and will be on news stands later this week. So much good stuff on Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. To subscribe, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5), or you can subscribe on this website.


This decision was a head-scratcher 09.15.14

Florham Park – CB Dee Milliner played 40 snaps against the Green Bay Packers.

This wasn’t a pragmatic decision.

He suffered a high ankle sprain in Cortland on August 10.

This can be a 6-8 week injury.

He came back after a month.

He returned to practice last week, but only worked on a limited basis on most days.

And while he sucked it up and played, he clearly wasn’t 100 percent.

How about 20 snaps? Or how about no snaps, and give him an extra eight days to heal, to get ready for the Jets-Chicago Bears game, on Monday Night Football?

To have him covering the Packers’ top receiver, Jordy Nelson, on a key series, in the fourth quarter, was bizarre.

And after Nelson caught what turned out to be the game-winning pass on Milliner, did you see the cornerback running after him? Milliner ran a 4.37 forty coming out of Alabama. Running after Nelson, hobbling a bad wheel, he looked like he was running 4.87.

It really is shocking that Milliner played 40 snaps.

Not a great decision.


Chicago Bears NFL Rankings after Two Weeks 09.15.14

Here are the Chicago Bears’ NFL Rankings after two games . . .

Total Offense – 25

Rushing Offense – 29

Passing Offense – 9

Total Defense – 22

Rushing Defense – 27

Passing Defense – 10


ESPN New York says Sheldon Richardson has a big mouth 09.15.14

ESPN New York writer Rich Cimini used the “Same Old Jets” line in describing the team’s loss to Green Bay.

“It was a collapse straight out of the “Same Old Jets” era, the kind that haunts a team,” wrote Cimini.

He also took a shot at Sheldon Richardson.

“In the crucible of a tight fourth quarter, the Jets were undermined by indecision on their sideline and by the big mouth of Sheldon Richardson,” wrote Cimini. “Yeah, that’s right, a defensive tackle was responsible for the timeout that nullified what could’ve been a game-tying, 36-yard touchdown catch by Jeremy Kerley with five minutes to play.”

Perhaps he shouldn’t go over to “the big mouth” for quotes anymore.


Jets NFL Rankings after Two Weeks 09.15.14

Total Offense – 12

Rushing Offense – 1

Passing Offense – 29

Total Defense – 3

Rushing Defense – 1

Passing Defense – 16


Writer feels Jets loss related to Heidi Game 09.15.14

The Jets lost to the Green Bay Packers yesterday.

But it had nothing to do with tackling, throwing, rushing and blocking. It was because of their past, a paranormal element.

“If you are lucky — and I use that term both loosely and ironically — then perhaps you go back to the originator, to the Heidi Game,” wrote columnist Mike Vaccaro in the N.Y. Post. “Maybe you didn’t realize it then — the Jets did go on to win the Super Bowl seven weeks later, after all — but that was the start of something. Call it an ill wind. Call it a dark cloud.

“Call it Indi-Jets-ion.

“But you know it’s there, always lurking. Players come, players go. Coaches, executives, PR flacks — they come, they swear there is no such wind, no such cloud, they sneer at the sheer silliness of it all, they go. And yet every few years, you get Mark Gastineau hitting Bernie Kosar late. You get a Fake Spike. You get a buttfumble.”


Jets aim to keep Rodgers from extending 09.13.14

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is very good at extending passing plays.

He’s got great feet in the pocket, and a good feel for the pass rush, so he does a nice job of keeping plays alive, waiting for a receiver to come open.

Rex Ryan realizes the Jets need to make sure plays aren’t consistently extended by Rodgers pocket chicanery.

“In an ideal world, yeah, you’d like to get him where you’ve got him contained for sure,” Ryan said. “You don’t want him to extend plays, but that’s hard to do because to do that, you’ve probably got to send a lot of pressure and that leaves you a little more exposed in the back end. If you go four-man rushes, you can only take four lanes. It’s a tough task, but again, it’s one that we’ve worked hard (on). So we’ll see how successful we are at it.”

If they aren’t successful at it, it could be a long day for the Jets’ defense.

But if they can cut down on Rodgers throwing time, this will help the Jets’ cause a great deal.


Things Rodgers can do at home, and not at Century Link 09.12.14

Last week, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers had a rough time playing in perhaps the toughest road environment in the league, against the Seattle Seahawks, at Century Link Stadium.

This week against the Jets, he will be at home, at the friendly confines of Lambeau Field.

What are some of the things he will be able to do at home, that he couldn’t do at Century Link?

“The most obvious one would be the cadence,” said Jets coach Rex Ryan. “He can use his cadence and verbal communication. I think that’s the number one thing. Out there (at CenturyLink Field) it’s like, you’ve got to go on silent count, everybody in the ballpark knows it, so it’s easier to get off (the) football on defense.

“And when you’re on the road, it’s much more difficult. Obviously, here’s a veteran quarterback that knows how to use his cadence to his advantage. Shifts, motion, identifying defenses and things like that. He’s able to audible. It’s different. He actually calls his plays. They want to snap the ball quick and they put the game into his hands.”

So Rodgers at home obviously presents a huge challenge for the Jets’ defense.


Thursday Night Football more than doubles ratings from last year. 09.12.14

CBS and NFL Network’s debut broadcast of THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL earned an overnight household rating/share of 13.7/23, +108% from last year’s comparable game on NFL Network (from 6.6/12; N.Y. Jets-New England; 9/12/13), in the 56 metered markets.

Last night’s programming on CBS and NFL Network from 8:00-11:00 PM averaged a prime time household rating/share of 12.9/22, which was +215% higher than the comparable CBS primetime programming a year ago (from 4.1/7). CBS’s primetime programming on September 12, 2013 was BIG BANG THEORY repeat (8:00 PM); CBS FALL PREVIEW SHOW (8:31 PM); BIG BROTHER (9:01 PM); and ELEMENTARY repeat (10:00 PM).

America loves the NFL.

Those trying to bring it down are going to have a tough time.


Baltimore Ravens owner Bisciotti on Jets and Giants request 09.11.14

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was interviewed by James Brown of CBS Sports about the Ray Rice situation.

He brought up the Jets and Giants during the interview . . .

James Brown: What did the Baltimore Ravens’ own investigation consist of and how far did it go?

Bisciotti: Of course we knew that there was other video and our security did the steps that they normally would. They called the casino and they would not release it. They called the Jets and the Giants and said, ‘Do you have any influence, is there any way that you can help us?’ They called back and said no, that they would not release it. The prosecutor said yesterday that would have been illegal. If I had said to Ray [Rice] and his attorney I can’t keep you on this team until I see that tape, I would have seen the tape and I would have sent it to Roger [Goodell] and said you have to look at this tape before you render your decision.


Q-and-A with Dennis Thurman on Milliner 09.11.14

Q)What it will mean to have Dee Milliner back on Sunday…

Jets Defensive Coordinator Dennis Thurman: I’m not sure yet if he has actually been cleared to play, but he has practiced some. We’ll have a better feel and understanding after practice tomorrow of what his status really is, but it is nice to see him out there moving around. It is encouraging, but at the same time we’re still not sure because he hasn’t been cleared to play.

Q)How long it will take Milliner to get caught up?

Thurman: It’s all about game speed. It is hard to say, but if he continues to practice and there is no swelling and he is cleared to play, whatever reps he gets, we expect him to go out and perform up to a certain level.

Q)If he gets cleared to play, why won’t he start?

Thurman: If he doesn’t start, but he is cleared to play, I’m sure we will play him in some capacity and you will see him out on the field.

Q)How did the cornerbacks play last week (with Milliner out)?

Thurman: They played pretty well under the circumstances and held up out there pretty well. They had one ball that was thrown over our heads which happened to be the last play, which cost us seven points. We feel like they went out, competed and did what we asked them to do for the most part.


Factoids on the Packers 09.11.14

*S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix became the first Packers player to register a sack and a forced fumble in his debut.

*OLB Julius Peppers has played in 97 consecutive games.

*The Packers are 6-2 in home openers under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

*In their home opener last year against the Washington Redskins, QB Aaron Rodgers threw for a franchise record 480 yards.

*QB Aaron Rodgers looks to record the 33rd 300-yard passing game of his career during the regular season.

*Since 2008, QB Aaron Rodgers has had a QB rating of 100-plus 51 times. Only Drew Brees has more (52).

*Aaron Rodgers has the highest QB rating in NFL history (104.7).

*Green Bay is two wins away from becoming the second team in NFL history with 700 regular-season victories.

*The last meeting between the Jets and Packers at Lambeau Field was Dec. 3, 2006, and the Jets won 38-10.


Mr. Discount Double-Check on the Jets’ defense 09.10.14

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke down the Jets’ defense today during a conference call with the New York media. Here are some of his thoughts . . .

“I think [the secondary] is a good group. We’ll see what Dee’s (Milliner) status coming out. I’m sure he is going to be ready to play. He is a talented guy. Antonio’s (Allen) played some safety in the past but he is a long-legged guy who has a good, short quickness and athleticism. And Kyle (Wilson) has been around for a while. He knows how to play the nickel spot.

“You have some veteran leadership with Dawan (Landry) in the secondary and then Calvin (Pryor) is a hitter, a big-time player, first-round pick. I think overall it is a good group that is just going to keep on getting better.

“They get a lot from their pass rush and front seven and the different types of schemes they come up with. And it seems like the back end is tied to the pressure package they run. They understand timing of the route concepts and when the ball is going to come out.

“I think they are very creative. Anytime you have a creative schemer like Rex, you can come up with some stuff that you just don’t see all of the time. The different personnel packages they put out there and types of looks, fronts and pressures behind it.

“They have a lot of variance in their pressures and in their coverages behind it. There is not a lot of things you can really key on. It’s about trying to trust your protections and try to figure out who is coming each play. Rex is, I think, well respected around the league as a very creative mind and a guy that really knows how to coach defense.”


Rex Ryan’s opening monologue 09.10.14

Here is an excerpt from Rex Ryan’s opening monologue from his press conference today in Florham Park . . .

“We must be playing a new team, we’ve got a bunch of cameras out there. It is Green Bay so we’ll probably have a lot of cameras all week.

“This challenge will start trying to contain Aaron Rodgers who (has) the number one quarterback rating in the history of the NFL. So, obviously, that’s probably a good place to start.

“And then there (are) challenges on offense. They have a lot of Pro Bowl players over there that can really rush the passer, some playmakers on defense.

“We’ve got to get ready for no huddle, which is obviously what they do offensively. So we’ll do our prep that way tomorrow. We actually don’t call a defense until they’re at the line of scrimmage, then we make our call. So it’s kind of organized chaos a little bit. And that way when you get into the game it’s no big deal.

“I have some injury updates. Josh Bush, I know that’d be the first guy you talk about (or) would want me to talk about (joking). He did not practice with a quad. So he wasn’t able to go. A.J. Edds was not able to go with the hamstring. And then Jeff Cumberland missed (practice). He was excused for personal reasons.

“Everybody else was limited today. Willie Colon (was) limited with a calf. (Ikemefuna Enemkpali) was limited with a foot, he did participate. And then Dee Milliner was limited today and (I’m) cautiously optimistic with his return.”


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