Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Maccagnan/Heimerdinger very forgiving 07.19.18

On July 11, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero announced the Jets’ addition of Brandon Bryant, a Mississippi State safety who went undrafted in the recent supplemental draft.

On January 30, 2017, Joel Coleman of the Starkville Daily News reported, “Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant was arrested earlier this month in Georgia on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to maintain lane and possession of an open container the Starkville Daily News learned on Monday. All three charges were classified as misdemeanors. The arrest occurred in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day in Cobb County, just north of Atlanta.

“Bryant was released the same day he was arrested. His bond was $1,600, which other fees brought to $1,980 according to Cobb County Sheriff’s Office records.”

The Jets’ current brass clearly believes in giving guys second chances. Five players were arrested in the last year and they’re all still with the team – LB Dylan Donahue, WR Robby Anderson, CB Rashard Robinson, TE Chris Herndon and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis.

As Englishman Alexander Pope once wrote, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”

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Beth Mowins to call Jets-Lions 07.19.18

*ESPN play-by-play voice Beth Mowins, analyst Brian Griese and sideline reporter Laura Rutledge will call the New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions NFL game from Ford Field to kick off ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on Sept. 10.

Mowins returns to ESPN’s NFL booth for the second straight year. In 2017, she became the first female announcer to call a National Football League game in 30 years and the first female broadcaster to call a nationally televised NFL game when she handled the play-by-play for ESPN’s Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos telecast to open the season. Mowins also called four more NFL games for CBS in 2017.

The Jets-Lions game (7:10 p.m. ET) will lead into the Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders game (10:15 p.m.) when ESPN’s new MNF team of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters will make its debut.

*Press Release


Jets Offer Ticket Plan – $375 for ten games 07.18.18

*The New York Jets will bring back the Jets Boarding Pass for a second straight season. The 100-percent mobile pass allows fans to attend every 2018 home game and sit in a different 300-Level seat each time.

Boarding Pass is available now and managed through the official Jets mobile app (iOS and Android platforms) and includes all ten Jets 2018 preseason and regular season home games. Boarding Pass holders will be notified of their seat location, which will vary game by game, through the Jets mobile app upon arrival at MetLife Stadium.

“After a successful 2017 season, we are happy to continue offering Jets Boarding Pass.” said New York Jets President Neil Glat. “The Boarding Pass is an exciting way to come to games and try different seats at our most affordable price.”

Fans can purchase Jets Boarding Pass in a single payment of $375.

Tickets are not transferrable; however, up to six passes can be purchased together so fans can enjoy the game with friends. All passes must be purchased in one transaction to sit together each game.

The Jets Boarding Pass is powered by award-winning technology from Experience, the preferred mobile upgrade partner for the National Football League since 2014.

For more information, FAQs can be found at newyorkjets.com/boardingpass.

*Press Release


Is McAdoo’s point about Darnold legit? 07.18.18

Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo made news last week by actually telling people how he honestly feels.

The nerve of him.

McAdoo covered a number of topics with Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, including Sam Darnold.

“I think the kid the Jets drafted has a lot of magic in his game,’’ McAdoo said. “I think he’s special. He’s obviously a talented guy, he can make plays with his feet. I’d just have a hard time drafting a guy in the first round where you don’t necessarily like the way he throws.

“He can overcome it, guys have, but that’s something that’s a challenge for me. I’m gonna be looking at that, trying to fix it, because it’s a fundamental flaw, and I believe in the fundamentals. The quarterback, his No. 1 job is to pass the football. If I don’t like the way he throws the ball, I have a hard time picking him, right?’’

There’s no question a long delivery is a slight cause for concern.

“His elongated release is impossible to miss,” said draft expert Lance Zeirlein of NFL.com. “The ball drops to his waist with forearm pointed towards the ground, pre-delivery.”

The problem with a long release is it gives defensive backs an extra split second to jump routes. When a QB with a elongated-motion decides where he’s going to throw, and looks that way, but the ball doesn’t come out a quick as a guy with a compact throwing motion, it can lead to more picks. This was a problem for Tim Tebow.

Due to this concern with his throwing motion, the Jets need to take it slow with Darnold’s development.

Why?

Because if you have an elongated throwing motion, and you’re young and might struggle with reads, this could lead to a lot of picks.

Bad reads and a long throwing motion can be a recipe for disaster.

Darnold certainly has enough arm strength to overcome the concerns with his throwing motion, but the Jets need to make sure he’s on top of his reads and progressive scans before starting him.

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Arrests a problem, but what about Donahue as a player? 06.27.18

Jets outside linebacker Dylan Donahue had two drunk driving arrests in nine months, one in Montana (May, 2017) and the other in the Lincoln Tunnel (February, 2018).

Hopefully he got the help he needs; the Jets are clearly standing by him.

I’m not minimizing drunk driving which is a very serious matter, but let’s look at this from a football standpoint for a second.

Donahue is far from a lock to make the team. In fact, it was a shock he made the team last summer, before landing on IR a few weeks later with an elbow injury.

But then again, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan tends to keep all his draft picks, so maybe it wasn’t a shock.

I’m not saying the Jets should have dumped him totally, but he had “practice squad” written all over him last August. Donahue making the final 53 was a dubious football decision.

Donahue had trouble getting off blocks last summer in training camp and preseason games. He has very short arms, which is a major disadvantage for an edge-rusher.

During camp, he was often engulfed by long-armed Jets’ offensive tackles.

This is a player who has a lot of work to do.

He was drafted as an edge-rusher, and has issues getting off blocks.

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CBS Adds Former NFL Ref To Broadcast Team 06.26.18

*CBS Sports has added former NFL and NCAA basketball referee Gene Steratore to the broadcast team as a rules analyst for coverage of THE NFL ON CBS and college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports.

“Gene has long been one of the most respected referees in the NFL and college basketball,” said McManus. “He has officiated both at their highest levels, including last year’s Super Bowl, and will be a great addition to our team. His strong communication skills combined with his knowledge of the rules will allow him to quickly interpret and explain the calls, giving viewers a better understanding of the rules and enhancing our overall coverage.”

Steratore, who spent 15 years on the field as an NFL game official, will provide rules analysis from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City on Sundays throughout the season. Additionally, he will be in the booth for CBS’s Thanksgiving Day game and playoff coverage, including Super Bowl LIII which will be broadcast on CBS on February 3, 2019. Steratore entered the NFL as a field judge in 2003, was promoted to referee in 2006 and worked 12 playoff games, finishing his career as the referee in Super Bowl LII.

Steratore also will serve as a rules analyst for the network’s regular-season college basketball coverage, as well as CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ combined coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. He started officiating NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball in 1997 and worked numerous Conference and NCAA Tournament games. He finished his basketball career as a Big Ten primary official.

“I’m excited to join CBS Sports and start the next chapter in my career,” said Steratore. “Officiating runs in my family. It started with my father, who refereed college football and basketball for more than three decades. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and began officiating when I was 19-years-old. I’ve had an amazing run, capped off by working the Super Bowl, but it’s time to hang up my whistle for a new challenge. This is an incredible opportunity to continue working on the two sports I love – NFL football and college basketball – and help viewers gain a better understanding of the rules of the game and how they are applied.”

Steratore, who lives in Washington, Pa., is the co-owner of a janitorial supply business with his brother, Tony, who also works as an NFL back judge.

*Press Release


If Jets want to take the next step, they have to . . . 06.26.18

It seems pretty simple to me.

Keep the best players – throw all player personnel agendas in the dumpster.

Forget perceptions, deal with reality.

Sometimes there are players that decision-makers anoint to starting jobs, or prominent roles, and even if they struggle, they just keep rolling with them.

What’s up with that?

How can you win doing that?

Sometimes you hear decision-makers talking about certain players and you wonder if you’re watching the same game as them.

The object of the game is to win on Sunday, not win a perception game about your personnel decisions.

Forget where guys were drafted, forget how much they make, forget about the media reaction if you bench or cut them; just start and keep the best players at all times.

Capiche?

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Never understood this about J.J. Wilcox story 06.21.18

I’ve never truly understood this quote.

In early June, safety J.J. Wilcox was reportedly about to sign with the San Francisco 49ers, but had a change of heart, and signed with the New York Jets instead.

A source told ESPN about Wilcox leaving San Francisco at the altar – “He got stage fright.”

I don’t get that.

“He got stage fright,” so he decided to avoid San Francisco and play in the nation’s top media market?

I don’t know who the source was; maybe it was John Lynch, but not sure what “stage fright” had to so with this decision?

I think Wilcox saw the Rontez Miles’ injury and a good opportunity with the Jets.

Also, Wilcox and Jets coach Todd Bowles have the same agent, so that might have been a factor.

But “stage fright?”

That seems like a bizarre rationale.

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This Jet ready to take big step in 2018! 06.20.18

He had a good rookie year, but in this one area, there was room for improvement.

Jamal Adams had a solid rookie year. He was good in run support, however, he was a little inconsistent in coverage.

Based on his work in the Jets’ spring practices (open to the media), he’s ready to take a quantum leap in coverage.

Adams made a ton of plays in coverage in the open OTA practices and the veteran minicamp.

There are likely two reasons for his improved pass defense.

First off, he’s now a lot more comfortable in the Jets’ defensive playbook, so he’s reacting more than thinking on the field.

Also, he’s more mobile thanks to losing some weight and improving his conditioning, due to a healthier diet.

Adams seems poised for big season in 2018.

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Jets training camp info for fans 06.18.18

*JETS ANNOUNCE 2018 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

The New York Jets 2018 Training Camp will provide fans with opportunities to watch practice, including four open practices specifically designed to host large crowds.

These practices will be at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, except for the Green & White Practice Scrimmage at Rutgers University on Saturday, August 4. Additionally, there will be three days of joint sessions with the Washington Redskins open to the public in Richmond, VA from August 12-14.

The team will break camp prior to the Week Three preseason game against the Giants.

Admission and parking at all Jets Training Camp events will be free, but tickets are required. Beginning now, fans can register and download tickets by visiting newyorkjets.com/camp. For the first time, ticketing for all events – including the Green & White Scrimmage – will be mobile-only. Print-at-home PDF tickets will no longer be available.

Fans can manage their tickets by visiting Ticketmaster.com or downloading the official Ticketmaster mobile app. Tickets will also be available to manage in the Official Jets Mobile App prior to the event. Beginning this season, as part of a League-wide initiative, all ticketing for Jets games at MetLife Stadium will be mobile-only.

For information on Open Practices, parking and directions visit newyorkjets.com/camp. Fans attending Training Camp are encouraged to check the website for security and carry-in procedures.

Practices may be cancelled or closed to the public in the case of inclement weather. Fans are encouraged to call the team’s fan line at (973) 549-4844 or visit newyorkjets.com for the most up-to-date news regarding practice schedules. Updates are also available on Twitter (@nyjets) and Facebook (Facebook.com/Jets).

On Saturday, August 4, the Jets Green & White Practice Scrimmage will be held at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. This event is free and open to the public and will feature a gameday-like atmosphere, along with fan entertainment and family-friendly events. Starting at 3:00 p.m. near the Rutgers Block R Party area, autographs from Jets Legends, an appearance by the Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders, Jets Fest, Jets Experience and the Jets Shop. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and practice will begin at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will take place at the conclusion of practice. Green and White Practice Scrimmage is presented by M&T Bank.

For Open Practices, fans can take advantage of bleachers for enhanced viewing (up to 1,000 fans), a shuttle service to and from the parking lot, water stations close to the field, cooling zones, and a food court provided by Village Supermarkets.

Leading into their preseason game at FedEx Field on August 16, the New York Jets and Washington Redskins will participate in joint practices at Washington’s Bon Secours Training Center from August 12-14. Online registration will be open in late June and is required for entry to Camp. Available parking lots provided by the City of Richmond can be found at www.redskinsrva.bonsecours.com/parking

*Press Release


Darnold’s minicamp not about style points 06.11.18

So what does Sam Darnold need to accomplish at this week’s Jets minicamp.

Learning, learning and more learning.

He needs to continue to learn the Jets’ complex offense.

He needs to continue to improve his progression scans and improve the sophistication of his eyes.

He needs to continue to develop chemistry with all his wide receivers, tight ends and running backs, a bunch of guys he hasn’t worked with very long.

So this is about learning, not style points or silly spring QB stats.

So Darnold just needs to keep grinding and ignore the white noise.

His work this week is about learning and moving up the growth curve, not press reviews.

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Who is right – Dick LeBeau or Avery Williamson? 06.08.18

In another Daily News blockbuster, Jets linebacker Avery Williamson recently complained about his playing time in Tennessee.

“I don’t know, man,” Williamson told the New York Daily News. “It was a weird situation. Honestly, I don’t know. But they didn’t want me to play certain downs. I was definitely offended by that all last year. Like I said, it wasn’t my decision. Now I’m here and I’m definitely going to get the opportunity. So, I’m glad to be a part of this. It gives me extra fuel to continue to improve my game and become better than I was last year.

“It’s motivation. There’s always going to be somebody’s that’s going to put news out there about you and say that you can’t do this or that. So, I prove them wrong. That’s the point: I know I’m a three-down backer. I know I got the skill set to do anything on the field. Shoot, I feel like I fit in perfectly with this defense.”

Let me ask y’all a question – Do you think Dick LeBeau is a fool?

LeBeau, the long-time Pittsburgh Steelers DC, is in the NFL Hall of Fame for his work as a coach and player. He was the Titans’ defensive coordinator the last couple of years.

Some don’t consider Williamson a top-shelf coverage linebacker, so that is why he came off the field sometimes in Tennessee.

“[Williamson] has average athletic ability and foot quickness,” wrote Nolan Nawrocki when Williamson came out of Kentucky. “He is a step late to the perimeter. He has limited cover range and reactions – is late to recognize. He can be targeted in coverage.”

Don’t get me wrong. Williamson is a good player. He is a younger/cheaper Demario Davis – a tackling machine in run support, a good blitzer who has terrific leadership ability, but is inconsistent in coverage.

So it comes down to this – Who do you trust more on this one – LeBeau or Williamson?

You make the call.

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Another Jets player arrested 06.04.18

Since December, five players on the Jets’ roster have been arrested.

According to the Miami Herald, Jets rookie tight end Christopher Herndon was arrested on Saturday.

The Miami Herald reports – “New York Jets tight end Christopher Herndon IV, a former University of Miami standout picked in the fourth round of April’s NFL Draft, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and taken away in handcuffs at the scene of a car accident just before dawn Saturday. Herndon, 22, was driving a Nissan Armada and hit and totaled a Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser owned by Albert Elliott, 76, of Manalapan, New Jersey, at 4:45 a.m. Saturday on West Interstate 80.”

In December, cornerback Rashard Robinson was arrested and charged with drug possession and carelessly driving.

In January, wide receiver Robby Anderson was arrested and charged with several violations, including speeding and reckless driving.

In February, linebacker Dylan Donahue was arrested and charged with DWI and reckless driving, going the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel and crashing into another vehicle.

In January, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis was arrested in Kansas and charged misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, having no driver’s license, possession of drug paraphernalia and no display of a numbered license plate. He wasn’t a member of the Jets at the time, but they signed him on March 23 to a two-year deal.

And now Herndon.


Jets new pregame and postgame host 06.04.18

The Jets have a new pregame and postgame show host.

Dan Graca is replacing Don LaGreca who resigned.

Graca served various roles from 2003-2006 with ESPN Radio New York including associate producer, update anchor and reporter. Graca later wrote feature stories for the New Jersey Devils game-night program and was an anchor for 1010 WINS and Bloomberg Radio 1130 AM from 2006-2011.

Starting in 2007, Graca became a talk show host on a variety of sports talk outlets including Mad Dog Sports Radio, MLB Network Radio and SiriusXM NFL Radio.


Winning is fun 06.01.18

This isn’t Chuck E. Cheese, it’s the NFL.

Former New England Patriot DE Cassius Marsh said he “hated” his time in Foxboro last year. He added “there’s nothing fun” about playing for the Patriots.

Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson has said similar things, even though he’s never played there.

I’ve been in a number of New England post-game locker rooms after Patriots wins, and the players seemed very happy.

Since 2000, they have won five Super Bowls, eight AFC Championship Games and fourteen AFC East titles.

“When you lose, it’s not fun,” said Patriots safety Devin McCourty. “People get fired. You lose your job. That’s not fun. So I wouldn’t believe anyone who told me if they only won half their games, and were having the best time of their lives. We have a couple guys here from Cleveland who went 0-16. They told me that wasn’t fun. So I’m going to try to stay on this side of it.”

Winning is fun.

Jets fans would love to have a 13-3 or 14-2 record like the Patriots did the last two seasons.

And I can assure you Jets fans aren’t concerned with whether the players have fun at work.

These attacks on New England’s modus operandi (M.O.) are foolish.

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Jets DT Steve McLendon is right 05.31.18

It’s time for the Jets to end this streak.

After missing the playoffs seven years in a row, they need to be a playoff team in 2018.

“We’re not waiting to win next year, we’re not waiting to win the year after,” Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon told NYJ.com. “We’re trying to win right now.”

And that is the way it should be. Now McLendon didn’t since anything about the playoffs, but what does winning really mean in the NFL – it means making the playoffs and trying to reach the brass ring.

The Jets’ current football regime, led by Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles, have missed the playoffs all three years at the helm, and are coming off back-to-back 5-11 seasons. It’s time for them to make the playoffs.

Whatever it takes, whomever it takes at every position (no player politics), the Jets must do what it takes to make the playoffs in 2018.

Enough kicking the can down the road.

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