Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Interesting stuff on Mornhinweg/Vick 11.27.14

I missed this story the other day, but just stumbled upon it, and have to admit, it’s pretty impressive reporting, to find this out.

“Sources also said that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wanted Vick to continue to start,” wrote Daily News writers Manish Mehta and Seth Walder.

That is pretty darn good reporting, not to just to get this, but to get more than one source on that. That isn’t easy to do.

The Jets’ brass has to make sure they don’t become a house divided over this quarterback situation.


A point I want to make on “Fire Idzik” plane in retrospect 11.26.14

We all remember on November 5, a plane with the banner “Fire John Idzik!” circled the Jets’ practice field.

Rex Ryan was asked about the plane later that day.

“Well, I’m upset,” Ryan said. “Even though I recognize the fans are in pain, we all want to win. But to place it on one person, I don’t think it’s fair.”

Is it fair to place the blame on one person? If you ask the man being targeted, he would say “yes.”

“When you talk about responsibility and where it lies, I’m the general manager of the New York Jets,” Idzik said at his mid-season press conference. “I am responsible for the football operations of the New York Jets. Ultimately, I’m responsible for the performance of our team, the product that we put on the field. That lies with me. The buck stops here.”

So Idzik feels the blame does belong with one person.


Seeing what you have in Geno is dumb argument and here is why 11.26.14

I keep hearing the Jets should play Geno Smith to see what they have, so they can make a decision on whether he’s the answer.

My goodness is that a flawed argument.

Geno Smith is only 24.

So often it takes years for the light bulb to go for NFL quarterbacks.

Terry Bradshaw really didn’t come into his own until his late 20’s.

Guys like Rich Gannon, Jim Plunkett, Vinny Testeverde did some of their best work in their 30’s.

So let’s say Smith doesn’t play well down the stretch this year in just his second year, does that tell you he can never be good?

This is unfair.

He is so young.

He came out of gimmicky college offense, and shouldn’t have been handed the car keys so quickly. He needed so much work on his mechanics and footwork coming out of West Virginia.

The Jets rushed him big-time.

He’s still a major work-in-progress.

So this idea that we are now going to see if he’s the answer, down the stretch of just his second year, is short-sighted.

And devoid of vision.


Time to make major changes 11.26.14

I was trying to be nice.

I’m not big on firing people in print because these people have families.

This isn’t a board game.

But the Jets’ decision today at quarterback was a game-changer, the final straw.

It’s time for the Jets to clean house.


Geno has a big supporter in this man 11.26.14

In a somewhat surprising move, the Jets announced today that Geno Smith will start at quarterback Monday night against Miami.

In 17 NFL games, Smith has 19 touchdowns, 31 interceptions, a 56.4 completion percentage and has QB rating of 66.8.

But forget the numbers, he has a big supporter in owner Woody Johnson, which is obviously very, very important if you work for the New York Jets.

“I think Geno can be a franchise quarterback,” Johnson said on October, 2. “I really do. I see traits in him and we all see traits in him that are extremely positive and (there’s) room for a lot of optimism.”

In any job, it’s always a good thing to have the boss in your corner.


Did the Jets quit? 11.25.14

When a team gets blown out, you often hear some wonder if the club quit.

It’s almost cliché to throw that out there, a cookbook answer to what went wrong.

I don’t think the Jets quit in their 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

It’s often said that football is “won in the trenches.”

The Jets had signficant issues in the trenches, on both sides of the ball.

It’s pretty obvious, the Bills’ defensive line has their number. Pass protection was a major issue for the Jets in both losses to the Bills.

On the other side of the ball, they lost Mo Wilkerson to a toe injury, and then Sheldon Richardson to a back problem.

These are their two best defensive linemen.

They were forced to play T.J. Barnes extensively, something they weren’t looking to do. He still needs work on his weight and keeping his pad level down. The Bills took advantage of having backups Barnes and Kenrick Ellis on the field at the same time due to the Wilkerson and Richardson injuries.

The Bills also took advantage of the Jets’ thin cornerback situation with WR Robert Woods having a career game, thanks to the Jets’ doubling WR Sammy Watkins.

So no, the Jets didn’t quit.

Their problems were personnel-related, not effort-related.

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I don’t think he should be fired 11.24.14

Detroit – I’m not going to lie.

I don’t think Rex should be fired.

I really don’t. Just telling you how I feel.

I think major changes need to be made, and if they are made, the budget should be limitless.

The crème de la crème.

And I’m not talking about free agency.

I will leave it at that.


There is no way around this 11.24.14

Detroit – There is no way around it.

The Jets’ offensive line is a bad matchup with the Buffalo Bills’ defensive line.

It was the case in the first game, and then again tonight.

And if they played again in a couple of weeks, it would still be an awful matchup.

They don’t have an answer for this front, particularly Mario and Kyle Williams.

Jets quarterbacks were sacked seven times tonight.

I don’t think the Jets’ offensive line is a bad unit. They’ve had some very good games this year, and the Jets have run the ball well almost every week.

But in sports matchups are huge.

And the Jets’ offensive line doesn’t matchup well with Buffalo’s front.

I’m not making excuses, just keeping it real.


Crowd Update 11.24.14

Detroit – About 40 minutes from game time at Ford Field, and the stadium is about 1/3 full.

Above is a picture.

As Bills President Russ Brandon said a couple days ago, when tickets are free, there is a high no-show rate.


You are looking live at Ford Field 11.24.14

Detroit – The photo above is a shot of Ford Field, the home of the Buffalo Bills for tonight, three hours before kickoff.

The calm before a game relocated because of a storm.

This should be a much more competitive game than the Jets 43-23 loss to the Bills in MetLife Stadium (October 26).

In that game, the Jets had three picks in the first quarter, and dug a hole they couldn’t get out of.

In the last two games, the Jets haven’t committed any turnovers, and have been much more competitive.

This game looks like a toss-up between two very even teams.


A Minnesota reunion in Detroit 11.24.14

Detroit – I was just eating lunch at the Elwood Grill across the street from Ford Field.

And there was a reunion of sorts at the bar – Brett Favre and Percy Harvin.

Remember, they played together in 2009 and 2010 in Minnesota.

It was nice to see them back together again.


Great news for needy former players 11.23.14

SI’s Peter King had this note today . . .

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow is going to announce the biggest gift in the 51-year history of the Hall. New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson will be giving the Hall a multi-million dollar donation. And the biggest thing, as far as I’m concerned, is he is providing some seed money for a residential village to be built on the Hall of Fame campus to help indigent and needy former players.”


Is Goodell’s heavy-hand De Smith’s fault? 11.23.14

Former Oakland Raiders executive Amy Trask, who now works for CBS Sports, blames the union, more than Roger Goodell, for what some consider a heavy-handed approach by the commissioner, when it comes to player discipline.

“We all cherish due process,” said Trask. “We want consistent standards, consistently applied. The union has decried the standards being applied by the league and the manner in which they’re being applied by the league. But we can’t forget the union agreed to this. During the collective bargaining process the union had a tremendous amount of leverage and the ability to say no. But the union didn’t do that… I feel for the players. If I were a player I would say, ‘I want to know what that standards are and I want you to apply them consistently.’ But the player outrage should be directed at the union leadership that agreed to the deal.”


Markets Jets-Bills will be broadcast 11.21.14

Due to severe weather in Buffalo this week, the New York Jets at Buffalo Bills game will be played on Monday, Nov. 24 (7:00 PM, ET) at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. and will be a regional broadcast airing in the following markets on CBS: New York (WCBS), Buffalo (WIVB), Syracuse (WTVH), Rochester (WROC), Albany (WRGB), Elmira (EENY), Binghamton (WBNG), Watertown (WWNY) and Erie (WSEE). CBS Sports’ Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots call the action.


CB starters up in air 11.20.14

Florham Park – Now that Darrin Walls (calf) is back from the injury list, who will be the Jets’ starting cornerbacks against the Buffalo Bills?

The Jets started Phillip Adams and Marcus Williams in their last game, a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We’re going to let it ride out,” said Jets coach Rex Ryan. “Let these guys compete for it. That’s why I can’t tell you who’s starting. I can’t tell you exactly who’s going to be (starting). Let the week play out and then when we evaluate it as a staff, we’ll put the guys that we think have done the best job out there.

“Guys they know it and I think everybody’s play picks up because of the fact that there’s a possibility that you’re going to start. It makes your practices better, it makes the team morale better, everything, because they’re part of it.”


Marty on Amaro’s drops 11.20.14

Jace Amaro has done some very good things for the Jets this season, including catching a touchdown pass in their recent win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He’s also had some untimely drops on seemingly easy catches.

What does Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg think is causing the drops?

“It’s just playing at a high level real consistently,” Mornhinweg said. “There’s been a few real easy ones that we haven’t taken advantage of. And as he just becomes more comfortable with all the terminology, the system, exactly what he’s called upon to do, those things will just be natural (to) catch the football. The man has natural hands, he’s a natural athlete and as we continue to go here I suspect that he’ll make those the easy ones as well as the tough ones.”


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