Dan Leberfeld's Blog

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.”

Do you agree with Gannon on Jets RB situation? 11.19.14

During the Jets’ recent win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS analyst Rich Gannon made it clear he isn’t a big proponent of how the Jets are using their running backs.

“It’s tough to find your rhythm when you are one of these Jets running backs,” Gannon said during the broadcast. “They are like quarterbacks, they need to get their touches. You can’t get 2-3 carries, and then not get another carry until the end of the first half. That is a problem when you look at the Jets’ substitution patterns.”

The Jets have three talented backs in Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson and Bilal Powell.

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You don’t pick box safeties 18th overall 11.18.14

You don’t pick box safeties with the 18th pick of the first round.

Jets rookie Calvin Pryor was picked 18th overall in the 2014 draft.

When you pick a safety that high, he needs to be a complete safety, equally proficient in the box and in coverage.

So this idea that the Jets aren’t using Calvin Pryor right is hogwash.

Should they use him more in the box than they have, perhaps, but a first-round safety also needs to be a difference-maker in coverage.

If you want to pick a box safety, wait until into the middle-late rounds.

Pryor is more than a box safety. He was very good in coverage at Louisville. Last year against Central Florida, he had an impressive one-handed pick in the end zone.

“He’s a little better on the back end than he gets credit for,” said draft expert Mike Mayock of the NFL Network.

I think Pryor is going to be an excellent NFL safety in time.

Like I mentioned yesterday, his problem this year isn’t related to his role.

The problem is he was rushed into the starting lineup before he was ready.

Rex Ryan needs to tweak his approach a little when it comes to some first round rookies.

Not all of them are ready to start from the get-go.

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NFLPA Statement on Adrian Peterson Suspension 11.18.14

“The decision by the NFL to suspend Adrian Peterson is another example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements they make and the actions they take. Since Adrian’s legal matter was adjudicated, the NFL has ignored their obligations and attempted to impose a new and arbitrary disciplinary proceeding.

“The facts are that Adrian has asked for a meeting with Roger Goodell, the discipline imposed is inconsistent and an NFL executive told Adrian that his time on the Commissioner’s list would be considered as time served.

“The NFLPA will appeal this suspension and will demand that a neutral arbitrator oversee the appeal.

“We call on the NFL Management Council to show our players and our sponsors leadership by committing to collective bargaining so a fair personal conduct policy can be implemented as quickly as possible.”

The deal with Calvin Pryor 11.17.14

Calvin Pryor is now the Jets’ third safety.

He’s no longer starting.

The Jets’ current starting safeties are Dawan Landry and Jaiquan Jarrett.

Pryor will play a lot, he just won’t start.

Some wonder if Pryor’s inconsistent play was related to playing him deep in coverage too often, and not more in the box.

Maybe this contributed a little to his up-and-down play, but keep in mind, he was a pretty good coverage safety at Louisville.

To me, the bigger problem is simple – he was thrust into the starting lineup too quickly.

Pryor entered the league after his junior year. He had a lot to learn, and shouldn’t have started from the get-go.

Jarrett should have started until Pryor was ready to start, until he knew the system in it’s entirety.

Pryor was rushed.

That was a bigger issue than how he was being used.

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Bills loss was the Jets gain 11.17.14

Florham Park – On August 30, the Buffalo Bills released wide receiver T.J. Graham, who was a third round pick of the club in 2012.

Graham was claimed by the Tennessee Titans on August 31. On September 23, to make room for tight end Chase Coffman, the Titans released Graham.

On September 29, the Jets signed Graham, and the move has worked out well for Gang Green.

Graham has world class speed, and can blow the top off a defense, and that skillset was on display in the Jets’ recent upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first quarter, he got by a pair of Steelers defensive backs, on a post-route, that went for a 67-yard touchdown.

Graham has also been very good on kick and punt coverage, showing a lot of toughness for a his size (5-11, 188). On a first quarter kickoff return by the Steelers’ LeGarrett Blount, Graham made the tackle, on the running back who outweighs him by 62 pounds.

The North Carolina State graduate has been a real nice addition for the Jets.

Watching him play, it’s a little surprising the Bills let him go.

**Don’t forget to pick up the latest issue of Jets Confidential Magazine – on news stands and by subscription. A lot of Whispers and ideas of how to fix the Jets. A must-read for diehard Jets fans. A subscription makes a great holiday gift. To subscribe, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5), or you can do so on this website.

Statement from Adrian Peterson 11.16.14


“The report that I backed out of a meeting with the NFL is just not true. When Roger Goodell’s office asked that I attend the “hearing” on Friday, I consulted with my union and learned that this “hearing” was something new and inconsistent with the CBA. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this past week, my union sent emails, letters, and had conversations with his office on my behalf asking about the nature of the hearing, how it was to occur, who would participate, and its purpose. We repeatedly asked them to respond quickly to my questions because I want to cooperate and get back on the field, but they didn’t respond until late Wednesday evening, and even then they didn’t answer important questions about their proposed “hearing.”

“After consulting with the union, I told the NFL that I will attend the standard meeting with the Commissioner prior to possible imposition of discipline, as has been the long-term practice under the CBA, but I wouldn’’t participate in a newly created and non-collectively bargained pre-discipline “hearing” that would include outside people I don’t know and who would have roles in the process that the NFL wouldn’t disclose.

“At this point, I’ve resolved my matter in the criminal court; I’ve worked to make amends for what I’ve done; I’ve missed most of the season, and I stand ready to be candid and forthcoming with Mr. Goodell about what happened. However, I will not allow the NFL to impose a new process of discipline on me, ignore the CBA, ignore the deal they agreed to with me, and behave without fairness or accountability. The process they are pushing is arbitrary, inconsistent, and contrary to what they agreed to do, and for those reasons, I never agreed to the hearing.

“I’m sorry for all of this, but I can’t excuse their refusal to be fair.”

Speculation based on nothing 11.14.14

There is so much speculation about the futures of people like John Idzik, Rex Ryan, Terry Bradway and so forth.

That happens when a team is 2-8.

But you know what, the speculation is based on nothing substantive.

Nobody knows what Jets owner Woody Johnson is thinking.

So take all these reports about the job security of certain people with a grain of salt.

All the speculation is pure guesswork, based on nothing aside from a bad record.

**The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is on NY-NJ-CT news stands. It’s loaded with a ton of inside stuff from behind the walls at One Jets Drive in Florham Park. It’s a must-read for true Jets fans. Pick one up on a news stand, or you can subscribe by calling 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5) or on this website. A subscription to JC makes a great holiday gift for a big-time Jets fan.

It’s time to give this a rest 11.13.14

Rex Ryan keeps getting asked whether Geno Smith will play again this season.

It’s time to give these questions a rest.

Mike Vick is the Jets’ quarterback right now.

Maybe Smith will play again the season, maybe he won’t, but there is no reason for Ryan to address this right now.

Ryan doesn’t have a crystal ball.

What is the point of speculating on “if” and “when” Smith might play again?

That is just chasing windmills.

**The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is on news stands now. So much good stuff on Gang Green. Check it out. To subscribe, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must read for Jets fans. Tons of inside info from One Jets Drive.

Ricky defends Adrian 11.12.14

Ricky Williams thinks it’s wrong to lump Adrian Peterson in with Ray Rice.

“Well, I think unfortunately they’re being grouped together,” Williams told Jim Rome on Showtime, “and I think totally different situations. I think one it’s more of a cultural issue. I think in the black community we spank our kids, I think, but you look at Ray and there’s no excuse for what he did. And so two different situations, they shouldn’t be grouped together. You know, I don’t think Adrian did anything wrong.

“I believe, what, how a parent disciplines his child is what he has to do. I mean, if I found something was wrong with what he did, you know, my mom would have to be under, under the prison. And I looked at how I turned out; she did whatever she had to do to make it work.”

Predetermined reads were the problem 11.09.14

Geno Smith’s struggles this year were related to predetermined reads. The announcement was made by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

“Usually a quarterback is able to drop back, go through his reads then deliver the ball. I am told that Geno Smith was informed of his reads, told, ‘You need to throw the ball here on certain plays,'” Rapoport said. “The most egregious example came on an interception on a pass intended for Percy Harvin that Stephon Gilmore, the Bills corner, picked off. Smith was told; ‘This is where you need to throw the ball.’ And obviously, for a quarterback who is now taking a breather last game and this game, may have hurt his development a little bit.”

Eric Decker campaign to help with men’s cancers 11.06.14

NASHVILLE, TN (November 4, 2014) — Pro Merch today announced a partnership with New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, to support the Movember Foundation through the creation of limited edition t-shirts licensed by the National Football League Players Inc. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the tees will support the foundation’s efforts to aide in improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

Beginning Monday, November 3, the limited edition Movember tees will be available for purchase at Target stores in New York as well as online at www.mypromerch.com. Men who participate in Movember (Mo Bros) take action to change the face of men’s health by creating individual Mo Space pages on Movember.com. Decker will encourage fans to join his efforts by signing up on the players’ individual pages.

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men aged 15-35. These statistics show that now is the time to bring awareness and raise funds for men’s health. Movember challenges men to start clean-shaven on November 1 and grow just a moustache for 30 days, getting friends, family and colleagues to donate to their moustache-growing efforts. The growth of a moustache sparks conversations and raises vital funds for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. To date, the Movember community has raised more than $550 million dollars and funded over 800 world-class programs in 21 countries.

“Pro Merch proudly supports the effort to change the face of men’s health with our limited edition Movember tees,” said Austin Casselman, Co-Founder and CEO of Pro Merch. “Our company was built on the premise that sports connect people, and programs like this are the basis of our very foundation. We are honored to work with athletes like Eric who continue to make a positive impact in their communities.”

“Health issues like cancer are a reality for far too many men my age, and most don’t realize the statistics and risk,” said Decker. “I’m excited to participate in Movember, grow an epic ‘stache and help raise awareness and funds for this important cause.”

Visit www.mypromerch.com to learn more.

Things I would put on a plane banner 11.05.14

If I hired a plane to fly a banner, I could think of a lot very important messages to put on there, aside from firing football executives.

Perhaps . . .

*Bring Back Our Girls Boko Haram.

*Stop the ISIS genocide in the Middle East.

*End World Hunger.

*End Human-Trafficking.

*End Ebola Now – Find A Cure.

I would go with something like that.

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