Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Joe Douglas is nobody’s puppet! It’s his time to shine! 01.23.20

You probably need at least 8-10 of these guys on your team if you want to compete for a championship.

Talking about players who are considered “difference-makers,” guys other teams have to spend extra time game-planning for.

The Jets played hard in 2019 with the players they had, but they clearly didn’t have enough “difference-makers.”

Jamal Adams is an example of a “difference-maker.”

They need more guys like Adams in their locker room.

It’s Joe Douglas’ job moving forward, whether it’s at the Senior Bowl this week, at the combine, in free agency, to find the Jets more “difference-makers.”

Douglas has a great reputation in NFL circles as a talent-evaluator, and has final say on all Jets player personnel moves. People are who think he’s Adam Gase’s puppet are buffoons. That isn’t the case at all. Douglas is own man, and he controls the Jets’ roster.

And now entering his first full off-season as Jets GM, it’s time for him to roll up his sleeves, and go find the Jets more “difference-makers.”

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, and it’s one of best ever. Page after page of nuggets on Gang Green you won’t read elsewhere. Jets fans, you don’t want to miss this! To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). It’s also available at Tri-State area convenience stories. A must read for Jets fans!


Joe Douglas needs to fix this. Just look at the 49ers! 01.22.20

The Jets have a lot of things to fix this off-season, and this should be at the top of the list

They’ve got to get faster on defense.

Overall, they weren’t fast enough on the defensive side of the ball in 2019.

Obviously, we aren’t saying they have no speed on defense. For the safety positions, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are fast enough.

But at some of the other spots, they must get faster.

One of the reasons the San Francisco 49ers improved so much this year is their defense isn’t just loaded with talent, but fast in the front seven.

You have two speedy edge-rushers in Nick Bosa and Dee Ford to go along with a linebacker corps all with good wheels. Linebackers Kwon Alexander and Dre Greenlaw run like defensive backs.

Too often you saw running backs “take the edge” against the Jets. which can’t happen if you want to have a top-shelf defense.

So Jets GM Douglas needs to focus like a laser on making the Jets defense faster.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must read for Jets fans! So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. New issue out now!

 


Getting these 2 difference-makers back will help Jets a lot! 01.21.20

You win in the NFL with difference-making players. Just look at all the playmakers on the two Super Bowl teams – Kansas City and San Francisco.

While the Jets have a lot of work to do this off-season improving their roster, they will get two guys back in the fold in 2020 who can make a big difference for them – linebacker C.J. Mosley and tight end Chris Herndon.

Mosley, a big money free agent signing last off-season, played just two games in 2019 due to a sports hernia. Getting him back in 202o will be a boon to the Jets’ defense. Mosley is a fast-flowing, instinctive linebacker who triggers fast, and also does a nice job of calling defensive signals and lining up the defense.

Herndon was a revelation as a rookie in 2018, playing more like a first-round tight end, than a fourth-round selection. He shined as a both a receiver and blocker. As a receiver he can stretch the seam and has natural hands. And on a number of big Jets run in 2018, he did a nice job of sealing the edge.

Herndon played just one game in 2019, due to a four-game suspension, and then hamstring and rib injuries when he came back.

The return of these two players in 2020 should help the Jets significantly.

They are both difference-makers.

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You don’t want to miss the new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine, which was mailed Monday, and will be at convenience stories later this week. It’s one of our best issues ever, loaded with interesting stuff about the Jets you won’t read elsewhere. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Get it, you won’t regret it!


Jets Need To Do This Like 49ers #nyj 01.20.20

Something the Jets can take away from the San Francisco 49ers’ turnaround . . .

The 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl thanks to one of the NFL’s most talented rosters.

But while it’s easy to focus on the fact that they hit on a lot of first round picks like defensive lineman Nick Bosa and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, just as important to their roster building was amazing success in the later rounds.

George Kittle, one of the NFL’s finest tight ends, was a fifth-round pick.

Speedy outside linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who had a terrific rookie year in 2019, was a fifth-round pick.

Inside linebacker Fred Warner, the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month in November, was a third-round pick.

The bottom line is if you want to turn things around, it’s not just about doing a solid job in the first-round, free agency and trades, but finding gems later in the draft.

So the Jets need GM Joe Douglas (pictured above on our new cover) to not only nail the team’s first-round pick (11th overall), but find gems throughout all the rounds.

Just look at the 49ers.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is being mailed today. It’s one of our best ever, with page after page of good stuff about Gang Green, you won’t read anywhere else. A must-read for Jets fans! A great gift for a Jets fan! To order, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Get it, you won’t regret it!

 


Going to Canton 01.15.20

*CANTON, OHIO – The full 15-person Centennial Slate for the Class of 2020 was revealed today. The special slate of enshrinees consisting of 10 Seniors (players who last played more than 25 years ago), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches were elected by a special Blue-Ribbon Panel during a meeting at the Hall of Fame last week. It marked the first time in history that a group of enshrinees was selected during a meeting held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The two coaches, BILL COWHER and JIMMY JOHNSON, were surprised by Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker, who informed them of their election on their respective studio shows during last weekend’s NFL divisional playoff games.

The Centennial Slate of Enshrinees will be joined in the Class of 2020 by five Modern-Era Players who will be elected on “Selection Saturday,” the day before Super LIV in Miami. Those five individuals will be revealed and join the members of the Centennial Slate on NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on the eve of Super Bowl LIV at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. Details and ticket information for the annual Enshrinement Ceremony and the Centennial Celebration will be revealed in the coming weeks.

COACHES

  • Bill Cowher – 1992-2006 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Jimmy Johnson – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins

CONTRIBUTOR

  • Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 NFL Films
  • Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
  • George Young, Contributor/General Manager – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League

SENIORS

  • Harold Carmichael, WR – 1971-1983 Philadelphia Eagles, 1984 Dallas Cowboys
  • Jim Covert, T – 1983-1990 Chicago Bears
  • Bobby Dillon, S – 1952-59 Green Bay Packers
  • Cliff Harris, S – 1970-79 Dallas Cowboys
  • Winston Hill, T – 1963-1976 New York Jets, 1977 Los Angeles Rams
  • Alex Karras, DT – 1958-1962, 1964-1970 Detroit Lions
  • Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Duke Slater, T – 1922 Milwaukee Badgers, 1922-25 Rock Island Independents
  • Mac Speedie, E – 1946-1952 Cleveland Browns [AAFC/NFL]
  • Ed Sprinkle, DE/LB/E – 1944-1955 Chicago Bears

CENTENNIAL SLATE BLUE-RIBBON PANEL

The Centennial Slate Blue-Ribbon Panel was comprised of many members of the overall Selection Committee in addition to Hall of Famers, coaches, football executives and several leading historians. The panel considered nearly 300 nominees in the lengthy process to elect the slate.

“This was the most thorough vetting of candidates in the Hall’s history and it needed to be. Our charge was to scour 100 years of professional football and find the most deserving candidates who have slipped through the cracks,” commented veteran Hall of Fame Selector Rick Gosselin. “All 38 finalists for the Centennial Slate were Hall of Fame worthy but we could only choose 15. I am proud to be a part of this process that honors these men who shaped the NFL in its first century.”

  • Bill Belichick – New England Patriots Head Coach
  • Jarrett Bell – Hall of Fame Selector, USA Today
  • Gil Brandt – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor
  • Joel Bussert – Former NFL Executive, Pro Football Historian
  • John Clayton – Hall of Fame Selector, The Washington Post
  • Frank Cooney – Hall of Fame Selector, Sports Xchange
  • John Czarnecki – Hall of Fame Selector, FOX Sports
  • Rick Gosselin – Hall of Fame Selector, Talk of Fame Network
  • Elliot Harrison – Pro Football Historian and Long-time TV Analyst
  • Joe Horrigan – Retired Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive Director, Football Historian
  • Ira Kaufman – Hall of Fame Selector, JoeBucsFan.com
  • Dick LeBeau – Pro Football Hall of Fame Cornerback, Longtime NFL coach
  • Jeff Legwold – Hall of Fame Selector, ESPN/ESPN.com
  • John Madden – Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach
  • John McClain – Hall of Fame Selector, Houston Chronicle
  • Gary Myers – Hall of Fame Selector, Sports Illustrated
  • Ozzie Newsome – Pro Football Hall of Fame Tight End, EVP Baltimore Ravens
  • Sal Paolantonio – Hall of Fame Selector, Senior National Correspondent – ESPN
  • Carl Peterson – Longtime Pro Football Executive
  • Bill Polian – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor
  • Dan Pompei – Hall of Fame Selector, The Athletic
  • Charean Williams – Hall of Fame Selector, Pro Football Talk
  • Chris Willis – Producer-Head of Research Library – NFL Films, Football Historian
  • Barry Wilner – Hall of Fame Selector, Associated Press
  • Ron Wolf – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor

Continuity – what a concept! 01.14.20

So many people want to fire a bunch of these guys after a rough season.

But maybe sometimes it’s best not to.

Talking about firing assistant coaches.

The Jets went 7-9 in 2019; obviously not a great record.

Head coach Adam Gase is coming back next year. Christopher Johnson said that on November 13.

But what about his staff?

After a rough season, there’s always speculation about whether some assistants will be fired.

I don’t get into speculating on that stuff because we are talking about people with families and mortgages – human beings. This isn’t a video game, so I’m not into the sport of firing people in print.

But honestly, maybe it’s a good thing this year if the Jets keep their staff together, and give the players continuity.

There has been constant change on the coaching staff at One Jets Drive, and that’s not the best thing for players, always having to start over.

So maybe for this Jets off-season, leave the staff intact, and see what happens. Give continuity a try.

Hey, Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport or Mike Garafolo might announce in the coming days the Jets are making staff changes. We will see.

But if they don’t, with Gase’s job secure this year, why not just leave the staff alone, and see what it looks like to have the same staff come back for a second year in a row?

That might be worth a test drive.

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The new issue of the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine comes out early next week. To subscribe to this must-read for Jets fans, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F).

 

 


Joe Douglas feels this Jets’ unit improved down stretch 01.13.20

It was a rollercoaster ride for this Jets’ unit during the 2019 season.

Talking about the Jets’ offensive line.

Due to injuries, they had nine different line combinations start in 2019, and had some rough outings over the course of the season, but Jets GM Joe Douglas feels they played better late in the year.

“I think you saw it down the back stretch where we were able to protect Sam (Darnold), we did a great job picking up stunts, we did a great job picking up blitzes,” Douglas said after the season.

But even though they improved late in the season, Douglas, a former offensive lineman himself, knows he has some work to do in this area.

“Moving forward, the line of scrimmage is always going to be a priority here and so it’s definitely going to be something that we’re going to look to improve every year,” Douglas said.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about the Jets you will not read anywhere else. Our next issue comes out next week. Get it, you won’t regret it! Makes a great gift for a Jet fan!

 


Joe Douglas ready to roll on big off-season #nyj 01.09.20

Is Jets GM Joe Douglas pumped to get to work this off-season?

“Absolutely, it’s a great opportunity,” Douglas said.

Why is that?

“It’s a great opportunity to improve on the strong finish,” Douglas said.

The Jets went 6-2 over the second half of the 2019 season.

Douglas plans on being very selective on the kind of players he brings in.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring in the right kind of people, because I do believe that there’s a reason the saying’s been around for so long, ‘You win with people,'” Douglas said.

What is he looking for in players?

“You need high character, you need a certain level of toughness, you need the right people within your organization,” Douglas said.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much good stuff about Gang Green delivered to your mailbox every month. A must read for Jets fans. Get it, you won’t regret it! Makes a great gift for a Jets fan.


Joe D knows he’s gotta do this with Jets #nyj 01.07.20

This is one of the most important things you must do to have a winning football team, and Jets GM Joe Douglas knows it.

And that’s build a strong football culture.

Douglas was part of those in Baltimore and Philadelphia, and now he’s looking to build one with the Jets.

“The plan is to create the best culture in sports,” Douglas said recently. “What do I mean by that? I think the best culture, it’s a self-sustaining entity where professionalism, leadership, it’s transferred from one generation of players to the next. You see that in every great team. Every great team has that culture. That’s what we’re going to try to create here.”

What will it take to create a great football culture with the Jets?

“It’s going to take people with the right level of commitment, character and competence,” Douglas said. “Every person, every player that we bring into this building, they’re going to be assessed on their fit within our culture and their ability to help us achieve our ultimate goal, which is win a Super Bowl, year in and year out.”

He knows what it looks like from his last two stops in Baltimore and Philly.

Let’s see if he can make it happen with Gang Green.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A very unique look at Gang Green delivered to your mailbox every month, with so much stuff you won’t read anywhere else. Get it, you won’t regret it!


Tom Brady on the loss to Titans and his future (which impacts AFC East) 01.06.20

Tom Brady to NBC’s Peter King on a few different subjects like New England’s loss to Tennessee and free agency:

Brady on his upcoming free agency: “I’ll explore those opportunities whenever they are. If it’s the Patriots, great. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I love playing football. I still want to play football.”

Brady on Wild Card loss to the Titans: “I’m not crushingly disappointed. I think we fought hard. Our head is held high. We’re competitors. Every season doesn’t end in a Super Bowl win. It’s exciting when it does. You relish those when you have those opportunities and we’ve had them more than anyone else.”

More on the loss to Tennessee: “The sun’s coming up tomorrow. Especially as I’ve gotten older, you realize that life goes on. I’ve been so fortunate to play for such a great owner and for such a great coach. Nobody could have had it better than me. I absolutely still do love this game…I think a lot of other people who are great at what they do – great artists or great actors or great businessmen – they don’t have to stop what they love as they get older. I know there’s football still in here.”

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. See what you are missing.


Jets can’t let others make them live in past! #nyjets 01.02.20

Some people constantly remind the Jets of their past, continually referencing past events.

But what do people like Joe Douglas and Sam Darnold have to do with any of that?

It’s important the Jets live in the present, without people trying to drag them down by bringing up the past.

Whether it’s football or life, living in the past might not be ideal, as some famous people have reminded us over the years.

“I got my faults, but living in the past is not one of them – there is no future in it,” said long-time baseball manager, the late Sparky Anderson.

“If you live in the past, you die in the past,” said former NFL coach Mike Ditka.

“The past is a great place, and I don’t want to erase it or to regret it, but I don’t want to be its prisoner either,” said rock star Mick Jagger.

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Was this really a problem for the 2019 Jets? Not really. 01.01.20

Some are too fixated on this angle, and should stop . . .

Some are always harping on Le’Veon Bell’s workload and make a big deal when he’s out of the game.

Why? Bilal Powell is a terrific running back. Stop making such a big deal about how many times Bell carries the ball. Bell finished Sunday’s Jets-Buffalo game with 16 carries for 41 yards and a 2.6 average against a defense playing a lot of backups. You take out his long carry of 12 yards, and he was 15-29. Not saying those low numbers were all his fault, but why is it such a big deal when they give Powell some carries, especially since the starter wasn’t exactly lighting it up?

Memo to those obsessed with Bell’s work load. Chill out. Nothing wrong with Powell getting his fair share. He’s a very good running back, and does a nice job hitting holes quickly.

Play-callers don’t need to genuflect to Bell, and feel they can never take him out of the game.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Tons of Jets scoops delivered to your mailbox every month. So much stuff about the Jets you won’t read anywhere else. Makes a great gift for a Jets fan. Check it out!

 

 


What on earth is wrong with Jets’ offense?#NYJ 09.22.19

Foxboro – The Jets’ offense is “atrocious.”

Don’t ask me, ask the head coach and play-caller.

“Offensively we are atrocious,” Adam Gase said after a 30-16 loss to New England on Sunday. “As bad as you can get.”

You could say it’s because of quarterback injuries, but even in the opener, Sam Darnold struggled.

Whether it was Darnold against Buffalo, Trevor Siemian/Luke Falk against Cleveland, or Falk against New England, the Jets’ offense has been stuck in the mud.

Running back Le’Veon Bell was asked if Darnold (mono) coming back soon will help.

“Regardless of Sam, we still have to protect and make plays outside,” Bell said.

Fair point.

The Jets’ offensive line has no continuity after playing so little together in the summer, and having a new center/leader thrust on them in the 11th hour.

The wide receiving corps the Jets rolled with today featured nobody who could win 50-50 balls. The main three receivers were all undersized. Bad plan. You need a guy in the mix who can climb the ladder and win jump balls, especially against a defense as good as New England that plays very tight coverage.

The Jets are using a blocking tight end as their main receiving tight end. Bad idea. He doesn’t get much separation.

And the play-calling has been substandard, which is surprising because the Jets hired a head coach with good reputation as an offensive mind.

You throw all of these factors into the hopper, and you get what you saw today in Foxboro today.


Rex Ryan is wrong – Adam Gase was right! #NYJvsNE 09.22.19

After penalties on two straight plays, and his third of the game, Adam Gase pulled Jamal Adams for the last five plays of the Jets’ loss to Cleveland on Monday.

ESPN’s Rex Ryan ripped the decision to pull Adams for five plays.

“They benched Jamal Adams. I was like, ‘What?'” Ryan told ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “That pissed me off because I love that kid. He’s the guy that represents the Jets. I’d kill to have a guy like that. I love that mentality. Hey — you know what? — you may beat us, but by God we’re going to beat the hell out of you. I’d rather go down that way, with people that will go down swinging than, OK, let’s accept losing.

“That pissed me off. If they have that mentality, they ain’t gonna beat anybody. But if they have the mentality of this Jamal Adams, they’ve got a chance.”

Why did Gase do it?

“I thought (Adams) was getting fired up pretty good and I clicked over, and I was like, ‘Hey, we need to be careful here.’ Because I was worried that something bad was going to happen, we need him for the next week,” Gase said. “They were smart and they pulled him off. I said, ‘Just calm him down,’ and then we were off the field. To me, I didn’t look at that as benching, that was more like, ‘Hey, let’s just calm him down.’”

Ryan is wrong. Gase was right.

Gase is trying to fix a football culture that was broken when he arrived.

By pulling Adams, and benching underachieving cornerback Trumaine Johnson, also against Cleveland, he sent a strong message to his team, that anybody is replaceable, no matter where you picked in the draft, or how much you make.

Gase is trying to bring accountability and discipline to the Jets, something that was lacking under the previous two regimes.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must-read for Jets fans. Blunt, but fair.


Gase/Douglas/Elhai Must Shut This Down Right Now! 09.19.19

Luke Falk is the Jets’ quarterback this week, but it’s hard to tell.

The Jets need to chill out on the Sam Darnold talk this week. He’s a heck of a prospect, but he’s not playing this week. The focus needs to be on Falk, not Darnold.

Look, I understand that Darnold is a very important part of the Jets, but focus in sports is of the utmost importance, and focusing on a guy who isn’t playing this week doesn’t help the football culture.

You know how they say you shouldn’t look past an opponent. This is kind of like that. So much focus on Darnold possible coming back for the Philly game, and perhaps not enough on playing maybe the best team in football on Sunday, is bad culturally.

On Wednesday, Darnold addressed the media and Falk didn’t. Darnold isn’t playing this week and Falk is.

On Wednesday, Adam Gase answered eight, yes eight, media questions about Darnold, and not one about Falk. I know Gase can’t control what’s asked, but he can control his answers. He talked extensively about Darnold, who isn’t playing this week. He should have said, “We will talk about Sam when he is cleared to come back. Luke is the quarterback this week.”

Good football cultures focus on who’s playing, not who isn’t.

Culture, culture, culture.

Focus, focus, focus.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Blunt, but fair. A must-read for Jets fans.


Miami Dolphins Sign Surprising Jets Cut 09.18.19

*MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins today announced they signed safety Doug Middleton.

Middleton joins the Dolphins after spending the past three seasons (2016-18) with the N.Y. Jets. He’s played in 11 career games with four starts, totaling 28 tackles (20 solo) and four passes defensed. He also made five solo special teams stops. Middleton originally entered the NFL as an undrafted college free agent with the Jets on May 6, 2016. The team waived him on Sept. 2, 2019.

*Press Release


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