Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Tim McGraw to perform at NFL Draft in Nashville 03.18.19

*NASHVILLE – The NFL and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp today announced plans for the 2019 NFL Draft Experience, presented by Oikos® Triple Zero, a free three-day football festival held outside of Nissan Stadium during the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25-April 27. The Experience will be the largest NFL Draft festival footprint to date, and in recognition of Music City, will be the first to integrate a free live music concert series featuring 20 Nashville-based artists of all genres.​

GRAMMY-winner Tim McGraw will headline the concert series at the Draft Main Stage in downtown Nashville. McGraw, who serves on the Nashville Local Organizing Committee for the Nashville Draft, has had 43 number-one radio singles, 16 number-one albums and countless industry awards and accolades. McGraw recently performed for the NFL’s official Tailgate party at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

“We’re excited to show NFL fans from around the country why there’s no better place for the Draft than Music City,” said Steve Underwood, President and CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “Along with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, and some of Tennessee’s most talented artists, musicians and businesses, we’d like to welcome the NFL family to our team’s hometown.”

In addition to the Draft Main Stage performances, GRAMMY-nominated CeCe Winans will sing the National Anthem to open NFL Draft activities on Thursday, April 25. Throughout the week, the Draft Experience Stage will feature 15 Nashville-based acts representing diverse genres of music ranging from pop and indie rock to country. Additional performances and headliners will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Each year, the NFL strives to make the Draft weekend a memorable experience for our fans. The passionate fan base and iconic location will ensure a unique experience that is unlike anything fans have ever seen” said NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events, Peter O’Reilly. “We want to thank the Tennessee Titans and the city of Nashville for being a gracious host for the 2019 NFL Draft. We would also like to thank Tim and CeCe for generously giving their time to our fans to make their experience even more memorable.”

NFL Draft Experience hours of operation:

April 25 (Thursday): 12PM to 10PM
April 26 (Friday): 12PM to 10PM
April 27 (Saturday): 9AM to 6PM​

*Press Release


Raising the Barr 03.11.19

ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr will sign with the Jets.

Barr was a good player for the Minnesota Vikings, but he can be an even better one with the Jets.

During his five seasons with the Vikings, he played 4-3 outside linebacker, not a lot on the edge.

You put Barr in a 3-4 defense, and play him on the edge as an outside linebacker, he could help the Jets’ pass rush quite a bit.

His last two years at UCLA, playing on the edge, he had 23.5 sacks.

Before the 2014 draft, Nolan Nawrocki wrote, “He has exceptional take-off speed, acceleration and closing burst.”

Nawrocki added, “A highly-productive athletic specimen with pass-rush potential to effortlessly emerge as a double-digit sack producer.”

In Minnesota he had just 13.5 sacks in five seasons.

But the way the Jets will use them, more on the edge, expect a lot more than that, and numbers closer to what he produced in college.

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Gase/Williams must be incredibly blunt with Macc 03.07.19

Telling people what you think they want to hear about players doesn’t help a team win on game day.

So Jets new coach and offensive overlord Adam Gase, and his defensive chief Gregg Williams, need to be brutally honest with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan about the players they inherited – the good and the bad.

Sugarcoating things so you don’t hurt the GM’s feelings won’t help the Jets be successful.

If Gase and Williams think certain guys can’t cut it, no matter where they were drafted, or how much they make, they need to tell that to Maccagnan.

They need to keep things real at all times.

No BS-ing.

Keep the best 53, start the best 22 – don’t worry about draft and free agent records.

No politics.

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Jets out of running for Antonio – Good or bad thing? 03.06.19

On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced the Jets are “in the mix” for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

On Wednesday, Rapoport announced they are no longer in the running.

This isn’t necessarily bad news for the Jets.

Adam Gase is trying to establish a strong culture with his new team, so why bring in Brown, who recently said on ESPN, “I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game. I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone. If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play.”

Why would you want a guy in your locker room with this attitude if you are trying to build a new culture?

Also, do you want a diva receiver, who needs the ball a lot, getting in the head of your young, developing QB. A prima donna receiver is the last thing Sam Darnold needs now. He needs to learn to go through his progressions better and throw to the open guy, not worry about forcing the ball to a receiver demanding the rock.

Brown is obviously very talented, but the wrong guy at wrong time right now for Gang Green.

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The Jets Confidential free agency preview is out now, loaded with tons of great info previewing the marketplace. Also lots of Jets Whispers and a deep dive into the mysterious relationship between Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt. Pick one up on a news stand or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5) to subscribe. You can also click below to subscribe.


Costello good point about Maccagnan and Bell 03.05.19

New York Post reporter Brian Costello made a point about the coverage of the Jets’ supposed interest in Le’Veon Bell that bears repeating.

“The people I spoke with seemed to be deducing that the Jets would be in on Bell, not that they were told that by anyone from the Jets. (Mike) Maccagnan has a reputation for keeping things close to the vest and he has done that with his plans for Bell,” Costello wrote for the Post today.

This is a very important point that needed to be made.

Anybody who claims they know what Maccagnan is going to do on the Bell front, might be leading you astray.

As Costello points out, Maccagnan keeps things “close to the vest.”

He’s not a guy who gives stuff to NFL media insiders. He once mistakenly called Adam Schefter, “Adam Schechter” when talking about the ESPN reporter. Maccagnan doesn’t live in that world.

The point is there is a lot of logical guessing right now, but to think anything is coming from Maccagnan on Bell is far-fetched.

The Jets’ GM doesn’t roll that way.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F 9-5).


Risky business with big money free agent RB’s 03.04.19

It’s a position that takes a tremendous physical toll on the human body.

So giving running backs lucrative second-contracts in the NFL can be risky business.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reports Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who was hobbled late in the season with knee issues, actually has arthritis in his left knee, the same knee that required surgery in 2014 at Georgia. The team is considering stem-cell treatment.

On July 24, 2018, Gurley signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension with the Rams with $45 million guaranteed.

Less the one-year into the deal, he has a medical red flag.

Running backs take an awful beating. There is no way around that fact. And when you look at all the carries Gurley had in high school, college and four years in the NFL, that’s a lot of mileage on his odometer.

This is a cautionary tale to teams like the Jets who might be interested in signing 27-year-old free agent Le’Veon Bell to a big-money deal.

The man’s had a ton of carries from Groveport High School to Michigan State to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s taken a lot of hits and has already blown out a knee in his career.

While he’s a heck of player, may the buy beware.

Giving running backs huge second contracts (following their rookie deals) in free agency can be risky business.

On March 14, 2018, former Minnesota Vikings Jerick McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. He never played a game last year, blowing out an ACL in practice on September 1.

Teams looking to give Bell a monster deal should probably proceed with caution.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out on news stands and at convenience stories. It’s our free agent preview issue with scouting reports on the top players available at every position. Also tons of Whispers and a deep dive into the complicated Gregg Williams-Joe Vitt relationship. To subscribe, click on the banner ad below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else.


Is Sam Darnold a franchise QB at this point? 02.18.19

You see stuff on social media talking about Sam Darnold being a franchise QB.

You could make a strong argument that talk is premature right now.

He has a lot to work on, and will be the first to admit it.

Not only must he learn to read defenses better and cut down on picks, but he now has a new offense to learn in Year Two. It’s a big challenge for a rookie, going into his second year, having to learn a new playbook.

He’s clearly a terrific prospect; a guy loaded with talent.

But is he a franchise QB yet?

Probably not.

Does he have the potential to be one? Absolutely.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, a must-read for Jets fan, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


Another example of Gase and accountability 02.07.19

The Jets desperately need more accountability, and new coach Adam Gase seems like a guy who will bring it.

In October of 2018, Gase cut Dolphins defensive tackle Jordan Phillips after he complained about his role and getting his playing time cut.

“DT Jordan Phillips apparently not happy to leave field before that play. Threw helmet angrily on ground on sideline and sat on bench after brief exchange with a coach,” tweeted Chris Perkins, formerly of the Sun-Sentinel, during a Patriots blowout win over Miami.

Gase was asked why Phillips’ playing time was cut.

“There’s a reason why we’re doing that,” Gase said. “There’s a reason why we’re subbing the way we’re subbing against that team. It’s not a secret why we’re doing it. Whatever (defensive line coach) Kris Kocurek wants the D-linemen to do, that’s what we’re doing.”

In other words, DO YOUR JOB or get out.

The Jets clearly need this kind of accountability badly.

There was perhaps too much unconditional player love in recent years.

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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.


The Jets need more talent, but . . . 02.06.19

Jamal Adams says the Jets need more talent.

While this is true, it can’t just be any talent, but it must be guys who will “do their job” to paraphrase Bill Belichick.

And Adam Gase shares that same worldview with Belichick, and if you don’t study your playbook, and do what you’re assigned to do, and be a team player, the new Jets’ coach doesn’t want you on his team, no matter how talented you are.

In October, 2017, Gase, then coaching the Miami Dolphins, shocked many when he traded talented running back Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia. Why? Because Ajayi refused to spend the necessary time to get the playbook down. He was missing holes and assignments at times.

“At the end of the day, guys have got to actually take this stuff home and study it,” Gase said. “They’re not going to just learn it all in meetings. We’ve got to find guys that will actually put forth effort to actually remember this stuff and really, it starts with our best players.”

He also cut Ajayi for being more concerned with his workload than winning.

“[Ajayi] complained bitterly about not getting the football,” wrote Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero. “He stormed out of the locker room – get this, after wins – because he hadn’t gotten what he deemed to be enough carries.”

So Gase sent him packing.

So it’s important for Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to sign players who “do their job,” and work hard at their craft, not just add big names as some people are pushing him to do.

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*Jamal Adams photo courtesy of Microsoft Surface’s Make Believe Happen campaign, which celebrates the ability to turn your dreams into reality through the use of technology and held multiple events at SBLIII to celebrate music, gaming, fashion, film, and content experiences, including a fashion show that Adams participated in.


To be successful, Jets MUST take this approach . . . 02.05.19

Adam Gase did this in Miami, and must continue to do it with the Jets if they hope to narrow the gap with the New England Patriots.

Just like New England, Gase believes that if you aren’t getting the job done, you’re not going to play.

Just look at his history.

In September, 2016 during a Miami-Cleveland game, Dolphins right tackle Ju’Waun James was benched after causing two turnover-causing hits on the QB.

Even first-round picks aren’t safe with Gase.

Gase was asked about what happened after the game, and didn’t say, “We wanted to look at other guys.” He told it like it was.

“We pulled him out,” Gase said after Miami’s 30-24 victory over Cleveland.

Just like New England would do.

Gase needs to continue this approach in Florham Park, where it has been largely missing the last eight years.

If you aren’t getting the job done on the field, your butt needs to land on the bench or the waiver wire.

If the Jets want to be a Super Bowl contender, and turn their dreams into reality, they HAVE to take this approach.

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*Jamal Adams photo courtesy of Microsoft Surface’s Make Believe Happen campaign, which celebrates the ability to turn your dreams into reality through the use of technology.


CBS announces ratings for Super Bowl 02.04.19

The CBS Television Network’s coverage of Super Bowl LIII featuring the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Feb 3 (6:32-10:05 PM, ET) posted a Total Audience Delivery of 100.7 million viewers, across all platforms including CBS Television Network, CBS Interactive, NFL digital properties, Verizon Media mobile properties and ESPN Deportes television and digital properties.

Super Bowl LIII was watched on CBS in all-or-part by 149.0 million (Persons 2+) viewers on an all-or-part basis according to Nielsen’s Fast Total Audience Estimates.

The home markets of CBS Owned and Operated stations in Los Angeles and Boston scored with viewership as the most-watched Super Bowl ever on KCBS (Los Angeles) and WBZ (Boston).


Should Jamal be involved in Jets personnel decisions? 01.30.19

This is certainly a different approach in the NFL.

It’s very NBA-like.

Jamal Adams clearly wants to be involved in the Jets’ player personnel decisions.

Brian Costello tweeted from Atlanta, “Just spoke to Jamal Adams on radio row. He had lunch with Le’Veon Bell’s agent at the Pro Bowl. The recruitment has begun.”

This is very unusual. Usually it’s the GM who meets with agents about their free agent players, not players.

After the season, Adams kind of called the Jets’ player personnel department on the carpet.

“We need more players and we need more dogs, simple as that,” Adams said. “You have to go get players, man. You have to get big-time players. It’s simple. You look at the Saints. You look at the Rams. You look at the Chicago Bears. You look at all those teams. You have to go get players.

“We have talent. We’re just not all the way there. You can’t beat around the bush. That’s why we’ve been losing. We’ve been beating around the bush. You can’t beat around the bush. You have to get real with yourself.”

Recently Adams went on twitter to lobby for Antonio Brown, “Yo @AB84 NYC will appreciate you!! #JETS.”

Last year he lobbied for Dez Bryant after Dallas released him.

“88 You know where to come!,” Adams tweeted.

Clearly Adams wants a seat at table when it comes to Jets’ player personnel decisions.

It will be interesting to see if Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Adam Gase give him one.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out and loaded with page after page of the good stuff on Gang Green. You can pick one up on a news stand or convenience store. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


Jets GM gotta listen to Adam and Gregg on roster 01.29.19

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan still has final say on the Jets’ roster.

However, the Jets have two new guys running their offense and defense, who come in with different worldviews of what they’re looking for. Adam Gase is running the offense and Gregg Williams is running the defense.

Gase and Williams are going to review the game tape from the last couple of years, and could look at some players way differently than Maccagnan. Guys who the GM might like, they might not.

As Nick Saban likes to say, “Everyone looks at the world through a different set of eyes.”

Gase and Williams might want to make myriad changes to the roster, and it will be interesting to see if Maccagnan pushes back. After all, he brought all these players in, and has final say on the roster.

Gase and Williams are two objective observers, coming in from the outside, who will watch all the film from the last couple of years, 5-11 and 4-12 seasons, and give a blunt assessment of the Jets’ roster with no rose-colored glasses.

Maccagnan (and Christopher Johnson) need to listen to their assessments, and act accordingly.

Everyone needs to check their egos at the door.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, and is on news stands. Page after page of the good stuff on Gang Green with so much stuff you won’t read anywhere else. To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


Interesting note about Gase/Manning in ESPN Browns story 01.24.19

ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham has a fascinating piece on the channel’s website about the struggles of the Cleveland Browns’ organization.

It’s no secret the Browns, under owner Jimmy Haslam, have made a lot of coaching changes.

Buried in the middle of this long piece, Wickersham mentioned that at one point, Peyton Manning recommended Adam Gase to Haslam for the Browns’ job.

“(Peyton) Manning raved to Haslam about then-Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase,” wrote Wickersham.

Sound familiar?

Manning made the same recommendation to the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, who both hired Gase to be their head coach.

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New issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, loaded with stuff about the Jets you won’t read anywhere else. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


Jets meet with a couple of O-Linemen at Sr. Bowl 01.23.19

Mobile – The Jets might be in the market for some offensive line help in the 2019 draft.

Jets scouts and personnel executives met with two offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl this week, Oklahoma guard Dru Samia and Kansas State tackle Dalton Risner.

While Risner played right tackle for the Wildcats for the last three years, he could move inside to guard or center on the next level. He played center as a freshman.

Obviously the Jets have met with more lineman in Mobile than just Samia and Risner, but those are the two we know about.

As we find out more names, we will let you know.

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out and available at convenience stores and by subscription. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. Get it, you won’t regret it.


Great TV ratings for Pats-Chiefs game 01.21.19

*CBS Sports’ coverage of the New England-Kansas City AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 20 (6:45-10:15 PM, ET) earned a 31.2/48 average overnight household rating/share in the metered markets, the highest-rated late-window Conference Championship Game in seven years (1/22/12; 33.4/48 HH rating/share; New York Giants-San Francisco).

The Patriots-Chiefs game saw ratings up +26% from last year’s comparable Championship Game window (24.7/38 for Minnesota-Philadelphia in last year’s late-game).

This year’s AFC Championship Game also is the highest-rated program on television since Super Bowl LII programming last year (2/4/18; Philadelphia-New England).

This year’s AFC Championship Game rating peaked with a 36.1/54 from 10:00-10:15 PM, ET.

Top 5 Markets:

Kansas City 60.1/83
Boston 58.5/76
Providence 45.6/61
Buffalo 38.7/51
Hartford 37.7/51

*Press release


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