Dan Leberfeld's Blog

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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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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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.


*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.


*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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Could this Jets assistant stay? 01.09.19

With Ian Rapoport, Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington’s announcement that Adam Gase will be the next Jets’ coach, you start to wonder about his staff.

Will any coaches from the 2018 staff be retained?

It’s hard to say, but keep an eye on offensive line coach Rick Dennison.

Like Gase, he has roots with the Denver Broncos, and they have worked together.

So Gase will probably consider keeping him around.

Stay tuned.


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

The Jets Hire Adam Gase – My take . . . 01.09.19

Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport and Jeff Darlington announced that the Jets will hire Adam Gase as their new head coach.

Gase is considered one of the top offensive minds in football.

After the Dolphins beat the Jets 20-12 at MetLife Stadium in September, Miami receiver Albert Wilson described Gase as “an offensive genius.”

Only time will tell how this turns out, but I have no problem with the Jets rolling the dice on a top-shelf offensive mind who isn’t afraid to bench people who underperform. And believe you me, this dude will bench people.

My gut tells me Gase, who’s extremely bright, is one of those guys who will do better his second time around as a head coach, like Bill Belichick.


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

The type of guy Christopher needs to hire . . . 01.07.19

is . . .

1)A great leader of men – an alpha dog who commands a room.

2)A top-shelf X’s and O’s guy.

3)Somebody who has been a head coach before, either in the NFL or college – the last four Jets’ coaches had to learn on the job. Enough of that.

4)A coach who will hold his players accountable at all times.

5)A coach not afraid to bench anybody not getting the job done regardless of draft round or salary.

6)A coach who can handle the NY media.


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.

Jets better option for McCarthy than CL, TB or AZ 01.03.19

Four of the teams free agent coach Mike McCarthy has been attached to in the rumor mill are Cleveland, Arizona, Tampa Bay and the Jets.

All four teams have young quarterbacks – Baker Mayfield (Cleveland), Josh Rosen (Arizona), Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay) and Sam Darnold (Jets).

McCarthy got fired during the season by Green Bay, and one of the reported reasons was he butted heads with franchise QB Aaron Rodgers.

So for his next job, he should probably try to get to a team with a QB who isn’t high maintenance or a prima donna.

Darnold seems to be the most coachable and easiest to deal in this group of four.

Mayfield is a terrific player, but can be a pain in the butt. We all know that. He can be a bucking bronco, and let’s not forget he was arrested for public intoxication and fleeing/resisting arrest in February 2017, so he’s no angel.

One of the reasons Rosen slipped in the draft was he wasn’t every coach’s cup of coffee. He can be hard to coach, and as draft guru Lance Zierlein wrote on NFL.com, “Scouts question his passion for football and whether he will be a willing student.”

Winston’s questionable behavior, legal issues and inconsistent play are well-documented.

So if you’re McCarthy, and had to chose between coaching Mayfield, Rosen, Winston or Darnold, wouldn’t you go with Darnold?

He’s eager and down-to-earth. There’s no drama around this guy. He just wants to play ball and continue to get better.

After McCarthy dealt with all the Rodgers’ drama in Green Bay, don’t you think he could use the antithesis of that at the QB position moving forward, and Darnold would give him that.


To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Don’t forget you can also get a combo deal, our Jets Website Whispers five days a week on this site, and the monthly magazine delivered to your home, for just $74.95 a year.

NFL names Caesars official casino sponsor 01.03.19

*NEW YORK, NY & LAS VEGAS, NV (Jan. 3, 2019) – The National Football League today announced they have selected Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR) as the first ever Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL.

Beginning with the upcoming 2019 NFL playoffs, this multi-year sponsorship is focused on Caesars providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists, and a wide range of entertainment elements.

Caesars will have the exclusive right to use NFL trademarks in the United States and the United Kingdom to promote Caesars casino properties and activate at key NFL events including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.

Seven NFL Clubs have relationships with Caesars Entertainment, including the Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Colts, Saints, Raiders, and Eagles. These partnerships along with the new League deal are for the Casino category only and do not include sports betting, daily fantasy or hotels/resorts.

Caesars, alongside other properties on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, will host elements of the 2020 Draft in coordination with the City of Las Vegas to help create this historic event.

*Press release

Jets need to ignore the white noise during coaching search 01.01.19

Ignore the noise.

In their coaching search, the Jets can’t worry about how the media and fans will react to a choice.

Yesterday, I wrote a little about Ian Rapoport’s announcement that the Jets want to interview Tampa Bay OC Todd Monken.

And some didn’t react well to the news on Twitter.

This made me realize how important it is for the Jets to avoid governing by public opinion polls in this search.

It’s been speculated the former Jets’ owner lost interest in Doug Marrone (in 2015) after a smear campaign in the Daily News that made the coach look bad.

That sort of the thing can’t happen this time around.

The Jets need to do an extensive search and find a a great fit for their job opening. They need to find an alpha dog leader, outstanding strategist and tremendous communicator who will hold players accountable.

They can’t, at any point, worry how a candidate will look to the fans or media. This might’ve happened in 2015. It can’t happen this time around.

I’m not putting Monken in Canton, but if they happen to decide he’s the best fit for them, go for it.

Do not worry about how the public and media will react.

The only thing that matters is how the hiring turns out in the long run, not the reaction of people when the hiring is announced.


To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, a must-read for Jets fans, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Get it, you won’t regret it!

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