Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Revis fight should have little to do with football decision 02.17.17

Darrelle Revis was reportedly involved in a street fight in Pittsburgh last weekend.

Revis was charged with aggravated assault, robbery and a couple of other things.

Let’s give him due process and see where this ends up.

But whatever happened, it should have little or no bearing on his future with the Jets.

Any good football operation would look at how he performed the last two years and say, “we’re moving on.”

The film doesn’t lie.

He’s nowhere near the player he used to be. He’s lost speed and quickness, often gives up too much cushion in coverage, and doesn’t tackle like he used to.

What he did his first time around with the team, and his legacy, should have no bearing on the decision here. Woody Johnson made a mistake re-signing him in 2015. Hey, we all make mistakes.

Sentimentality should have nothing to do with the Revis’ decision in 2017. It should be all about what he can do right now. And he self-admittedly said, he’s “old” and his “body is breaking down.”

Incident or no incident, it’s time for the Jets to move on from this player.

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Time to cut Hack some slack 02.16.17

Jets Confidential ran a poll yesterday. The question was – “Is it unfair to harshly judge Christian Hackenberg after one season when he didn’t play?”

501 people voted. 74 percent said “yes” it’s unfair. 26 percent said “no.”

I would have voted “yes.”

There are way too much too many shots being taken at this player at this stage of the game, some from unnamed cowards.

Hackenberg didn’t play last year because he wasn’t ready. If he did play, he likely would have looked like Los Angeles rookie QB Jared Goff, who started seven games, losing them all, throwing just five touchdowns.

The Jets did the right thing sitting Hackenberg last season. He came in needing a lot of work on mechanics after two rough years at Penn State playing behind a bad offensive line.

Hackenberg has ideal NFL size, a great arm and works really hard.

None of us know how this is going to turn out.

It might not.

But to trash the kid right now is irresponsible. It’s too early.

Let’s see how this turns out.

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The top five prospects at each position from NFL.com’s Mike Mayock 02.14.17

NFL.com and NFL Network’s Mike Mayock just listed his top five draft drospects at every position. Here are those lists . . .

Quarterback

1. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
2. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
3. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
4. Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech
5. Davis Webb, California

Running Back

1. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
2. Leonard Fournette, LSU
3. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
5. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma

Wide receiver

1. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
2. Mike Williams, Clemson
3. John Ross, Washington
4. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
5. Zay Jones, East Carolina

Tight end

1. O.J. Howard, Alabama
2. David Njoku, Miami
3. Evan Engram, Ole Miss
4. Jake Butt, Michigan
5. Gerald Everett, South Alabama

Offensive tackle

1. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
2. Garett Bolles, Utah
3. Antonio Garcia, Troy
4. Roderick Johnson, Florida State
T-5. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
T-5. Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M

Interior OL

1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2. Cam Robinson, Alabama
3. Dan Feeney, Indiana
4. Ethan Pocic, LSU
5. Dion Dawkins, Temple

Interior DL

1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2. Caleb Brantley, Florida
3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State
4. Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
5. Chris Wormley, Michigan

Edge rusher

1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Tim Williams, Alabama
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
5. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

Linebacker

1. Reuben Foster, Alabama
2. Haason Reddick, Temple
3. Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
4. Jarrad Davis, Florida
5. Alex Anzalone, Florida

Cornerback

1. Sidney Jones, Washington
2. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
3. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
4. Teez Tabor, Florida
5. Tre’Davious White, LSU

Safety

1. Malik Hooker, Ohio State
2. Jamal Adams, LSU
3. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
4. Budda Baker, Washington
5. Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut


Chris Long raises money for another well for East Africa 02.07.17

*PATRIOTS DE CHRIS LONG CELEBRATES SUPER BOWL WIN WITH HIS 17TH WATERBOYS WELL

Long’s Waterboys Initiative raised $21,744 towards its “Super Bowl Well” in less than one week

BOSTON, MA – The Chris Long Foundation announced today that its cornerstone initiative, Waterboys, raised over $20,000 in just six days leading up to Super Bowl LI for the construction of the its 17th well in East Africa.

NFL fans around the world joined in the Waterboys’ campaign to make Super Bowl Sunday more than just about football and were encouraged to give $9.95 in honor of the New England Patriots’ ninth Super Bowl appearance and the first for Waterboys founder Chris Long, who dons jersey No. 95. Fans contributed a total of $21,744 during the week-long campaign, which not only completed funding of Well #17, but also 20 percent of Well #18. In celebration of Long’s Super Bowl championship and the giving spirit of football fans everywhere, Well #17 will be commemorated as the “Waterboys Super Bowl Well.”

“Winning the Super Bowl was one of the greatest moments of my life, but to cap it all off with enough funds to build our 17th well is surreal,” Long said. “I am eternally grateful to all of the fans that came together to support me during my Super Bowl journey and help further the mission of Waterboys.”

Since The Chris Long Foundation launched Waterboys in August of 2015, over $965,000 has been raised, resulting in the funding of 16 wells in East Africa. Fourteen wells are already completed with the remaining two wells to be completed by summer 2017.

Fans can still get involved and support the Waterboys mission to transform communities through the gift of clean water at www.waterboys.org.

For more information, media should contact Nicole Woodie at (786) 863-7096 or Nicole@fruitiongiving.com.

About Waterboys:

Waterboys began during a 2013 trip by Long to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Long was struck by the beauty of Tanzania and the vibrancy of its’ people; he also witnessed great suffering due to a lack of clean water. While in Tanzania, Long met Doug Pitt, Goodwill Ambassador for Tanzania, and John Bongiorno, President of the non-profit WorldServe International, and was further educated on the needs and available solutions to the clean water crisis.

Returning home, Long began to envision a pathway to champion the need for clean water in East Africa while engaging other NFL players in the cause. In 2015, Long created the Waterboys Initiative, selecting WorldServe International as its benefiting charity. Waterboys will work with WorldServe International to build wells to provide life-giving water and all that comes from it – the opportunity for education, good health, and economic stability. There are currently 12 “Waterboys,” including Long, who are committed to the effort.

*Press Release


Watson’s interest in Jets 02.03.17

During a radio appearance on ESPN New York, Clemson QB DeShaun Watson was asked whether he’d like to play for the Jets.

“I wouldn’t mind it,” the national championship quarterback said. “I wouldn’t mind coming to New York.”

That is fine, but it doesn’t mean anything.

It’s about the Jets’ personnel department wanting him. His interest in the team is irrelevant.

And the Jets are picking sixth in the first round, and that is probably too high to pick Watson, who was a terrific college QB, but threw too many many picks. He threw three interceptions in Clemson’s only loss this past season, at home against Pittsburgh.

Watson is probably more of a late first-round pick.

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A QB who could be a good fit for the Jets 01.30.17

Florham Park – The Jets need to add a veteran quarterback as insurance in case Christian Hackenberg isn’t ready.

I’m going to throw a name out you don’t hear mentioned much, but I think would be a good fit – Chase Daniel.

Daniel is currently the backup in Philadelphia. He signed there last year because he thought he’d have a chance to compete for the starting job. That never happened. He was pretty ticked off about it.

Daniel’s contract is a little pricey for a backup, so perhaps the Eagles would be willing to trade him to the Jets for a middle-round pick.

The reason I bring up Daniel as a good fit for the Jets is that he played in New Orleans from 2009-2012.

The Jets’ new offensive coordinator John Morton spent the last two years with the Saints.

While Daniel and Morton didn’t overlap in New Orleans, Morton is going to bring a big chunk of the Sean Payton’s Saints playbook to the Jets, and Daniel knows that system like the back of his hand. He’s very comfortable in it.

Also, during his four years in New Orleans, Daniel learned a ton from Drew Brees. He’s almost like a poor man’s Brees – a smart QB who spreads the ball around nicely.

If I’m the Jets, I’m making a call to Eagles GM Howie Roseman to see if Daniel is available.

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The bio of new Jets offensive coordinator John Morton 01.29.17

ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced on Sunday Jets intend on hiring John Morton as their new offensive coordinator.

Morton spent the last two years as the New Orleans Saints WR coach. Prior to that, Morton was a part of a staff as wide receivers coach in San Francisco from 2011-14 that helped lead the 49ers to three appearances in the NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XLVII. During his 49ers tenure, Morton’s top pupils were Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.

The wide receiver corps continued to make strides under Morton’s supervision in 2014. Boldin led the 49ers in receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,062) and became just the fourth player in club history to have multiple 1,000-yard seasons with the 49ers and the first player to do so in his first two campaigns with the team. Crabtree finished second on the team with 68 receptions.

In 2013, Boldin set the franchise record for most receiving yards in a season-opener in his first game with the team after recording 208 yards vs. Green Bay. Boldin went on to register his sixth-career 1,000 yard season, his first since 2009. It marked the first time since 2002-03 that the 49ers had a 1,000 yard receiver in consecutive seasons.

In 2012, Crabtree became the first 49ers wide receiver to surpass the 1,000-yard mark since 2003, notching career highs in receptions (85), receiving yards (1,105) and touchdowns (nine). Under Morton’s direction in 2011, Crabtree led the team with then career-highs in both receptions (72) and receiving yards (874), while adding four touchdowns.

Morton, 47, has spent the previous four years at the University of Southern California as the school’s wide receivers coach. He also held the position of the Trojans passing game coordinator in 2007-08 and 2010, while serving as the school’s offensive coordinator in 2009. Under Morton’s tutelage, WR Damian Williams earned All-Pac-10 first team honors and, along with WR Patrick Turner, was a third round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Prior to joining USC, Morton served at the passing game coordinator/offensive assistant with New Orleans in 2006, helping the Saints earn a berth in the NFC Championship game that season.

Morton worked under Harbaugh at the University of San Diego as the passing game/wide receivers coach in 2005. That year, QB Josh Johnson set school records in completions (260), completion percentage (70.1) and passing yards (3,256), while WR Adam Hannula set a school record in 73 receptions.

From 1997-04, Morton worked for the Oakland Raiders in several capacities and served alongside Harbaugh for two years (2002-03). He began in the Raiders personnel department and then worked as an offensive assistant working with the wide receivers for two years (1998-99). Morton then became the offensive quality control coach in 2000 and again worked with the wide receivers until 2001. He was then elevated to senior offensive assistant in 2002, when Oakland played in the Super Bowl, and was later names the team’s tight ends coach in 2004.

Morton originally signed with Oakland as an undrafted rookie wide receiver in 1993, and spent part of the next two seasons (1993-94) on the Raiders practice squad. He also spent time with Green Bay in 1993 and was in training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. Morton returned to training camp with the Raiders again in 1996. He played for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in 1995 and 1996, and later with the World League’s Frankfurt Galaxy in the spring of 1997.

Morton played at Western Michigan for two seasons (1991-92), where he finished 10th on the school’s all-time receiving list (78 receptions) and eighth in receiving yards (1,278), earning All-Mid-American Conference honors as a senior, in 1992. He later received a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Western Michigan in 1997. Morton came to Western Michigan after two years (1989-90) at Grand Rapids (MI) Community College, where he received his associate’s degree in 1990.


Some thoughts on the Jets hiring John Morton 01.29.17

The Jets are going to hire New Orleans Saints wide receiver coach John Morton as their offensive coordinator. ESPN’s Adam Schefter made the announcement.

Nobody knows what kind of job Morton will do because it’s his first time calling NFL plays, but you have to respect his resume.

His last two gigs were under Sean Payton in New Orleans and Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco. These are two of the best offensive play-callers around.

Working under those two dudes was a great experience for Morton, and gave him access to two of the best offensive playbooks and minds around.

While Morton has never called NFL plays, he did at USC in 2009-10 under Pete Carroll, which was a great program at the time.

Working under Payton, Jim Harbaugh and Carroll – that had to be very beneficial experience for Morton. That is quite a head coaching trio.

We will see how this works out, but Morton’s resume and who he’s worked under – pretty impressive.

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This pass rusher at Senior Bowl should be on Jets radar 01.26.17

Mobile, Alabama – It’s no secret the Jets could use a dynamic edge-rushing outside linebacker.

From what I’ve seen at the Senior Bowl practices this week, Illinois’ Carroll Phillips should be on their radar.

He’s has a great burst off-the-snap and has a terrific motor.

The Miami-native had 56 tackles, 20.0 TFLs, 9.0 sacks, 3 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery as a senior.

Phillips has good triangle numbers for the 3-4 OLB position at 6-3, 240 with 4.6 speed.

He’s just the kind of guy the Jets need.

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What do you expect Dennard Wilson to say? 01.25.17

Mobile, AL – New Jets defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson thinks cornerback Darrelle Revis can make a successful move to safety.

“Darrelle is a guy that has a lot of football intelligence,” Wilson told NJ.com and Newsday. “I wouldn’t think it wouldn’t be a problem for him to pick it up. I understand the nuances of it and the difficulties of playing it. Once you figure it out, and figure out your way around it, it’s football.”

And part of football is tackling, which Revis wasn’t very good at that last year.

Safety requires a lot of tackling, a lot of high-speed collisions.

If Revis was avoiding tackles at cornerback, does that make him a good safety candidate?

Usually cornerbacks who move to safety are unflinching tacklers.

As for Wilson saying Revis could make a transition to safety, what do you expect him to say? He just got hired. Do you think he’s going to say, “No, I think Revis is finished – he can’t run anymore and has an aversion to contact -I think he should retire?”

Of course not.

So whenever you read quotes like this, take them with a grain of salt.

They are rhetorical.

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O.J. Howard looking forward to showing his skills at Senior Bowl 01.24.17

Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, one of the draft’s top prospects, will participate in the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile. Here are some excerpts from his press conference last night . . .

REPORTER: O.J., what was the decision-making process for you deciding to play in the game and what are the main things you want to show to teams this week?

HOWARD: I thought it was great opportunity to get out here to showcase my skills. It’s going to be a lot of competition here. You know there are some question marks. I want to come out and be a great blocker and run good routes. There’s no better game to come to to do those things.

REPORTER: Your thoughts on playing in front of a lot of Alabama fans this week with the Alabama helmet on one last time . . .

HOWARD: Man, I think it’s going to be outstanding. The Alabama fans love this game. I came last year to visit and support some my teammates. I saw the way they got into it whenever an Alabama player made a play. It’s going to be exciting, and I’m so happy to be able to play, to put on the helmet on one more time for the Alabama fans. It’s going to be outstanding, and my family is coming down of course. It’s going to be a great feeling, and I’m going to miss it. I’m ready to play.

REPORTER: How much are you looking forward to the off-field stuff here – working with kids in the area?

HOWARD: Oh, it’s huge, and I think (Friday) we go to the elementary school and the hospitals. Whenever you get to do something like that, give back to the community, it’s always a great feeling. I’m looking forward to that. Hoping the kids love it, we love it. To be able to see the kids and see the kids smile. I’m very excited about that.


Jets suffer from the same problem 01.23.17

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the New England Patriots, 36-17, in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler had an interesting blog about the game with the headline – “The Patriots problem: Brady-Belichick loom large over Steelers’ progress.”

The Jets have the same problem, and have for many years.

It’s probably more of a “Brady-problem” than a “Belichick-problem.”

While Belichick is a great coach, the NFL is a QB-driven league, so it’s Brady’s greatness that is the #1 reason for the Patriots’ dominance.

So until Brady retires, or his game slips, the Jets, Steelers and the entire AFC is going to have a “Patriots problem.”

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Ownership situation not a big deal 01.20.17

Jets owner Woody Johnson has been nominated to be the United States Ambassador to Great Britain.

If he does indeed land the position, his brother Christopher Johnson would take over as the head of the Jets’ organization.

This really isn’t a earth-shattering move.

Christopher Johnson will not become the new Jets’ owner. Christopher has been one of the Jets’ owners as long as Woody. On January 18, 2000, Woody, Christopher and their mother Betty purchased the Jets for $635 million.

Christopher and Betty have always been part of the ownership group; it’s just that Woody was the front man.

So if Woody gets the ambassadorship, Christopher will become the the front man, the de facto owner, representing the Jets with the media, at league meetings and so forth.

But don’t call him the “new Jets owner.”

He’s been a Jets owner as long as Woody.

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Todd Bowles needs to have a long talk with him #nyj 01.19.17

Brandon Marshall is a terrific player, but it seems like every week he’s creating news with something he says.

Whether it’s describing the Jets’ season as a soiled diaper on Showtime, or talking about his contract on the radio.

“People need to get away from me due $7.5 million,” Marshall said on WFAN. “Get away from my salary. That’s underpaid. Any team should be happy to have me for $7.5 million.”

This is after saying late in the season he might be willing to take a pay cut (which also made news).

There is a reason Bill Belichick muzzles his players. Players creating news with things they say is a distraction. True, Sheldon Richardson isn’t exactly a choir boy, but he clearly got sick of all of Marshall’s talk. And if you think he’s alone, you are kidding yourself.

As Bill Belichick always says, “Do your job!”

As life coach Stephen Covey likes to say, “Keep the main thing the main thing.”

Marshall is a heck of a football player, but it’s time for him to be 100 percent about football, and less about being a quote machine.

He needs to take his own advice.

“I think last year the whole Fitz situation took a lot out of me,” Marshall told the New York Post today at the Super Bowl. “I think that was something that made me realize I need to focus on myself and football. I need to do my job. My job is to be a wide receiver. Going into this offseason, that’s all I want to do is be a football player. I’m getting out of the front office department.”

And he also needs to get out of the “broadcast department” until after he retires from football. All this talk is bad for the Jets’ football culture. There is no way around it.

Todd Bowles needs to show some leadership on his issue and have a long talk with his star receiver.

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Jets need to cut this player 01.06.17

The Jets need to figure out who this player is, and release him.

The Daily News did a story with a couple of unnamed people ripping Christian Hackenberg.

The following item appeared in this story.

Daily News – “One Jets starter simply rolled his eyes and shook his head recently when I asked whether Hackenberg was worth a second-round pick. ‘No,’ the player said.”

The Jets need to figure out who this player is, and release him. When players talk about teammates this way, without attribution, they hurt the team’s football culture.

Whatever you think of Hackenberg as a prospect, he deserves better than this.

Show the man some respect.

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Press conference was rough, but does it really matter? 01.05.17

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan spoke to the media today.

He didn’t say much.

It was very boring.

But that doesn’t matter.

His actions matter, not his words.

Mr. Coffee has a very busy off-season coming up.

He needs to make the requisite moves necessary to turn the 2017 Jets into a playoff contender.

He’s got to improve the Jets’ pass coverage, their pass rush and add a veteran quarterback, to name a few areas of need. He also has a lot of profligate contract matters to fix with Jackie Davidson.

He’s got a lot on his plate.

It doesn’t matter that his press conference was like watching paint dry.

What matters is that he fixes the Jets this off-season.

And that is going to take a lot of double espressos.

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