Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Brandon says real Jets will emerge next Sunday 09.25.16

Kansas City – Jets star wide receiver Brandon Marshall had some powerful words after the team lost 24-3 to Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.

“We can only go two ways as a team after a smack in the face like this,” Marshall said. “We can fold and not gel as a team or you can use this as a character-building and look at what is going on internally. Our leaders need to step up and do a better job. (We need to) look at the X’s and O’s, see how we can correct it. We have too much firepower on this team to be sitting in a stadium like this. We have a lot of work to do. This one hurts. It’s embarrassing. It should sit with us for a while. But as soon as get ready to roll on Wednesday after watching the film, it needs to be in the past. But this is a character-building game. And next week, the real team should emerge, whatever on it is.”

The Jets play the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday at MetLife Stadium.


Q-and-A with former KC Chief on the Jets 09.23.16

Florham Park – Jets outside linebacker Josh Martin played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013-14. We caught up with him this week to get a scouting report on his old team.

Q)How would you describe the Chiefs’ offense?

Josh Martin: It’s a West Coast Offense – short quick passes, spread offense, check down and let their guys make plays; safe, don’t take a lot of shots (down field).

Q)What kind of challenges does Alex Smith present?

Martin: He’s a smart quarterback, savvy quarterback. He doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions. He’s comfortable in the offense, he knows it well, he’s been doing it for a few years out there with Andy Reid.

Q)You played in Arrowhead as a home player. What is it like for opposing teams?

Martin: Loud, it’s really loud and it’s a fun place to play. If I remember correctly, it is the loudest. It’s a combination of the architecture of the stadium and the fans. They really get rowdy. I’ve never played there as a visitor, but it’s a fun place to play regardless. I’m looking forward to going back.

Q)What is Bob Sutton’s defense all about?

Martin: They are a solid defense, A 3-4 defense with two good outside linebackers. Their defense is built around the Front Seven, and they have a great secondary with Eric Berry and Marcus Peters back there.

Q)With Justin Houston out of the lineup at outside linebacker, Dee Ford will start. You played with him. What does he bring to the table?

Martin: He’s fast and athletic and he’s not a small guy. He can pose a problem for sure.

Q)How much does the deafening crowd noise help the pass rushers?

Martin: It’s great (for pass rushers). When the offensive tackle has to worry about hearing the cadence and getting off with a good kick step for pass protection it makes a big difference.

Q)What is it like facing Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher?

Martin: He’s very athletic. He moves really well. Obviously he was the first overall pick. He’s a good player.

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


Jets DE Jarvis Jenkins helping to tackle Illiteracy 09.23.16

*Barbershop Books CEO Alvin Irby and NFL Jets defensive end Jarvis Jenkins will unveil a new Barbershop Books reading space alongside elementary students at Alaine L. Locke Magnet School at the International Hair Studio in Harlem.

In addition to Irby discussing his approach to tackle the low literacy rates among African-American children, Jenkins will also explain his personal literacy and education experiences and why it was important to him to donate a new reading space at the Harlem barbershop.

About: Barbershop Books is a community-based literacy program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops for boys ages 4-8. It leverages the cultural significance of barbershops in Black communities to help black boys identify as readers. This innovative approach connects black men and families to black boys’ early reading experiences.

*Press Release


Q-and-A with Chiefs QB Alex Smith 09.21.16

Q)What are you seeing from the Jets’ defensive line from your film study?

Alex Smith: They’re good; pretty good group. Every guy up there can go and get after it, run and pass. Definitely a big, big challenge. Those guys really set the tone for the defense.

Q)What makes Jeremy Maclin so good?

ASmith: Maclin to me is a guy who does a lot well. He has a lot tools. We can move him around. He’s extremely smart, extremely competitive.

Q)What was it like last week being without both your starting guards?

Smith: Nothing new around here or for any team. That is the nature of the O-Line. It’s a physical, physical position. Those guys are going to get banged up. Things are going to happen. Guys (backups) need to be flexible. That is the nature of the game in the NFL.

Q)How good can Travis Kelce be?

Smith: A guy that has a lot tools. He can move around and do a lot of different things. As he’s gotten older, he can handle everything – run and pass. Everything we asked him to do, he’s handled it and taken off with it.

Q)What has it been like having Nick Foles there?

Smith: It’s been great to add a guy who has that kind of experience in the NFL in the quarterback room, to be able to bounce things off of, talk to on the sideline, in the film room, help prepare. He’s been a great addition.


Food ordered by Jets and Giants fans during wins 09.21.16

According to Seamless.com these are the top 5 most ordered foods during game day wins in New York vs. game day losses . . .

Jets:

spicy chicken empanada — 240.3% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
cuban empanada — 230% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
korean taco — 208.6% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
hush puppies — 185.2% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
dal makhni — 183% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses

Giants:

chicken katsu curry — 215.4% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
spicy grilled chicken — 184% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
breaded chicken — 182.5% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
chicken teriyaki bowl — 175.3% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses
grilled salmon salad — 173% more commonly ordered on NY football wins vs. losses

According to Seamless, these are the most ordered foods in each NYC borough during football Sundays . . .

Queens:

assorted bagels
paneer butter masala
jumbo chicken wings

Staten Island:

wings
potato croquette
french fries

Manhattan:

grilled chicken strips
stuffed cheesy bread
shanghai wonton soup

Bronx:

aco poblano
guacamole de la casa
chicharron de pollo sin hueso

Brooklyn:

grilled pork sandwich
pupusa
shredded chicken sandwich


Jets could take advantage of this in KC 09.21.16

The Kansas City Chiefs played the Houston Texans on Sunday without both their starting guards – Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) and Parker Ehinger (concussion).

It’s unclear whether either will play this week.

Duvernay-Tardif has a high-ankle sprain, an injury that tends to last 4-6 weeks, and the malady happened just a couple of weeks ago.

Ehinger suffered the concussion in practice a week ago.

And if Ehinger plays, he’s a rookie, and is learning on the job, so guys like Mo Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson could exploit him even if he suits up.

So the Jets’ dynamic defensive line could wreck havoc on Sunday against the Chiefs banged-up interior line.

The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out. It’s loaded with stuff about the Jets you won’t read anywhere else. You don’t want to miss it. On news stands. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).


Former NFL safety on Darrelle Revis’ technique 09.19.16

Former NFL safety Matt Bowen now works with ESPN.com.

He feels that Darrelle Revis has some technique issues to improve.

“Watching film on New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis,” Bowen wrote on ESPN.com “I don’t think Revis has the recovery speed we saw during his prime playing years, but his struggles over the first two weeks of the season point to some technique issues. Alignment, depth, eyes, footwork. Revis can still play in my opinion and there are many examples on the film where he checks wide receivers in coverage. But at this point of his career, Revis has to win with technique and experience.”


Jets just need to focus on what matters 09.14.16

The Jets play the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.

This game has nothing to do with Week 17 of last year.

This game has nothing to do with redemption.

This game has nothing to do with Rex Ryan supposedly being in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s head.

This game has nothing to do with Joe Namath.

This is about the Jets going out on Thursday night, and focusing on this game and this game only.

The Jets need to execute their game plan, communicate better and find a way to beat the Bills.

They need to ignore all the white noise around them, and take care of their business.

They should be able to beat the Bills if they play to their capabilities.

*****To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, a monthly must-read for Jets fans, click below.


Geno Smith nice gesture for 9/11 First Responder 09.13.16

(Press Release) NEW YORK JETS QUARTERBACK GENO SMITH CONTINUES 7 SUNDAY HEROES

Smith Hosts Everyday Heroes at the Stadium for a Unique Game Day Experience

NEW YORK, NY (September 13, 2016) – On Sunday, September 11, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith commenced his 2nd annual 7 Sunday Heroes program to kick off the 2016-17 Jets’ season. The series of unique game day experiences organized by Smith brings inspirational individuals from Tuesday’s Children and other impactful organizations to Jets’ home games throughout the regular season. For each game, the hero selected and a guest will be gifted two tickets, club passes, a post-game meet and greet with Smith and an autographed jersey along with other Jets merchandise.

“I am very fortunate to be able to continue the success of last year’s 7 Sunday Heroes program by giving back to another seven inspirational individuals throughout this season,” said Smith. “With the support of Roc Nation Sports and the Jets’ community relations team, we are able to build off the work that we started a year ago and create an unforgettable few hours for these heroes to put life’s difficulties aside and enjoy some football. Meeting the seven children heroes we hosted last year had a lasting impact on me and I can’t wait to get to know this year’s group of heroes.”

Smith hosted the first of this year’s heroes, Timothy Morley, on Sunday, September 11 during the Jets’ home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Roc Nation Sports worked with Tuesday’s Children to nominate Morley, a September 11 first responder, to attend the game with his son Patrick, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. On September 11, 2001, Morley was in downtown Manhattan for a NYPD training seminar when the first plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Morley reported to an emergency unit at Port Authority to help with first aid, extractions and evacuations in the North Tower. As his team was attempting to exit the tower the building collapsed, burying Morley and his team under a fire truck. After spending two months in the hospital recovering, Morley valiantly returned to work at Ground Zero and the Brooklyn Narcotics Unit. Following 12 more years working for the NYPD, Morley retired three years ago due to health issues related to his brave actions on that fateful day. Today, Morley is fortunate to have a strong support network in his wife and three children.

“Things like this don’t happen to me that often. I was really surprised to find out that I was chosen to be a part of Geno’s 7 Sunday Heroes program,” said Morley. “I was just doing my job 15 years ago. Talking with Geno and taking time to reflect on that day has reminded me to count my blessings and to focus on being positive. My family and I enjoyed the game and meeting Geno. It made our day and it’s a memory we will have for the rest of our lives!”

Smith’s 7 Sunday Heroes will continue to unveil its heroes throughout an additional five regular season home games including October 2 vs. Seattle Seahawks, October 23 vs. Baltimore Ravens, November 13 vs. Los Angeles Rams (two heroes will be selected to attend), November 27 vs. New England Patriots and January 1 vs. Buffalo Bills.


Did Bowles really snap? 09.13.16

Headline – “Todd Bowles snaps at questioning as Jets pressure builds.”

You see this narrative repeated all over the internet.

Did he really snap at his Monday press conference?

I don’t think so.

He decided he wasn’t going to talk about the Bengals’ game, since the Jets are on a short-week, playing Thursday night game in Buffalo.

Bowles feels with so little time to work, it’s incumbent upon his team to move on to the next task at hand, the Bills, ASAP.

“I told the players, win, lose or draw – we talked about this last week – we were going to move on,” Bowles said on Monday. “If I won yesterday, I’d be giving you the same question and answer I (am) today.”

He really didn’t snap. He never raised his voice. He just repeatedly said he wasn’t talking about Bengals.

Also, there is a photo out there that makes it look like he’s bolting from his press conference. That didn’t happen. It ended normally.

Would it have been helpful to get some questions answered about the Jets’ secondary? No doubt.

But Bowles wasn’t going to do it. He just wasn’t. Bill Belichick stonewalls questions all the time. It happens.

I just wanted to clear this up; Bowles didn’t snap.

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Forget the money – handle things appropriately 09.12.16

The Jets need to forget that Darrelle Revis makes $17 million this year.

Forget it!

They should not let that impact their thought-process on how to use him.

They need to do whatever necessary scheme-wise and personnel-wise to fix their secondary.

This isn’t about being right on contracts, this is about winning.

Whether Revis is now assigned to the other team’s #2 receiver, given constant safety help, or eventually moved to safety, Todd Bowles needs to fix this situation, ASAP.

Forget the contract. The ink is dry. There is nothing you can do about that right now. Just consider the money “Legacy Pay.”

The Jets need to handle this situation with total pragmatism from a football-standpoint. The player needs to be handled based on his current skill set at 31.

The Jets can’t let anything else cloud their judgement.


Bowles needs to have a long talk with him 09.11.16

East Rutherford – Brandon Marshall is a rare talent; one of the most talented receivers of the modern era.

But as he stated on his own Twitter page – “Keep the main thing the main thing.”

He’s trying to juggle too many balls right now.

Whether it’s being a television personality on Showtime, being a social activist jumping into the Colin Kaepernick situation on several occasions (he was the only Jets’ offensive starter to not run out with a flag today), running a foundation (which is important) or fighting with Chicago Sun-Times writer Brad Biggs on Twitter last week, the guy probably has too much going on.

And football is a sport that requires a tremendous amount of focus.

As Bill Belichick loves to say, “Do your job.”

Jets coach Todd Bowles needs to have a long talk with his star receiver, who had a bad drop late in Sunday’s game, about focusing 100 percent of his mind on football.

Marshall is an enormous talent, but there is probably too much multi-tasking going on in his world right now.

He needs to take his own advice and “Keep the main thing the main thing.”

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Don’t expect perfection 09.09.16

Florham Park – The Jets are going to start either Ben Ijalana or Brent Qvale at right tackle with Breno Giacomini on the PUP list.

So this position is clearly a question mark for the Jets entering the season, since neither Ijalana or Qvale has a ton of NFL game experience.

But based on how each looked in training camp, the Jets should be able to get by with either player. During the summer, Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t get a ton of pressure from that side, either in practice or games.

But don’t expect perfection.

Sometimes when there is a big question mark at a position, observers put a large spotlight on that spot, and whenever there is a bad play, the sky is falling.

Whether it’s Ijalana or Qvale, there are going to plays that are far from perfect. They are going to make mistake.

Heck, Giacomini had some rough moments last year.

It’s going to happen.

And Todd Bowles knows that.

“They get to make their mistakes and they get to play,” Bowles said. “I can chose one, or I can play them both. We still haven’t decided that part yet, but I’m not going to yank them off of one play. I’m not going to yank them off of one mistake, no.”

So while Ijalana and Qvale should be able to a serviceable job, don’t expect either to walk on water.

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


Todd Bowles speaks about 9/11 09.08.16

Q)What does playing on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 mean to you?

Todd Bowles: It will have a lot of meaning for everybody on the team – coaches, players, everybody in the building. A lot of the heroic events happened that day. A lot of sadness (happened) on that day. To play in something like that after everything that went on, it makes the game small. It makes it really meaningless in the grand scheme of things, as far as taking lives and people saving lives. But if we can give somebody some relief for a couple of hours while playing a football game, that would mean a lot.

Q)Where were you when 9/11 happened?

Bowles: I was a defensive backs coach in Cleveland.

Q)How did you find out about 9/11?

Bowles: We were watching it all on TV when it started happening, and you could see it, and you could see everybody running around. I knew a few people that worked over that way. I was just wondering if they got hurt, or anything else, first. But it was surreal to see, obviously unbelievable. It was devastating.

Q)Did you know anyone that perished on 9/11?

Bowles: No, I did not.


Jets taking a good approach with Revis 09.08.16

Florham Park – Darrelle Revis is still a good player.

However, it’s foolish to put the 31-year-old cornerback on an island with no help at this stage of career.

So Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers is taking the right approach stating that Revis won’t be matched against the Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green on every play.

“It won’t be just him,” Rodgers said.

And it shouldn’t be.

Forget his salary, forget his iconic status, when Revis needs safety help, give it to him. If an opposing team’s top receivers isn’t a good match-up for Revis, because the guy runs 4.3, put another corner on the speedster.

Don’t live in the past.

Revis is still a terrific cornerback, but he doesn’t run like he used (it happens to all of us), so when he needs help, give it to him.

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


Woody and the trap questions 09.07.16

Q)Would you be upset if the team does not reach the playoffs?

Woody Johnson: I’m not going to really look at it that way. We try to win every game. We try to get into the playoffs every year. That’s our goal, in fact, to go further than that. But you have to do it a game at a time as you know. So I’m not going to play the whole season out in advance. But we got Cincinnati and then Buffalo. We’re going to start with Cincinnati and see what we can do there. I go into every game thinking we’re going to win that game.

Q)Would you be disappointed if the team doesn’t make the playoffs?

Johnson: I’m not disappointed for the whole season yet, we haven’t played (laughs). So I’m optimistic. I’m optimistic that we’re going to be a good team, a balanced team on all three phases and that Todd and Mike have done a pretty good job so far. We’ll see on Sunday at 1 o’clock.

Q)Can the team make progress without making the playoffs?

Johnson: I don’t know how to answer that question. I mean we’re trying to get better each and every day. Every day we’re looking at players, we’re evaluating, we’re trying to get the best 53 we can get. So I think that’s the way you have to approach it – hard work, diligence, getting the right players, trying to get the team chemistry right between veterans and younger players, and putting a team together. That’s really what wins games.

Q)Should the fans expect the team to reach the postseason?

Johnson: I think the fans, our fans, particularly New York Jets fans, but football fans in general know that each season is different. I mean 25%, 30% of the players should be different. They are developing confidence in both Mike and Todd and the coaching staff. We’ll just have take it one game at a time.

Q)How do you expect the fans to pay the prices without having some type of urgency to reach the postseason?

Johnson: I never said there wasn’t any urgency.

Q)Are there are any consequences if the Jets don’t make the postseason?

Johnson: I’m not going to answer postseason (questions). I’ve already answered that. We’re not going to go through the postseason or the preseason.

Q)Is there really a sense of urgency if there are no consequences?

Johnson: That’s your interpretation. I don’t look at it that way at all. You’re trying to put the best players on the team each and every week, so there’s definitely urgency to try to make sure you have the best players and you’re playing them each and every week and that they are properly trained, they’re properly working out, they’re doing all of the things that they have to do, diet, rest, all of that stuff.


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