Dan Leberfeld's Blog

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Jets need to ignore these people at all costs 12.31.18

In the process of looking for a coach, the Jets need to ignore the advice of certain kinds of people.

They need to stay away league-appointed consultants with agendas. So often these guys push people who used to work with them.

Also, don’t listen to NFL reporters pushing “hot” candidates. So often these “insiders” push coaches who leak stuff to them. So, in return for scoops, these NFL insiders push these guys for head coaching jobs.

Or they push candidates represented by agents who consistently leak stories to them.

You know the old saying, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

This is quid pro quo journalism, so ignore what these people say about “hot” candidates you should hire.

Do your own research and ignore people with agendas who aren’t looking out for your best interests.


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Jets should get a guy whose done it 12.31.18

With the Jets looking for a new coach, here is one type of candidate they should try and skip this time around:

Avoid hiring a coordinator whose never been a head coach before.

It’s time for the Jets to hire a guy with head coaching experience.

Their last four head coaches were coordinators who had never done the job before. It’s time for a guy who enters the building knowing how to do the job, not somebody who needs of a year or two to figure it out.

This is NY, the #1 market, enough of this learning on the job stuff. This is Broadway, not summer stock theatre.

And after eight years out of the playoffs, this isn’t a good time for the Jets to hire a head coaching novice who will use 2019 to figure out how to do the job.

The Jets need to hire a proven head coaching commodity.


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NFL.com says Jets interest in Harbaugh “was real” 12.26.18

On December 23, there was a rumor on an NBC website that if the Jets make a coaching change they’re “planning to make a run at (Jim) Harbaugh after the season ends.”

On December 24, the Jets responded to this rumor with a statement from team owner Christopher Johnson:

“Todd Bowles is our Head Coach. There is no truth to the report of our interest in Jim Harbaugh.”

On December 26, NFL.com had a report backing the NBC story that the Jets were interested in Harbaugh.

In a story co-written by Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero listing potential candidates for NFL head coaching jobs, the scribes wrote about Harbaugh: “Jets’ interest was real, but no signs he wants to bolt his alma mater.”

So the NFL’s own website, owned by the league, is saying the Jets interest in Harbaugh “was real.”

It might be time for another statement.


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Williams on his ejection . . . 12.23.18

Q)Why did you throw a punch (at Brian Bulaga)?

Leonard Williams: I fully regret it. I wish I could’ve been there for my teammates – especially in this good game, it was a close game. They went into overtime and everything, I wish that I could have been out there on the field when it was crunch time to help. There’s no excuses for what I did. I just overreacted, that’s the best thing that I can say there was a little bit of extra touching and stuff like that after the play. I just overreacted.

Q)Did you say anything to Bryan Bulaga?

Williams: No, there was nothing said. It was just like I said, there was a bunch of extra grabbing and hands after the play.

Q)Are you surprised you reacted that way?

Williams: It was really uncharacteristic of me. I’m a pro now. I’ve been in the league for four years. I know that it’s always the second guy who gets looked at and gets ejected. It’s always the second guy that reacts, that gets in trouble. I know that I shouldn’t have done that. I know that I shouldn’t have reacted. My emotions just got high and they took over. I didn’t make a smart decision.

Q)Was it more frustrating that you couldn’t close the game with your team in a close game?

Williams: Yeah, that’s what makes it really hard, honestly. Nothing personal, it’s just the fact that I couldn’t be out there with my team. Especially when they’re out there fighting hard. Seeing the defensive line take extra reps because they didn’t have as much rotation because they took me out. There’s nothing I could do but watch. It just sucks that in the middle of this game I was just watching and that’s all I could do. I’ve never missed a game since I’ve been here. I’m always taking a lot of snaps, I’m always on the field and like I said, it’s uncharacteristic of me.

I’m not a dirty player, I wouldn’t say that I’m a dirty player. Most people that know me and played against me wouldn’t say that as well. I think my emotions got high and it was a lot of extra touching and I overreacted.

Midwood’s Anthony Odita NYJ High School Coach of the Year 12.19.18

*The New York Jets have named Anthony Odita of Midwood High School in Brooklyn, NY the recipient of the New York Jets High School Coach of the Year award presented by Gatorade.

Through Gatorade’s partnership, the monetary award to benefit the school’s football program has doubled to $4,000. Coach Odita will receive a Gatorade kit, containing a cooler, fuel bars, Gatorade powder mix, squeeze bottles and much more. Along with this award, Midwood High School receives an automatic bid to compete in the 2019 New York Jets 7on7 Tournament. In addition, he is invited to watch the New York Jets play the Green Bay Packers on December 23rd from a luxury suite at MetLife Stadium, where he will be presented with a certificate and an award ball.

In its 23rd year, the Coach of the Year award is given to a coach in the Tri-State area who serves the best interests of the game through the teaching of sound football fundamentals, the motivation of young players to achieve and the promotion of youth football by way of dedication to their community, their school and their student-athletes.

Additionally, the Jets have nominated Coach Odita for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award. Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees demonstrate a commitment to the health and safety of their players, as well as the exemplary characteristics of Coach Don Shula. As the Jets nominee, Coach Odita will be invited down to the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL, where the winner will be announced.

Odita attended Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, NY. While in high school, Odita did not play football. After graduating in 1997, Odita enrolled into Ithaca College where he played on the defensive line for two years. Odita graduated from Ithaca College in 2001 with a degree in economics before beginning his coaching career in 2002 at Midwood High School as a volunteer coach. In 2013, Odita was named head coach of the Midwood football program. In addition to his coaching duties, Odita serves as the Assistant Principal of Physical Education and Health for Midwood High School.

The Midwood Hornets finished the regular season at 8-1. The Midwood Hornets reached the PSAL Championship semi-final and fell to the Erasmus Hall Dutchmen 13-6. Midwood ended the season at 9-2.

Week 1: Chet Parlavecchio Jr. – New Providence High School – New Providence, NJ

Week 2: Greg Sirico – Warwick Valley High School – Warwick, NY

Week 3: Richard DeJesus – Brentwood High School – Brentwood, NY

Week 4: Augustine Tieri – Danbury High School – Danbury, CT

Week 5: Lou Grasso Jr. – Union High School – Union, NJ

Week 6: Phil Onesto – South Side High School – Rockville Centre, NY

Week 7: Matt Fulham – Edison High School – Edison, NJ

Week 8: Mike Scarpelli – Clarkstown South High School – West Nyack, NY

Week 9: Bobby Pattison – Newtown High School – Sandy Hook, CT

Week 10: Gary Cassio – South Plainfield High School – South Plainfield, NJ

*Press release

Boyer Responds To Criticism of Henry Anderson hit on Stephen Hauschka 12.12.18

At the end of the first half of the Jets’ win over Buffalo on Sunday, the Gang Green blocked a field goal, and during a return attempt by safety Rontez Miles, Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka was blindsided on a hit by defensive end Henry Anderson, hurting his lower back and hip.

Bills coach Sean McDermott wasn’t very happy with the block.

“It’s a shame that Stephen Hauschka took the hit he did,” McDermott said. “There’s no place in our game for plays like that.”

What did Jets special team’s coach Brant Boyer think of Anderson’s block? He gave a lengthy assessment of the play on Wednesday, and here it is . . .

“First of all, (the blocked kick) shouldn’t have been touched. I kind of got on Rontez for running back there and picking that up. We teach to get away from that ball.

“I think there’s a fine line there. The kickers are coming over to make a play. I’d be mad too if I was him to be honest with you, If they hit my kicker like that I’d be pretty upset. But do I think it was a dirty play, no. I think it’s borderline.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s okay if the kicker goes and makes the tackle and nobody touches him but if someone blocks any kicker in this league . . . it used to frustrated me as a player, somebody goes and blocks a kicker it’s an automatic flag, it’s an automatic fine. They have helmet and pads on for a reason.

“Do you ever want to see that happen? Hell no. I don’t want to see somebody’s guy get hurt. I walked up to him at halftime and asked him if he was okay and I sent the coach a message. Because we don’t coach dirty play and my guys are playing their butts off and that’s all that I care about.

“If (the kicker) is going in to make a tackle, if (Anderson) is not giving full effort then he does hear it from me on Monday’s and that’s how it should be. You should play as hard as you can on every snap. If he’s near the ball and he’s going for a tackle then he’s got to be blocked, if not, he saves a possible touchdown. I do think that he should’ve gotten maybe his head in front, he could’ve been a little easier on him, that for sure and I wouldn’t want my kicker to be hit like that either, so it’s kind of two sides to it.”


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How did Sam Darnold’s 3 games on the shelf help him in Buffalo? 12.09.18

Buffalo – Prior to starting today in Buffalo, in the Jets’ 27-23 win over the Bills, Sam Darnold sat out the previous three games with a foot injury.

Aside from getting his foot healthy, Darnold feels the time away helped his maturation process.

“Just being able to watch Josh [McCown] and how he goes about practice, walk-throughs, the way he watches tape, what he does to get ready for a game plan, all of that stuff
helped me a ton,” Darnold said. “I can’t thank Josh enough for that.”

The three games away helped him look at things differently.

“For me, just to fill the backup role almost and watch the tape differently than I normally would than if I was playing,” Darnold said. “It was just good to get that experience
a little bit. Obviously, I want to be playing. That’s always what I want to be doing. I want to be out there on the field playing, but in hindsight, it was good to be able to experience behind Josh and watch him go about.”

Kelvin Beachum Gives Orange, NJ Student Super Bowl Tickets 12.06.18

*December 6, 2018 – As part of Kelvin Beachum’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination, the New York Jets hosted United Way at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Thursday afternoon to present Beachum with the award. In return, the Jets tackle surprised Ca’moore Jones, a student of the Character Playbook powered by EverFi course with two Super Bowl LIII tickets.

Jones is in an eighth grade student at Orange Preparatory Academy in New Jersey who was nominated by his teacher Glenn Gamble for his performance and growth with the Character Playbook course.

As a 2018 nominee, Beachum will receive a donation of $50,000 in his name to expand Character Playbook and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to his charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and United Way Worldwide.

*Press Release

NFLPA and Sleep Number form partnership 11.29.18

*Minneapolis – November 29, 2018 – Sleep Number (NASDAQ: SNBR) and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), through its licensing and marketing division, NFL Players Inc., announced an unprecedented and historic milestone, with more than 1,600 NFL players investing in their sleep and performance with the Sleep Number 360® smart bed.

Earlier this year, Sleep Number and the NFL announced a partnership to jointly provide every active player a Sleep Number 360 smart bed. Now, Sleep Number and the NFLPA are partnering to use SleepIQ® technology’s aggregate player data and insights to holistically advance player well-being.

“This partnership is a testament to how much we value the impact of quality sleep on performance and recovery. It is apparent that players across the league agree with us, with over 1,600 actively pursuing this unique opportunity,” said Gina Scott, vice president, partner services, NFLPA. “The Sleep Number 360 smart bed provides the players highly accurate biometric data and we are excited about the future possibilities to use this aggregated data to improve player performance on and off the field.”

Sleep Number’s proprietary SleepIQ® technology is built into the 360 smart bed, enabling it to automatically adjust comfort throughout the night. Each morning, players receive a SleepIQ® score and biometric data – such as average breathing and heart rates – to help them understand the quality of their sleep. With this information, players can adjust their training regimens to improve their performance and recovery.“Last year was my first year on the Sleep Number 360 smart bed, and it was my sixth year in the NFL,” Minnesota Vikings All Pro safety Harrison Smith said. “The way I felt physically and mentally toward the end of season was nowhere near how I felt the five years prior. I had a lot more energy, I was thinking more clearly, my body felt better…I really felt good all season long.”

Sleep Number will continue to work with the NFLPA, teams and head athletic trainers as players begin to integrate sleep insights into their training and performance regimens.

“We are able to directly impact the game on and off the field. For world-class athletes, the benefits of sleeping on the Sleep Number 360 smart bed are game changing,” said Kevin Brown, chief marketing officer at Sleep Number. “This is an exciting milestone for Sleep Number and the NFLPA as players invest in the importance of proven quality sleep to their overall health, wellness and performance.”

*Press Release

Williams nails what’s wrong with Jets run defense 11.25.18

The Jets gave up 215 yards rushing to New England in the Patriots’ 27-13 win over Gang Green.

Jets defensive end Leonard Williams feels it’s not a lack of effort that is leading to the Gang Green’s porous run defense, but something else entirely.

“It’s just a matter of executing,” Williams said. “Every time we watch film we’re always like, ‘Oh guys are playing fast, guys are hitting hard, guys have that want too and desire.’ You can tell that in the way they play. But then it’s like instead of being in the ‘A’ gap they’re in the ‘B’ Gap.

So while the Jets are playing hard, some guys aren’t playing smart.

“Instead of having that high motor and high energy over there, do it where you are supposed to,” Williams said. “It’s just like guys are just not where they’re supposed to be.”

And clearly some of those guys need to be replaced in the lineup because this problem rears its head almost every week.


The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine is out, at convenience stores and on news stands. So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. A JC subscription makes a great holiday gift for a Jets fans. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5).

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