Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Not a bad deal 10.22.20

On Wednesday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero announced the Jets traded DE Jordan Willis, and a 2021 seventh-round pick, to the San Francisco 49ers, for a 2022 sixth-round pick.

Willis was inactive for the Jets last game, so to get a sixth-round pick for him is decent value.

Also, considering they claimed Willis on waivers last year, getting a sixth-round pick for him is not bad.

You can get talent in the sixth-round if you play your cards right.

In the 2020 draft, the Jets picked punter Braden Mann, and the year before, they landed CB Bless Austin.

Hey, Tom Brady was picked in the sixth-round.

The Jets made a similar trade on Sunday, sending nose tackle Steve McLendon to Tampa Bay, along with a 2023 seventh-round pick, in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick.

These two deals by Jets GM Joe Douglas make perfect sense, as he continues to compile future draft capital to help rebuild the Jets the right way, and not through reckless spending in free agency, which helped land them in their current mess.

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It’s time for the Jets to fix this! 10.21.20

The New York Jets are having major issues in this area on defense.

Talking about covering opposing tight ends.

The Jets are having a problem with tight ends sneaking off the line and being uncovered.

It happened twice in the first half against Miami.

In the first quarter, TE Adam Shaheen was wide open for a 4-yard TD pass.

In the second quarter, TE Durham Smythe was uncovered on another 4-yard TD pass.

The week before, on a fourth-and-one, Arizona tight end Darrell Daniels snuck off the line for a wide open 31-yard completion.

Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and his assistants need to fix this.

Too many tight ends are flashing wide open against the Jets’ scheme.

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Gase on whether he’d give up play-calling 10.20.20

A Newsday reporter asked Adam Gase on Monday if he would consider giving up play-calling to “shake” things up. Here is that exchange:

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Yeah Adam, I was just wondering, I’m sure you are trying to figure out what’s going to jolt this team, you talked about it last week, do you feel like it’s the right time to just say, let somebody else call the plays and see if that shakes anything up?

Adam Gase: Yeah, I mean, like I said, like every week we’re looking for what’s the right thing to do. I got a couple other things I got to really kind of sort through offensively before we make any kind of decisions whatsoever on stuff like that, we got to get some adjusted, figure out who we have available for this week. So, I mean that’s step 10 right now and we’re on step two.


Jets must make changes. Now! 10.19.20

As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting a different result.”

The 0-6 Jets need to make some major changes this week, like perhaps letting Jim Bob Cooter call the offensive plays. Yesterday, the Jets were the NFL’s first team to be shut out this season.

And it’s not like the Miami Dolphins defense are the 1986 Chicago Bears, and they were playing without two key players – defensive lineman Davon Godchaux and linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

And speaking of defense, the Jets’ defense is struggling mightily as well, with a lot of gap integrity issues against the run, and opponents consistently coming wide open in the passing game. Maybe there is too much rotating going on.

The Jets clearly need to make major changes this week strategically, personnel-wise and perhaps with some coaching re-assignments.

The status quo is clearly unacceptable.

Or at least it shouldn’t be.

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Another example of why Jets need czar 10.15.20

It was a possibility on Monday, but then it didn’t happen, and some people might consider the reasoning a little perplexing.

On Monday, Jets coach Adam Gase was asked if he would be open to giving up offensive play-calling to change things up a little bit.

“For the last four years, I’ve toyed with the idea every once in a while,” Gase said on Monday. “I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever been opposed to trying something to try to change things up. I’d say everything is on the table at this point.”

He decided to keep the play-calling role, and explained it this way on Wednesday:

“We talked about it as a staff. None of the guys thought that was the right move to make. That was just kind of talking with those guys and seeing if we needed to make any changes in that area, nobody thought that was the reason why anything is going the way it’s going.”

Some people considered this an odd rationale, since what did you expect an assistant to say, “Adam, you should step aside and let me call the plays?”

This is yet another example of why the Jets need a football czar, one central football boss, who everybody on the football side reports do, including the coaches.

And a person in that role could have said, “Adam. I want you to give up the play-calling to Jim Bob Cooter, and take more of a 30,000 foot view of coaching the team.”

Its now clear, more than ever, that the Jets need a football czar.

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Le’Veon’s release/Gase’s future 10.14.20

The Jets released running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night.

But this move has little to do with Adam Gase’s future with the team.

And has everything to do with GM Joe Douglas trying to build a strong football culture.

Who knows what the future holds for Gase. Douglas probably doesn’t even know that. Douglas isn’t Gase’s boss. Christopher Johnson is.

All Douglas can control is the players on the roster.

He needs players who are going to buy-in. Bell clearly isn’t buying in, and probably never did, and you throw in the player’s mercurial behavior on social media, it was probably time for Douglas to move on from another wasteful signing by the former regime. You always need to mindful of how disgruntled veterans can impact the mindset of young, developing players.

It’s still shocking, regardless of who the coach is, that Bell didn’t attend his first off-season program with a new team right after signing in 2019. Don’t you want to show your commitment to your new team, by working out with your new teammates, and getting comfortable in the playbook? That was bizarre, man.

WFAN’s Boomer Esiason reported that Bell was also late for meetings last year.

And he really hasn’t had much of an impact on wins and losses. The Jets should be able to function at running back with La’Mical Perine, Josh Adams, Ty Johnson and Frank Gore.

So it was perhaps time for the Jets to move on from Bell, and it has zero to do with Gase and his future with the team. People shouldn’t mix up the two issues.

This has everything to do with Douglas, who is one year into a six-year contract, trying to build a strong football culture.

Douglas can only control the roster right now. He has no say in who the coach is, though he obviously should moving forward. He clearly should be promoted to football czar and lord over the entire football operation. That is a no-brainer.

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Bell’s release and Gase’s future are different 10.13.20

The Jets released running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night.

But this move has little to do with Adam Gase’s future with the team.

And has everything to do with GM Joe Douglas trying to build a strong football culture.

Who knows what the future holds for Gase. Douglas probably doesn’t even know that. Douglas isn’t Gase’s boss. Christopher Johnson is.

All Douglas can control is the players on the roster.

He needs players who are going to buy-in. Bell clearly isn’t buying in, and probably never did, and you throw in the player’s mercurial behavior on social media, it was probably time for Douglas to move on from another wasteful signing by the former regime. You always need to mindful of how disgruntled veterans can impact the mindset of young, developing players.

It’s still shocking to me, regardless of who the coach is, that Bell didn’t attend his first off-season program with a new team right after signing in 2019. Don’t you want to show your commitment to your new team, by working out with your new teammates, and getting comfortable in the playbook? That was bizarre, man.

WFAN’s Boomer Esiason reported that Bell was also late for meetings last year.

And he really hasn’t had much of an impact on wins and losses. The Jets should be able to function at running back with La’Mical Perine, Josh Adams, Ty Johnson and Frank Gore.

So it was perhaps time for the Jets to move on from Bell, and it has zero to do with Gase and his future with the team. People shouldn’t mix up the two issues.

This has everything to do with Douglas, who is one year into a six-year contract, trying to build a strong football culture.

Douglas can only control the roster right now. He has no say in who the coach is, though he obviously should moving forward. He clearly should be promoted to football czar and lord over the entire football operation. That is a no-brainer.

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To subscribe to Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else, and no cheap shots. Check it out!


Jets Statement On Releasing Le’Veon Bell 10.13.20

Statement from New York Jets
General Manager Joe Douglas
“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon. The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”

What about this change for the Jets? 10.11.20

Maybe change things up a little bit.

How about have running back coach Jim Bob Cooter call the offensive plays, and have Adam Gase focus on coaching the entire team?

Maybe this is something that would help the Jets’ moribund offense.

And also allow the head coach to take a 30,000 foot view of his team, and be less focused on his offensive play sheet.

Perhaps this is something that Christopher Johnson should consider, if he’s not going to make a head coaching change.

 


Jets need a football czar – right now! 10.11.20

They often don’t seem to be on the same page.

It’s almost like there are three different companies under one roof – Adam Gase’s offense, Gregg Williams’ defense and Joe Douglas’ personnel department.

And a house divided cannot stand.

Williams is making some very odd in-game personnel decisions on defense, and  you wonder if anybody is going to to talk to him about it, or does he have total autonomy over that side of the ball?

Slow guys setting the edge? Lamar Jackson on DeAndre Hopkins?

The Jets had no tall receiver active today after releasing Josh Malone. Wouldn’t you want one guy, 6-3 or above, in the mix, especially in the red zone? Who made that call? Who decided to make La’mical Perine the kick returner today? Good running back, but more an in-between-the-tackles runner, who doesn’t have the kind of 4.3-4.4 long speed you want back there returning kicks

Jets need a new power structure.

They need a football czar.

They need one central figure on the football side to bring it all together.

The sub-contracting going on at One Jets Drive is leading to a lot of losing.

 

 


New York Jets Statement: 10.09.20

“This evening, we received negative PCR COVID-19 test results for all players, coaches and personnel.  Following a presumptive positive COVID-19 test and out of an abundance of caution to ensure everyone’s health and safety, we sent all players and personnel home this morning. We also initiated all NFL mandated protocols including player isolation, subsequent testing, and contact tracing.  As we have thus far, we will continue to follow required health and safety protocols in the best interests of our coaches, players, staff and community. We look forward to our game this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.”


Jets need to play a lot smarter on defense and it goes beyond penalties 10.09.20

The Jets had eight defensive penalties in their recent loss to the Denver Broncos

So a big focus this week in Jets practice has been about playing more disciplined defensive football.

“Gregg (Williams) likes us to play hard, but he always says you gotta be smarter,” said Jets defensive end Jordan Jenkins. “He wants you to play hard, but don’t do dumb stuff. We had really made dumb mistakes. Like we took shots on (Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien). It was like, yeah we had the quarterback, but he gets up still playing the next play and he’s got a first down and so really it was pointless. He was like, play hard, but don’t dumb mistakes.“

But it must be pointed out that the Jets need to play smarter defensive football goes beyond the penalty issue.

They must must be more disciplined in a number areas, including their zone pass coverage and setting the edge against the run, which have been two problematic areas for them this season.

If players aren’t able to execute their assignments in these areas, they clearly need to be replaced.

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What does this have to do with Joe Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP? 10.08.20

We’ve been reminded that the Jets have lost 11 straight games with a backup QB starting.

Okay, what does that have to do with Joe Flacco?

Every QB is different, and past seasons are totally irrelevant to what’s going on now, something Bill Belichick, and Bill Parcells before him, always reminded us.

Look, I have no idea how Flacco will do this Sunday, his first start as a Jet.

But I do know that the Jets’ previous 11 games with backups will have no bearing on his performance against Arizona.

What do Luke Falk, Trevor Siemian, Josh McCown and Bryce Petty have to do with Flacco and this Sunday’s game?

Nothing.

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Jets official on Sam: ‘He’s in a lot of pain.’ 10.07.20

Opening Statement: Starting off, Joe (Flacco) will start this week, Sam will be out. We went through our process, our doctors, second opinions, just making sure we do the right thing not only by (Darnold) in the immediate future (and) long term. So, he is really going to be week to week right now. That was really kind of what we were told by the doctors of let’s just kind of see how well he feels after this week of rest. So, that’s kind of where we’re at right now with him.

Q:With Sam, in hindsight should he not have gone back in the game against Denver considering now he’s week to week?

Adam Gase: No, at that time guys thought that that was the right thing to do. He wanted to go back in, they knew what it was. Obviously after the game, the next day, he was a lot more sore than he was in real time. They weren’t worried about further damage, really it’s just it would be hard for him to really go practice this week. We want to just be smart with him, we want to try to get him to feel better.

Q: How much of a setback is this for Sam considering this is now the third year of his career and it’s going to be the third year now that he’s had to miss time due to injury?

Gase: I’m looking at it right now as hopefully he gets better quickly and he doesn’t miss too much time. I think it’s a different situation than last year for sure where he was out of the building, he couldn’t be around anybody for I think it was like 10 days or something like that. Here, he’s in the meetings today, he’s going to be able to go and practice and be around, be locked in in that way.

Q: How much does your offense change with Joe at quarterback?

Gase: It doesn’t. Those guys, they have similar arm strength and all those types of things. Those guys can make all the same throws.

Q: With regard to Joe, is there a possibility that maybe just a little change of pace so to speak, maybe there’s a spark to the offense? 

Gase: I thought he did a good job going in there considering he hadn’t worked a whole week, (just) a couple days a walkthrough. That’s always fun when it’s the first time you actually are in the game and get a play call from me. So that was a first. But that’s what it was, and I thought he did a good job. Joe is as calm as you can get and he’s had a lot of experience and we’ll just kind of see how everything goes.

Q: With the neck injury and stuff, what does Flacco has left compared to the guy that we all saw go to the playoffs and the Super Bowl and whatnot?

Gase: When I watch him throw, the stuff I’ve seen him do on scout team, I don’t see any – the arm strength is still there, I know that. Joe seems like he’s going to be fine. It’s just more about just kind of working with the guys that he’s got to work with that he’s going to play with on Sunday and just kind of getting into some kind of rhythm.

Q: What degree sprain does Darnold have? Is that just a first degree or what does he have?

Gase: I don’t know if I want to go into details on this. I know he’s in a lot of pain. That’s what it is, he can raise his arm a certain degree, but to go out and practice, it’d be very difficult for him right now.


GW’s unit needs more discipline 10.07.20

While there is a lot of criticism of one side of the ball, and rightfully so, you could make a strong argument the play of the other side isn’t better.

The Jets’ offense has struggled this year and taken a lot of heat, but you could make the case that the other side of the ball might be worse.

Fox Sports analyst Troy Aikman said during the first half of the Jets’ loss to Denver:

“Right now, the Jets defense has been totally undisciplined.”

You could probably take out the words “right now” and apply it to the entire season.

They have six roughing the passer penalties this season.

But beyond the penalties, the Jets the lack of defensive discipline has reared its head in other ways, like not passing off guys properly in zone defense leaving wide open receivers, and with their major issues setting the edge against the run.

The Jets clearly need to play much more disciplined football on the defensive side of the ball.

And perhaps need more oversight from people above the man running it, and not have an independent nation state within a team framework.

Some might argue that having essentially a head coach of the defense isn’t the best approach.

“It’s not good to have subcontractors on a football team – this guy runs the offense, this gun runs the defense, this guy runs the personnel department,” said one former NFL GM (who didn’t work for the Jets).

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Team was down 2 top receivers and won big – It can be done 10.06.20

They were without perhaps their two top receivers, and still managed to put up a lot of points, and win the game.

Talking about the Green Bay Packers last night, who beat the Atlanta Falcons, 30-16, without wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard.

A former college WR from Indiana State, now playing tight end, by the name of Robert Tonyan, caught three touchdown passes for Green Bay.

You can’t use injuries as an excuse.

Good teams, good cultures, figure out a way to get the job done.

Next man up.

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