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Dan Leberfeld | NY Jets Insider, Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine

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The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2022 6:08 am

Dan Leberfeld | NY Jets Insider, Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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November 29, 2022 6:08 am

Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine Dan Leberfeld joins the show to talk Mike White over Zach Wilson, & where the Jets go from here.

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Available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Let's get some answers about these New York Jets. We welcome Dan Leberfeld, who's the publisher of Jets Confidential, and also a co-host Saturdays on Sirius XM NFL radio. Following this win over the Bears, Dan, as the Jets move to seven and four and stay very firmly in the mix in the AFC East and the conference as a whole, what is the attitude, the atmosphere around the Jets now, considering what played out yesterday? Well, you know, Joe Douglas, the general manager, has said a couple of years in a row that his goal and the organization's goal is to play meaningful football in December. Well, it's finally going to happen with the game coming up Sunday in Minnesota at seven and four. Jets are in the wild card hunt. I mean, they could still win the division, but I think wild card's probably more realistic as far as what they can attain this year. So they're going to be playing meaningful football. The players are pumped. And I think you could make the argument, Zach Wilson, we could get into this, was rushed into action, was very raw.

The struggles are well documented. But now with Mike White, they seem to be a team that has a chance to do some things down the stretch and maybe make some noise in the playoffs because they have a very good defense. They have a very good kicker who can make it from up to 60 yards. And they have so many weapons on offense in the passing game. With Mike White bringing some stability to the quarterback position, this is a team that could be a tough out down the stretch.

What is the main difference between Mike and Zach? You know, when you really look at it, Mike White really benefited. A lot of young quarterbacks are rushed into action like Zach Wilson. But Mike White's a guy who was a fifth round pick of Dallas out of western Kentucky in 2018. You know, he was in reserve in Dallas for a year and then they actually brought in Cooper Rush and they waved him and the Jets claimed him in 2019. And he's been hanging around the Jets ever since on the practice squad, on the regular roster, bouncing back and forth. And he's had the chance to really be developed the right way.

You know, in Dallas and then with the Jets on the two different coaching staffs, got a ton of coaching. He was able to develop slowly and he really looks like all that preparation time has helped him. The big difference is he goes through progressions better than Zach Wilson. He throws with anticipation.

Guys come out of their breaks and the ball is in the air. He reads defenses better than Zach Wilson. So Mike White is ahead in many categories. In your opinion, Dan, seeing what you have of Zach midway through his second year, could he pick up those skills? Can he learn? Can he develop and do those things as well as Mike with a little more time? A little more time for sure. Maybe a lot more time. You know, as a first round pick, Jets have him locked up for two more years after this. And then they could pick up the fifth year option. I don't know if any of that's going to happen as far as him making it that far.

But it's not like they have to be in this crazy rush. The idea of hitting the reset button with him, something Coach Robert Sala said the other day. He needs to work on his footwork, on his mechanics.

So many things he needs to work on. The concept of him reemerging in a few weeks is not realistic if they really want to fix him. Because most people who play sports know that you're going to change your muscle memory. You're going to change how you do things with your feet and your mechanics and all that kind of stuff.

It doesn't happen during a couple week reboot. It's going to be the rest of this season working with the coaches and to me an entire offseason. And then see what he can do in training camp next year. There are six weeks left in the regular season.

As you point out, the Jets have a very realistic possibility of playing in the postseason. Has any determination been made about QB for the rest of the season or for just week 13? Robert Sala might open up a can of worms when he said when he made the quarterback change, which is clearly the right thing to do, last Wednesday when he announced it in his press conference, he said the plan is to have Zach Wilson get back on the field at some point this season. I understand that they're trying to protect Zach Wilson a little bit, but if you're Mike White and you're going out there and they're already telling you they want the other guy to be back on the field at some point this season, I just don't know if I would have said that.

I would have said the goal is to get Zach Wilson back out there at some point in the future once we get his mechanics fixed. I don't think that Mike White is going to be leaving the field any time soon. Let's say the Jets stay in contention with Mike White.

They're going to stay with the hot hand. But let's say they lose a few games coming up here, they fall out of playoff contention, and they have a couple games at the end of the year that they're not playing for a playoff spot. I could see them giving Zach Wilson those games.

But as long as they're playing meaningful games in the playoff hunt, I don't think they're going to go to Zach Wilson this season. Dan Leberfeld is with us off another Jets win, though this one with a different quarterback. He's the publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine and also a co-host on Sirius XM NFL Radio. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

It's fairly obvious how much the team loves playing with Mike. Why is that? What's that game called that everybody plays now? It just slipped my mind this second. The thing in the parking lot during tailgating with the bean bags. Oh, cornhole. Yeah, cornhole. It occurred to me today when you talk about quarterbacks connecting with their teammates and being one of the guys that throughout this year when the media was in the locker room, Mike White was playing cornhole with the offensive linemen and defensive players in the middle of the locker room. And I'm not saying Zach Wilson was wrong for not doing that, but it just made me think about how Mike White connects with different players at different positions and he really has a strong bond with that locker room. And that example of the cornhole games just popped into my head today driving around about how this guy is somebody that is really, really respected in the locker room and a guy that connects with almost the whole roster.

So I think that's something to consider. Zach Wilson came out after his junior year at BYU. They played a very soft schedule. It was one standout year. He's only 23 years old now.

I just think that he's got a lot of room for growth. And Mike White is a guy that I think the players in the locker room feel can give them a better chance to win right now. Zach Wilson apologized to his teammates last Friday after the QB change was made. What was he apologizing for, Dan? He was apologizing for that soundbite where he was asked if he felt bad about letting the defense down against the Patriots where they held the Patriots offense to three points and the offense did nothing.

Zach Wilson threw for 77 yards. And he gave that answer, which was clearly a mistake, when he said no, he didn't feel bad about the offense not doing their part. That's what he was apologizing for because that soundbite went viral.

I think he made a mistake as a young pro athlete because I think that he snapped at the reporter. He doesn't get along that well with that reporter. So when the reporter asked that question, he kind of got emotional and said no, no, like he was responding to one person.

But as we know, Amy, you're responding to a huge audience when all the cameras are in the room. It's not the one reporter asking you the question. Another thing that should be pointed out about that press conference after the Patriots game was this is kind of a strange scenario in the press conference room. Robert Salah was speaking. He was getting asked a ton of tough questions about Zach Wilson's performance.

And Zach Wilson was in the room because Zach Wilson was going to go to the podium after Robert Salah. And he was in the room hearing all these tough questions. So I think that put him in a bad mood when he took the podium. Once again, he's got to be smarter than that and realize, you know what, no matter how I feel about the questions or the questioner, I've got to be above the fray and stay calm and act like a leader. So I think that press conference really hurt him as far as the standing with the locker room. So that's why he apologized. How much did that factor into the change at QB, Dan?

That's a great question. And I've been mulling that question the last few days and talking to other reporters about it because it's hard to prove. But my gut told me, and this isn't based on sources because they're not really opening up about this topic, about whether they would have made the move with the soundbite or without the soundbite. But to me, I think they would have given him another game because he was picked second overall in 2021. They want him to be the franchise quarterback. And they had the Bears coming in, and the Bears are not a good team this year. And on top of that, they traded two of their best defensive players before the trade guidelines in Quinn and Smith. It's quite possible that if he had not said what he said after the game that ticked off so many in the locker room, they might have given him that Bears game thinking, you know, we've got a young quarterback.

We get him a win against Chicago and get his head right. So that's my gut feeling, not based on sources that he perhaps would have been given the Bears game, even with the poor performance in New England, if he had not made that mistake in his press conference. Interesting.

Tough lesson to learn. Dan Leberfeld is with us from Jets Confidential magazine. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Is it safe to say that Elijah Moore no longer wants a trade? Yeah, I think it's fair to say, you know, I thought the Elijah Moore thing, not to keep piling on Zach Wilson, but I think the Elijah Moore problem was connected to Zach Wilson, and I'll tell you why. Zach Wilson, like a lot of young quarterbacks, tends to fixate on his first read and telegraph sometimes to his first read.

He doesn't go into his progression smoothly. Maybe that'll happen in the future as he progresses as a quarterback. So if you're Elijah Moore and you have a quarterback out there who tends to go to his first read and you're not the first read very often, you're not going to get the football. And then you see Mike White out there completely passes to ten different receivers, including Elijah Moore, for a touchdown.

Everybody's eating and everybody's happy. And Elijah Moore not being the first read when Zach Wilson was the quarterback, he was not getting the football. Now with a quarterback spreading the ball around Moore in Mike White, I think Elijah Moore will be happy. That's not to condone going on Twitter and complaining or asking for a trade.

But still, I think that when you have a quarterback who gets a lot of people involved, you tend to avoid receivers complaining about their roles. When you think about where they are in relation to expectation, this is obviously an opinion question. Are they on schedule? Ahead of schedule? Behind schedule?

What are they, Dan? Well, they're definitely ahead of schedule if you buy the odds. And, you know, we're all into picking games these days with the legalization of sportsbooks all over. And the Jets over under was five and a half out of, you know, coming out of Las Vegas as far as wins. So the fact that there's seven and four, if you want to use that as a barometer, they have certainly exceeded expectations as a team that had such a low one loss over under total. So there's no question they have exceeded expectations. They missed the playoffs 11 years in a row.

So, you know, I think Jeff fans are like, you know, enough already. You need to make the playoffs this year. But I would say to a degree they've exceeded expectations because it's such a young roster.

You figured they were talented, but maybe they would need more development. They certainly ahead of schedule. And so now sitting at seven and four, looking at the rest of their schedule, man, it gets tough. The next two weeks, especially on the road at the Vikings and then at the Buffalo Bills, before they go Lions, Jaguars, but then two more on the road at the Seahawks and at Miami, who they're not going to see anything easy the rest of the way. No, I think that the two games they have to win because they're the better team. And, you know, to get to nine wins, Detroit at home, Jacksonville at home. I know Jacksonville had the impressive win over Baltimore, but the Jets should be able to beat Jacksonville at home. And they should be able to beat Detroit at home.

So if they get to nine wins with those two games and pick off one of those other teams that you mentioned, you know, I think they should get a wildcard spot at 10 wins. It is a tough schedule. The Minnesota game to me is more winnable than people realize because Minnesota, their defense, we've seen recently, you know, with New England and some of their other games, the Dallas game, you can move the football on that defense. And they're a little beat up a corner with Dantzler injured and now Andrew Booth, their second-round pick out of Clemson, just had knee surgery.

So they're thin at corner. Jets clearly have a lot of weapons in the passing game, as we mentioned. And Mike White does such a good job distributing the football to the weapons. To me, the Minnesota game, I think the Jets have a very good chance in that game. Obviously, playing in that stadium is really hard. As you know, Amy, there's not a lot of great home field advantages anymore. Minnesota still has a legitimate big-time home field advantage.

That place gets loud. And that is a great home venue for Minnesota. But I think the Jets definitely have a chance against the Vikings. Ooh, looking forward to these next six weeks with so much on the line. The AFC East and the NFC East with all eight teams above.500.

Somehow they turned into the best divisions in football. Find Dan on Twitter at JetsWhispers. Dan Leberfeld is the publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine.

Also the co-host of press coverage every Saturday on Sirius XM NFL Radio. There's a lot on the line. Dan, it was great to catch up with you. Thank you so much for a few minutes. Anytime, Amy.

My pleasure. So my biggest fear is there's going to be sneaks in the toilet. We're all afraid of that one strange thing. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new short 10-minute podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. We unpack where these fears come from.

A rat climbed into my toilet. And learn how to manage them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. And add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today.

Football season is here. The new Odyssey app lets you stay connected to your NFL team. Your station, your shows. Follow your favorite stations and come back again and again. Get real-time updates on everything you care about. Miss your show?

Jump back to their awesome rewind feature. The Odyssey app is NFL football. Live and on demand. Wherever you are, whenever you want. And did we mention it's all free? Download the Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-29 08:24:54 / 2022-11-29 08:32:01 / 7

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