Dan Leberfeld: With Tom Brady out, it certainly elevates his chances of being part of something special. Favre is still in a major catch-up mode. He's still learning the offense, and developing chemistry with this wideouts and offensive linemen (the Jets had numerous false starts in Miami). It doesn't matter how long you are in the league, you go to a new team in training camp, especially at quarterback, it's going to take a while to get comfortable. You could see Favre and Laveranues Coles weren't on the same page in Miami. So before he can be any kind of savior, he needs to be comfortable with what he's doing.
2) How are the free agents the Jets signed in the offseason performing so far? Up to expectations?
Dan Leberfeld: The one guy who has really shined is outside linebacker Calvin Pace. He was terrific in the preseason, and gave Jake Long fits in the opener. He is exactly what they were missing last year, playmaking 3-4 OLB. He looks like he's going to be worth the $7 million per year they are paying him. Another guy who looks pretty good is nose tackle Kris Jenkins. At 6-4, 359 pounds with tremendous strength, he is the 3-4 nose tackle they have been missing the last two years. He consistently ties up two blockers allowing others to make plays. Right tackle Damien Woody had a pretty good first game when you consider that Thomas Jones ran for over 100 yards, and a lot of the carries went to the right side. Alan Faneca was average in the opener.
3) The Dolphins game had a couple of crazy moments with a key Hail Mary connection by Favre and a key interception by Pennington to end the game. Did the game go as you expected or was it a bit of a surprise?
Dan Leberfeld: I expected a close game. It probably wouldn't have been lopsided if the Jets hadn't helped the Dolphins fill their QB void with Chad Pennington. That interception at the end wasn't Pennington's fault. It was a fade thrown to a skinny receiver who's not good in traffic - Ted Ginn. Pennington played very well considering his shaky offensive line and average cast of weapons. The Jets were lucky to win the game. If the Dolphins had called the fade to a different receiver - a 6-4 physical type wideout, and he makes that catch, the Jets likely lose the game. Also, when you consider the fluky nature of the Stuckey Hail Mary play, the Jets were very fortunate to walk out of Miami with a win.
4) How different are the 2008 New York Jets to their teams in the past?
Dan Leberfeld: With Tom Brady out, and the Jets off-season additions, you would have to say the Jets are the team to beat in the division now. The team is much better than last year because they filled their holes - a pair of pass rushing OLB's (Calvin Pace and Vern Gholston), a massive nose tackle (Kris Jenkins), two tough veteran offensive linemen (Damien Woody and Alan Faneca), a big receiver (6-4 Marcus Henry) and a cornerback to start opposite Darrell Revis (rookie Calvin Lowery). They did a great job filling all their voids, and they are clearly a much better team that last year.
5) What do you think of some NY media outlets applauding the injury to Tom Brady on their front page?
Dan Leberfeld: I didn't see it, but it sounds pathetic. If it bleeds it reads as they say in he news rooms. Whoever was behind that headline is a loser. The Tom Brady injury is terrible for the NFL, a league without enough top shelf quarterbacks.
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Dan Leberfeld covers the New York Jets for Jets Confidential Magazine. He is also a host on SIRIUS NFL Radio and can be heard on Prime Sports Network on the Jets Confidential Radio show.