Behind Enemy Lines: New York Jets Part 2

Jets insider Dan Leberfeld continues to share insights on the Jets including; Mangini's obsession with Patriots players, Kris Jenkins' ability to be the real deal and what he thinks will happen in the AFC East. You'd be surprised at what he thinks about Matt Cassel...

6) What area of the Jets improved the most from last year?

Dan Leberfeld: Their defensive front seven. Trading for Kris Jenkins looks like a terrific move, though it's early, and he did have attitude problems in Carolina. We will have to see if that happens with the Jets. But so far so good.

During Eric Mangini's first two seasons with the Jets, he was in denial about the nose tackle spot, thinking that Dewayne Robertson could play the spot. D-Rob is a good player, but he's too small for the position, and was traded to Denver in the off-season. At 6-4, 359 pounds with terrific quickness and amazing strength, Jenkins is perfect for the 3-4 NT role, which is often taking up two blockers so the linebackers can make plays.

Also helping the front seven was the addition of Calvin Pace at outside linebacker. He has been terrific so far (first game and the preseason), applying a lot of pressure to the quarterbacks.


7) Do you think that when the Jets sign former Patriots players ( Artrell Hawkins, Hank Poteat, Matt Chatham, Clint Oldenburg, Kareem Brown) it's to help the Jets roster by adding talent, or is it more about gathering intelligence on a division rival?

Dan Leberfeld: It's getting old and predictable to be honest with you. The Jets got very little from these players. Hawkins never played in a game for the Jets. His knees were shot, and he retired. The man with the Barry White voice wants to get into broadcasting. Poteat actually was the biggest contributor of this group, making several starts and playing decently. He was released on the final cut, but he can definitely help a team. I think Cleveland is nuts for not signing him. Chatham is a great guy, but had very little impact on the field, and was also released on the final cut. Oldenburg blew his knee out early in camp and received an injury settlement. Kareem Brown might turn out to be the best addition from this group. He looked very good in the preseason, and now looks like a bonafide 3-4 end after a year in NFL weight rooms.


8) What are the limitations of the Jets offense with Favre in it vs Chad Pennington?

Dan Leberfeld: Well the main limitation is they can't use a big chunk of the playbook because Favre is playing catch-up, and will be for a while. Pennington knew the system as well as any of the coaches. He was an encyclopedia. Also, Favre has very little chemistry with his receivers, while Pennington had great chemistry with the Jets targets. Favre and Coles have almost no chemistry because LC was out all summer with a hamstring injury. And Coles said as much this week.

The Jets offensive line had a myriad of false starts last week, so that is a problem also with a new QB, the line getting on the same page with him.

The big plus with Favre is that the Jets can throw more routes, especially down field. Pennington's arm limited the plays the Jets could call.


9) Without Tom Brady, who is the best team in the AFC East?

Dan Leberfeld: I would say the Jets. While they were shaky in their opener in Miami, it stands to reason they are going to get better as time goes buy and their new players get more comfortable. It's really hard to assess New England right now because none of us know how Matt Cassel is going to do. Miami is going to knock some teams off with Chad Pennington, but they have so little talent, it's going to be hard for them to challenge for the playoffs this year. Buffalo should be a wild card contender.


10) Who do you think will win on Sunday and why?

Dan Leberfeld: I think the game is a toss-up. To me, the Jets don't have an edge at quarterback. This might shock some people, but Brett Favre with limited knowledge of his offense vs. Matt Cassel, who knows his entire playbook, evens the playing field. I think the Jets will win a close one because they are at home.

Don't forget to check out Part 1 with Dan

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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.

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