New York Jets: Why Todd Bowles Shouldn’t Be on the Hot Seat
The New York Jets entered the season as a building block year. They drafted Sam Darnold with the 3rd overall pick in the draft as well as signed a few good free agents. However, it seems like the person everyone is putting the most pressure on is head coach Todd Bowles. And after two rough years, many are saying he’s on the hot seat. However, this article will detail and explain why he shouldn’t be.
This is Todd Bowles 4th season as head coach of the Jets. He replaced the bold and brash Rex Ryan who had been the coach of the team from 2009-2014. Much like Rex, Bowles saw success early as a head coach. In his first season as coach, he guided the Jets to a 10-6 record but it started off in a bizarre way. A fight during training camp between Geno Smith and former Jet Enemkpali left Geno with a broken jaw and the Jets turned to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead the team. Fitzpatrick had a magical year and brought the Jets to within a game of the playoffs. They were beaten coincidentally, by Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills in week 17.
The next year, the “Fitzmagic” disappeared faster than donuts at a police station as Fitz and the Jets struggled all season. They finished the year 5-11 and last in the AFC East. Last season, the Jets finished again at 5-11 as they had journeyman quarterback Josh McCown as their starter. McCown was injured toward the end of the season and the Jets were just throwing out backups at that point to finish the year.
Now, Jets fans are notorious for being very reactionary and in the moment thinkers. However, for the crowd that is clamoring for a new head coach, they might want to pump the breaks. If you’re calling it how it is, Bowles and the Jets have exceeded expectations tremendously in his first season as head coach. Nobody figured the Jets would be in a position to possibly make the playoffs at the start of that season.
That surprising season then led many to put high expectations heading into the next year. However, as good as Fitzpatrick was in the previous year, that’s how bad he was that season. It didn’t help that there was a whole dispute over his contract during the offseason. In the words of Stephen A. Smith, the Jets were “hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amuck and flat-out deceived”. It’s unfair to hold Bowles accountable for that season as the quarterback let the team down more than he did.
In 2017, if anything, would be a reason to keep Bowles and give a nod in his favor. Heading into the season, the Jets had Josh McCown as their number 1 quarterback on their depth chart. Their number 1 receiver was out for the season and they just traded away Sheldon Richardson. Many “experts” pegged the Jets to go winless. However, the Jets and Bowles defied the doubters and they scrapped out 5 wins. The Jets came to play just about every week and were anything but a pushover.
Out of their 11 losses, 6 of them were only by 1 possession. Their 31-19 loss to the Saints was close throughout the whole game before a late 4 th quarter touchdown run by Mark Ingram. The Jets fought and competed but just didn’t have the skill set. It’s also worth noting that the Jets defeated three playoff teams last season too (Buffalo, Kansas City & Jacksonville).
This season though if any, should not be held against Todd Bowles. He has a rookie quarterback that will look good at times and bad at others. This season comes with highs and lows. So far, through three weeks of the season, the high came in Week 1 against the Lions when the New York Jets dominated in every facet. The low came this past week against the Browns on Thursday Night Football. A game in which the Jets blew a 14-0 lead.
Todd Bowles Deserves Another Shot With The New York Jets
Now, is Bowles the perfect coach? Absolutely not. No coach is. He has his fair share of problems. One of his problems seems to be a lack of game plan changes, especially in the second half. There have been quite a few games that were lost because of a lack of game planning. However, one of the glaring things you can point at is the lack of team discipline.
In press conferences and with the media Bowles is stoic and poised and preaches no nonsense. However, on the field, the team sometimes doesn’t reflect that. The Jets are one of the more penalized teams over the past few years. This gets in the way of team success. Just look at the Browns game. The Jets had 2 unsportsmanlike penalties for taunting and then a costly penalty on a stopped 2 point conversion attempt by Cleveland in the 4th.
The New York Jets have had multiple players get in trouble with either the law of the NFL for substance abuse. In fact, they have had four players arrested since May 2017. Rookie Chris Herndon was arrested this past June for a DWI and the Jets also parted ways with linebacker Dylan Donahue over the offseason after his second DWI.
The team discipline aside, Todd Bowles gets the most out of his players on the field. In terms of game planning and adjustments, that’s something a coach should get better at with more experience. Bowles wasn’t gifted the best roster when he took over three years ago and the Jets recent drafts haven’t been that great. With a team on the rise and a rookie quarterback, it’s worth letting things play out for Bowles. At least for the next two years.