As the New York Jets prepare for the upcoming season, head coach Todd Bowles needs to take a big step in 2016 to ensure this team finally makes the NFL Playoffs.
In his first season as head coach of the New York Jets, Todd Bowles led the team to a 10-6 record. Although they missed the playoffs on the final day of the season in Buffalo, Bowles had a very promising rookie year.
Prior to joining Gang Green, Bowles earned recognition for leading Arizona’s defense. With an abundance of injuries, Bowles got the most of his players in Arizona. He started to show that last year with the Jets as well.
Under Rex Ryan, safety Calvin Pryor struggled, as he was played out of position at free safety. Bowles moved him to his natural position of strong safety and it allowed him to trust his instincts and attack downhill. He also showed tremendous cover skills deep as well in man-to-man coverage.
Bowles faced some big obstacles in his first summer with the Jets. Quarterback Geno Smith was inexplicably punched in the face by outside linebacker IK Enemkpali. Having your presumptive starting quarterback attacked by a teammate would prove disaster for any locker room. Nonetheless, Bowles made sure it never hurt the camaraderie in the locker room.
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Another issue that arose was the antics of defensive end Sheldon Richardson.
Not only was he facing a four-game suspension to start 2015 for PED use, but he was involved in a high-speed car chase with the police.
When the police apprehended him, they found him with a young child in the car and a gun.
Still, Bowles made sure Richardson righted the ship.
There hasn’t been any trouble with Richardson since.
After leading the Jets in 2015, Bowles has decided to appoint a senior counsel of players. Bowles wants his veteran players to lead and set an example for the younger guys.
Bowles has a lot on his plate in 2016. He needs to grow from 2015, as the Jets did lose some games they had no business losing. The two games against the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans game come to mind.
The Jets were better than Buffalo, though they still came out flat in both games. That falls on Bowles and his coaching staff. It is also hard to believe that the Jets were beat by T.J. Yates and the Texans. The Jets had a terrible defensive game plan in that game as well as in their season finale in Buffalo.
If the Jets are going to make the playoffs in 2016, they need to beat the teams they are better than. They can’t afford let down games. Also, Bowles, with more talent on defense at his disposal, should be able to bludgeon bad teams with his defense.
The Jets cannot lose every game they play against good teams though. They need to take a few tough games, as well as beat up on teams like Miami, Cleveland and Buffalo if they are going to end their playoff drought.
Bowles is a calm, demanding coach that craves greatness. He will not rest until he has a championship ring. Bowles has to make sure he gets the best out of all of his players and if he does that, especially with the Jets, he is well on his way to NFL coaching stardom.