As they flounder through arguably their worst season of the past decade, the New York Jets need to change their toxic locker room culture and fire head coach Todd Bowles immediately.
Well, here we are yet again. After a thrilling 2015 season that saw Ryan Fitzpatrick break passing records and the team post a solid 10-6 record, the New York Jets are back to their old ways. Actually, I take that back. I long for the good old days when the Jets would go 4-12. I would do anything to watch those teams again, as opposed to this current version of the Jets.
I’ll even take it a step forward. Does anyone know if the 0-12 Browns are accepting new fans? I would like to petition to join the bandwagon. The 2016 Jets are an absolute disgrace. They are an embarrassment to the game of football, a slap in the face to every pop warner, high school, and collegiate athlete across the country.
Losing is miserable, but die-hard fans can endure losing seasons. What we cannot tolerate, what truly sucks the soul out of us, is watching our team openly quit. As I write this, the Jets trail 24-3 against the Colts at halftime. The first half contained a litany of “highlights,” including three personal foul penalties, countless blown coverages in the secondary, and a defensive effort that would make a sloth blush.
I have watched hundreds of football games, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a team more openly tank. It’s been obvious for weeks that Darrelle Revis is a clubhouse cancer. Unfortunately for the Jets, his toxic, entitled, quitter mentality has apparently spread throughout the locker room.
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The entire defense apart from a few standouts (shoutout to Leonard Williams) played lazy and undisciplined. The offensive production (3 points in the first half) speaks for itself.
Right now, the Jets look far more hopeless than their 3-8 (soon to be 3-9) record would indicate. How can owner Woody Johnson even begin to fix a team that doesn’t even want to play better, a team that could not care less whether they win or lose?
Longtime respected NFL exec just texted to say the Jets might be giving the worst effort he's ever seen.
— Ian O'Connor (@Ian_OConnor) December 6, 2016
Whether it’s the poor effort by the players, the mismanagement of the quarterback situation, the failure to hold players accountable, or the atrocious secondary play, the Jets have continued to make the same mistakes all season long.
Leadership starts at the top. When players are consistently making the same mental mistakes, when players openly quit on the team, its time to hold the coaching staff accountable. Head coach Todd Bowles has only had two seasons to lead the Jets. And under his leadership, the Jets were a good team last year. And yes, sportswriters and fans tend to overreact when their teams struggle.
None of that changes the reality that Bowles needs to be fired immediately. Successful NFL coaches maintain control of their locker rooms. For all his faults as a coach, Rex Ryan knew how to motivate his players. And the truly great coaches like Bill Belichick refuse to tolerate even a moment of poor discipline or lackluster effort.
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The Jets will not find another Belichick. But anyone they possibly could find would be an improvement over who they currently have. The fans deserve far better than this. The entire Jets organization needs a dramatic culture change, and that will never happen as long as Bowles is strolling the sideline each Sunday.