The New York Jets will more than likely have another losing season in 2017. Head coach Todd Bowles should be able to survive it and continue building this team to where he needs it to be.
After an over-achieving 2015 season in which he won 10 games, head coach Todd Bowles led the New York Jets to a dismal 5-11 record. Going into his third season as head coach, he could be facing a make-or-break year.
Good organizations usually give a head coach a chance to build his program, or at least hand pick his quarterback. Bowles has not yet had the chance to do so. That being said, he did himself no favors in 2016. Several key players had behavioral issues and multiple no-shows to meetings. Bowles even had to bench starting players due to the distractions they brought to the Jets.
So far, in preparation for the 2017 season, the Jets have not signed a significant veteran other than offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum. The Jets have focused on ridding themselves of veteran players such as Brandon Marshall and Nick Mangold to free up cap space but haven’t exactly gone on a frenzy in free agency.
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The Jets finally seem committed to a rebuild, which is the right thing to do. The question is, will a historically patient franchise keep the current coach around when the Jets are ready to compete again?
Bowles has his flaws, but he still proved in his rookie year, as well as his years as a defensive coordinator, that he is a good coach in this league. Woody Johnson invested significant resources in finding the best head coaching candidate available. Woody also went against the grain, by hiring Bowles before he hired general manager Mike Maccagnan. That is a strong indicator of how much Woody believed in Bowles when he offered him the job.
Woody would be foolish to give up on Bowles if he has another bad year. The front office is clearly gutting the roster, and they need to work in tandem with Bowles to identify and acquire the players he desires.
A good example would be Atlanta Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn. He came to the Falcons, worked with a general manager that was already there, and still was able to assemble his roster according to his vision. Bowles wants an aggressive team in all three phases of the game. He wants his team to resemble the Arizona Cardinals, where his mentor and friend Bruce Arians is the head coach.
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Woody must give Bowles a chance to bring in the players he wants. Until that happens, Woody must be patient. Regardless of whether Bowles wins one game or 10 next season, he should be brought back in 2018. This year, Bowles will need to reach the young players and get the most out of them. That alone, more than wins, is progress for the Jets.