The New York Jets were an atrocity in many aspects during 2016, but one aspect stands out from the rest. The team’s locker room must become much less chaotic if they are going to have sustainable success down the line.
Coming off of a relatively successful 2015-2016 season, it seemed as if the New York Jets would have a very good locker room for years to come. There were plenty of established veterans on the roster who were thought of as good leaders due to their respective reputations and experiences.
Obviously, things didn’t go as planned as fans watched the locker room culture completely collapse over the course of the 2016-2017 season. Multiple incidents occurred that reeked of locker room dysfunction as it was a miserable season from start to finish.
There aren’t many people who warrant greater responsibility for this than head coach Todd Bowles, and he will need to make sure that this aspect of the team is greatly improved for the future. There are a few effective ways that he can go about doing so.
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The first step is that gradually a set of specific leaders will need to be established within the locker room. It can be assumed that Jets brass is hoping that veteran free agent acquisitions such as left tackle Kelvin Beachum and cornerback Morris Claiborne can be leaders. Along with them, though, some young players will need to rise to the occasion, and that will need to include some strong mentorship from Bowles and the rest of the coaching staff.
Along with this set of leaders, Bowles will need to set some things straight by himself. If the players on the roster do not fully buy into him as their head coach, there will continue to be locker room dysfunction. This likely means that Bowles will have to change his approach in one way or another.
These are only a few suggestions, but no matter what, things certainly have to change in the Jets’ locker room. Bowles’ job status may very well end up depending on it.