Jets 2017 Report Card: Grading the coaching staff
By Soyica Lyles
The New York Jets are only as good as the coaches control over the game. At season’s end, it’s now time to take a look at the report cards and overall coaching grades of Todd Bowles as well as his offensive and defensive coordinators, quarterbacks and special teams coaches.
Prior to the 2017 season, many of us prematurely graded the New York Jets and were guilty of pre-judgment. We based our predictions on illusions of tanking as well as future outcomes predicated on prior season performances, and the good and bad free agency decisions.
And so here we are another disappointing season later and months away from the 2018 NFL Draft. We take a moment to grade the Jets 2017 coaching staff.
Defensive Coordinator – Kacy Rodgers
Even though the numbers say the Jets defense was near the bottom again. There were games when the defense played brilliantly against big offenses. Then there were games where positive plays were made null after thoughtless and dumb penalties put the Jets back at one.
The hearts of rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye shouldn’t go unnoticed as they were much more triumph than the overall numbers. Ranked 23rd in points allowed per game, the Jets did actually improve just a bit from their pre—Adams and Maye era.
Offensive Coordinator – John Morton
At times, the offensive play calling was questionable. There was also a plethora of run and pass plays the offensive line couldn’t seem to protect. And even when it appeared the Jets were competitive, they were still not competitive and aggressive enough, particularly on the 1–yard line.
Simply, the Jets were unable to turn opportunities into points.
However, Jets red-zone efficiency did show some positive signs with Josh McCown behind the wheel unlike the Ryan Fitzpatrick led offense. According to TeamRankings.com, this was a significant percentage increase and improvement compared to 2016.
Quarterbacks Coach – Jeremy Bates
Yes, McCown performed better than many of us imagined. In fact, he had a career season in his 13 starts. Part of his success can be attributed to the Jets coaching staff working within the quarterbacks’ skill set which allowed him to demonstrate confidence under center as the season progressed.
In all fairness, the Jets didn’t have very many plays within the 20-yard line, yet McCown managed to be efficient when inside red-zone.
There was also added dimension this season with more short route plays that involved using tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. This was an improvement that should continue to build the teams confidence.
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Special Teams – Brant Boyer
When all cylinders are clicking, something beautiful happens. And so, there’s nothing special to report in this department.
Absolutely, the Jets made decent plays like making the extra point or limiting kick returns which are often taken for granted. But then there are the plays that can clearly sum and define an entire season.
For example, a missed field goal in the rain, at home. Or worse, Jeremy Kerley‘s muffed punt return in a rainstorm, still at home, giving a quarterback like Matt Ryan the chance to ice the game.
The bright side—there’s always room for improvement.
Head Coach – Todd Bowles
Overall, the most encouraging point of view is the players are excited to play for their coach. This means, they believe in his process, his mantra, and his vision. Over the most recent seasons, Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan have made franchise building picks with Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams.
From the outside looking in, it naturally seems like a no-brainer of which decisions are the best, which players should play and which plays should be called. Even still, if we’re lucky, management, coaches, and fans all remain on the same page as the mandate should always be–winning.
Final Grade: C-