Another year, another cloud of uncertainty hovering around the Jets head coaching position. Believe it or not, 2017 will mark the fourth consecutive year the Jets will face such adversity. Todd Bowles’ future with the franchise is hanging by a thread, but the Jets should be hesitant about cutting him loose.
The Hungry Jets Need to be Served Development in Bowles
Coming into 2017, the New York Jets were sought out to be the league’s new Cleveland Browns. Winning even one game was an accolade that looked unachievable, and the deflated roster only supported that opinion.
But now, in the closing moments of 2017, the Jets have totaled five wins. And not to say that that is a celebratory milestone, but it is certainly exceeding expectations.
The Jets don’t want to trudge into 2018 in a step in the wrong direction, however. While Bowles is on his way to back-to-back 5-11 seasons, a coaching change may not be the move that turns the Jets’ fortunes around.
The team doesn’t want to be compared to the Browns again, who seemingly continue to change regimes every other season. With a more-than-likely scenario of a new and young quarterback coming to the Big Apple, the Jets shouldn’t want to make a coaching decision that could stutter that process.
Bowles has built a foundation in his three years with the team. The defensive scheme that he has been building for the past three years is finally coming together. And the offensive side is in it’s fertility with OC John Morton. Altering the head coaching position could hinder everything the Jets have been working towards. The Browns have been a testament to that as development and success is virtually unachievable.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) December 28, 2017
No More Flight Delays, Layovers
The Jets have been establishing a new culture within the players and management. And while the record isn’t showing it quite yet, making a rash coaching change would ultimately be the same as hitting the restart button.
Gang Green already did this a year ago. By gutting the entire roster of a 10-6 football team, the Jets made a promise that the suffering of 2017 would be worth it in the long run. It would be a tough sell to the fan base to have them go through that again just one year later.
The players have also remained competitive under Bowles and have embraced the rebuilding phase. Despite a slew of deficiencies in the lineup, they’ve gone arm-for-arm in nearly every game this year. The Jets are 2-3 against playoff-bound teams, with two of those losses by seven and eight points. Why quit on that mindset so quickly?
The main reason that sense of togetherness exisits is because of Bowles. The team has come out and said that locker room aroma is at an all time high. Bowles put the pieces in place for that to happen by disposing of the distractions after 2016. He has regathered and recouped his locker room in 2017, and the Jets simply cannot afford to lose that…again.
Make or Break: A 2018 Original Story
For the Jets, 2017 has been about development. While the team hasn’t found it’s more than necessary franchise quarterback, they have constructed the foundation around that void.
Next year will be telling in that regard. A new quarterback will likely be under center (unless Mike Maccagnan somehow slips up) and it will be on Bowles to develop whoever that may be.
This year, he has proved he can handle that pressure. He’s excelled at thrusting players such as Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Robby Anderson, Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins into the spotlight. The opportunity for him to have that same success with a quarterback has not been given to him yet. But many understand that it will come in 2018.
Unlike 2016, which simply said, was a failed chemistry experiment amongst the Jets locker room and coaching staff, 2017 has been all about the “one team, one goal” mindset that Bowles has created.
He may just be the antidote that fixes the Jets. The team has played for him, and he has done a solid job at preparing them for the spotlight. If Bowles is cut loose, the Jets may lose more than just their head coach. While 5-11 is not where this team wants to be, they certainly don’t want to be put in a position that puts their efforts on further delay.
Bowles should be given the reins for one last ride in 2018. The Jets are reportedly leaning in that direction as well.