Is Todd Bowles the Right Coach for Sam Darnold?

Feed the Jets: Potential will be Served in Bowles
Feed the Jets: Potential will be Served in Bowles

Week one, we saw a coaching gem by Todd Bowles and company. From week 2 up to last week, Jets fans were ready to riot against Bowles. Then, against Denver, he coached another gem.

So what should we expect on a week-to-week basis?

Hopefully, Bowles can find a balance and be consistent Sunday after Sunday. That’s what it takes to be an NFL Coach. I mean, do you ever see Bill Bellichick or Mike Tomlin have three straight bad weeks? No. Todd Bowles doesn’t have to be a Bill Bellichick, but he needs to find a way to consistently coach well on a weekly basis.

Bowles has been a head coach for more than three years now. He’s coached good teams, he’s coached bad teams. One thing he hasn’t coached: a first-round quarterback. Sam Darnold is a new toy for Bowles to play with. Here’s the catch: it comes with instructions. Bowles, being a defensive-minded coach, is basically trying to read the instructions in French.

Bowles has had Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, and Josh McCown as his (starting) quarterbacks. He’s never had a true young talent to coach like Darnold. The hope around the Jets’ front office and fanbase is that Bowles is up to the task. The unfortunate reality is, he might not be.

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Don’t get me wrong. Bowles has had good games this year. The thing is, the Jets can’t be willing to have two good games out of five weeks. They need consistency. The Jets shouldn’t have to go into games concerned about how their coach will handle it. Especially with a rookie quarterback.

Defensive minded coaches have cursed rookie quarterbacks for quite some time. Jared Goff, under Jeff Fischer during his first year, was terrible. Many wrote him off as a bust. Then, Sean McVay comes around, and he has a great season. This year, Goff is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. He’s not alone, either. Mitchell Trubisky falls under a similar storyline, switching from John Fox to Matt Nagy.

Can Bowles break this curse? You tell me. He’s a defensive minded coach with a first-year offensive coordinator alongside him. The odds are certainly against him, to say the least. Of course, I would love to see him succeed. There is nothing I’d want more than a solid head coach that can be kept around long-term.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if Bowles is that guy. He is better off coaching veteran quarterbacks. Look at his success with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then, look at the atrocity of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. See a trend? Obviously Darnold is a much better quarterback than those two. Can Bowles handle the pressure? He has one season to show that he can. If he shows the Jets that he can coach well week-after-week, he’ll gain their trust. Until then, he is on shaky grounds.



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