Isaiah Crowell came to the Jets media room just before 6 p.m. Wednesday to address questions about his endorsement deal with a toilet paper substitute.
First, he asked if he could use the bathroom.
You can’t make it up.
It was the end of a bizarre day at Jets headquarters, where coach Todd Bowles was asked questions about Crowell and his relationship with “Dude Wipes.”
Forgive the pun, but his decision made Crowell and the Jets the butt of the joke again.
All jokes aside, Crowell embarrassed himself and the team with the original crude celebration in Cleveland two weeks ago, then he doubled-down this week with the endorsement. Those are two decisions that make you wonder what he was thinking and also begs for Bowles to do something.
Bowles stood at the podium on Wednesday and answered questions about this butthead. He vowed the celebration will never happen again, something he said immediately following the game. But he seemed at a loss about the endorsement, which he said he was informed about just prior to his daily news conference.
“The play itself won’t happen again on our field,” Bowles said. “I can’t do anything about anybody’s endorsement deals off the field, but on this team [that celebration] won’t happen.”
It is time for Bowles to take a stand. Now, he likely is limited in how he can discipline a player for something off the field. But he can play whoever he wants. He should bench Crowell for this week’s game against the Broncos.
It is time for Bowles to send a message to his lax locker room that he is not going to let them walk all over him. Because that is exactly what Crowell is doing here. Bowles clearly was mad about the celebration in Cleveland. Two weeks later, Crowell is making light of it and lining his pockets with a few extra thousand dollars.
Crowell was reluctant to say much about the endorsement when he met with reporters. He said the celebration would not happen again.
“I didn’t mean any disrespect to anybody,” Crowell said a few times, sounding like he was sticking to talking points someone put in his head. “I have a lot of respect for everybody in the building.”
I don’t like playing this card because it is not only fair, but ask yourself this: Would any Patriots player think of wiping his butt with a football, then endorse a product to capitalize off it? No shot anyone would do that because of the fear of Bill Belichick. Where is the fear of Bowles?
The Jets have looked like an undisciplined team for too long under Bowles. Whether it is the penalties or the sloppy play, they do not appear to be a well-coached team.
Bowles was asked Wednesday if he believes this team is a disciplined one.
“Yeah, I do,” he said.
You can list all of the penalties that show a lack of discipline, but the poster child for that is Crowell and his disgusting touchdown celebration against the Browns. Bowles said he did not consider benching Crowell in Cleveland because he did not see his celebration until after the game when he watched the film. Fair enough, but he could have then sat him down for the Jaguars game. He didn’t.
Crowell’s past shows that though he is very talented, he also makes a lot of bad decisions. He was kicked out of Georgia after police found a concealed gun in his car. While with the Browns, Crowell posted a drawing on Instagram of a police officer having his throat slashed. He later apologized and donated money to a police organization in Dallas.
Some people will say that simply benching Crowell is not enough. They will say the running back should be booted from the team. But the Jets did invest $4 million in him this year, and though his endorsement deal is an embarrassment, it is not a crime.
But Bowles can send a message to Crowell and his team by letting Crowell watch Sunday’s game from the bench. Or if he prefers, from the bathroom.