With another losing season likely to be on the horizon for the New York Jets, it may be time to part ways with head coach Todd Bowles, although it’d be smart to wait until the season concludes to make such a decision.
After being hired by the New York Jets prior to the start of the 2015 NFL season, head coach Todd Bowles went 10-6 in his first year at the helm, leading the team to a second place finish in the AFC East and just narrowly missing the NFL Playoffs.
Since then, however, it’s been all downhill for Bowles and the Jets, as the team put together back-to-back 5-11 seasons in 2016 and 2017 and now sits at 3-7 and in fourth place in the division throughout 2018 thus far.
In regards to 2018 specifically, the Jets have struggled immensely and it’s become abundantly clear that it may be time for the team to part ways with Bowles. Now, of course, the team isn’t necessarily loaded with talent, so all of the blame can’t be put on Bowles, but at the end of the day, he is the man in charge and he simply hasn’t provided much hope to a success-starved franchise.
First and foremost, the Jets have, at times, looked lost, lifeless, and undisciplined throughout this season, which does indeed fall on the shoulders of Bowles.
Also, it’s critical to consider the Jets’ future and the team’s most important piece at the moment, which is undoubtedly rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. Bowles, a defensive-minded head coach, doesn’t appear to be the right man to lead Darnold’s development.
And in regards to the defense, which was thought to be the Jets’ strong point, that unit has struggled under Bowles’ leadership as well, which was incredibly evident in an embarrassing 41-10 Week 10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, who started Matt Barkley under center.
In the end, the Jets, a team in the midst of a rebuild, have shown little progression throughout 2018 and Bowles himself has shown little progression since being hired in 2015, which is why it’s time the Jets go in a new direction. However, that move shouldn’t take place until the season ends and here’s why.
First off, there’s simply no one within the Jets organization that could seemingly replace Bowles at the moment. Not Jeremy Bates, who serves as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, nor Kacy Rodgers, who serves as the team’s defensive coordinator, or Brant Boyer, the organization’s special teams coordinator, have head coaching experience at any level. In fact, receivers coach Karl Dorrell, who spent five years as the head coach of UCLA’s football program, is the only member of the staff with prior experience at the helm.
Secondly, Bowles is genuinely well-liked amongst his players. Firing him in the middle of an already rocky season could potentially cause the locker room to spiral out of control. Also, doing so at this time could hinder Darnold’s development even if Bowles ultimately isn’t the man to mold the young quarterback.
Essentially, it seems as if firing Bowles is the right move to make, but the Jets should let the season play out before doing so, which would allow them to conduct a proper search for a replacement, while also attempting to keep team morale and chemistry at bay.