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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Has Todd Bowles Lost Control of The Jets?

  The play calling has been questionable.The penalties show a lack of discipline. The term “miscommunication” is becoming a regular word in Todd Bowles vocabulary. The players are seen arguing amongst themselves on the sidelines. Supposed leaders of the team are getting punished having their playing time diminished because of being late to team meetings. The worse thing that can be said about an NFL coach is that he has lost control of his team. Is this what is happening to Todd Bowles and the New York Jets? Coming off a 10-6 season and missing the playoffs on the last game of the season, some thought (like myself) that this roster would come into the season hungry and dedicate themselves to the team and season. Sure there was no “Jets West” or any other player organized mini camps that I know of. But quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was coming off a big season throwing 31 touchdown passes and passing for 3,905 yards. He developed great chemistry with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. The fact that the Jets didn’t have a tight end involved in the offense didn’t matter. This season would be a playoff year no matter how tough the first six games were. With Tom Brady out for the first four games of the season, Jet fans were hoping to go 3-1 or just 2-2 in the first quarter of the season knowing the hated Pats would go 2-2 if they were lucky. As always in Jet land, things have not worked out and the New York Jets may be in the midst of a total meltdown that may affect the 2017 season. Last year Todd Bowles was the talk of the Jets. His low demeanor and the respect he had from his players was noticeable. This season began to turn bad when the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract negotiations went much longer than anyone anticipated. He missed the all important OTA’s. It continued with the Mo Wilkerson negotiations but that was resolved as was the Fitzpatrick contract. But it may have been too little too late. With Geno Smith getting snaps with the first team he was displaced when Fitzpatrick came back. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the leader of the team. He was popular in the locker room and players loved his toughness on the field when he ran head first. The season began to unravel the very first game against the Cincinnati Bengals. A game the Jets should have won was gift wrapped to the Bengals with the help of a blocked field goal and missed extra point despite the defensive line getting seven sacks. The Bengal game was the first hint Jet fans got that Darrelle Revis was not the same player he once was. A.J. Green had his way with Revis catching 12 passes for 180 yards including an embarrassing 54-yard touchdown pass. Things would get worse for the Jets and Revis. A win against the Bills evened the Jets record but with the win questions came about the way Todd Bowles was coaching. The Jets went ahead by 12 points on a touchdown and Bowles inexplicitly went for one point instead of two.  Things continued to spiral worse and a pattern was developing the way Todd Bowles was coaching. In a few of the games at the end of the first half with the Jets losing, Bowles would let the clock run out without calling timeout knowing the Jets would be kicking off to start the second half. This lack of time management plus his lack of confidence in the offense began to be noticed by the team. In one game the defense was on the field and you could read some of the players lips asking each other.
“Why aren’t we calling time out”?
Fitzpatrick never got into a rhythm with Decker who got injured and Marshall. The inconsistent offensive line has looked slow, fat and out of sync. They continue to break down as the game goes on putting whoever is playing quarterback in harms way. The combination of losing, questionable coaching decisions and a lack of on the field discipline has led fans to believe Todd Bowles either has lost or is losing the 2016 Jets. Viewing Brandon Marshall and Ryan Fitzpatrick arguing on the sideline as well as the earlier mentioned team meeting incident involving Sheldon Richardson and Mo Wilkerson has the making of a team in turmoil. This is a team that patchwork and filling in positions with a few off-season free agent signings will not cure. Todd Bowles has his work cut for him the rest of the season if only to maintain respect and make sure he does not lose the team. The real hard job may be that of GM Mike Maccagnan who will not only be in the market for at least one quarterback but maybe two. He will have some easy and tough decisions rebuilding this franchise for the umpteenth time trying to give Jet fans some hope. Once the season is washed away and Woody Johnson sees empty seats, more changes may be made. It ain’t easy being green!


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