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Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Morning Quarterback

Teflon Todd
Rumors have been swirling this week that if Arizona Cardinal coach Bruce Arians retires at the end of the season, the Cardinals may make a play for Todd Bowles. If they are considering it, I’m hoping all the Jet tapes can be destroyed before the Cardinal ownership decides to review Bowles game strategies. Wouldn’t it be incredible if he does in fact take that job? It can and has happened. I remember when Herm Edwards left the Jets for the KC Chiefs. When Herm went to the Chiefs, his coaching record in three years was 9-7, 4-12, 2-14. The year before Herm got there, the Chiefs had a 10-6 record. At the time the Chiefs had a very prolific offense with Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes running the ball and Eddie Kennison at wide receiver. The going joke was that someone in the NFL discovered how to stop the Chiefs juggernaut offense, hiring Herm Edwards as their head coach. The situation with Todd Bowles is a little different. He has never been to the playoffs as a head coach. Job security is an issue with coaches and to get, say a three year contract with Arizona would be better for him than a one-year extension with the Jets. But the feeling is that we will have teflon Todd Bowles for another ulcer filled year of clock mismanagement and being unprepared for games.

Jet Credit 
As bleak as the season has been some Jets deserve some credit for giving it their all. DeMario Davis has played well beyond expectations. Marcus Maye has outplayed his rookie counterpart Jamal Adams. Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse have been having real good years especially when you consider the quarterback situation. Bilal Powell has been great working hard on every play that he is in the game. James Carpenter has looked slow at times but he has played with a lot of pride in the darkest moments of games. Elijah McGuire has a chance to be a special player. I have gotten on nose guard Steve McLendon but he has had a solid year. Kickers Chandler Catanzaro and Lachlan Edwards have helped keep games competitive. Despite what we all may think, the Jets do have a few quality personnel on the team. They will have 100 million dollars in cap money and this has to be used wisely just as the draft picks must all be winners. The missing piece remains the quarterback position. Let’s all hope. Baker Mayfield anyone?

What the Jet Scribes Are Saying:

Rich Cimini, ESPN
 Christian Hackenberg was last seen in a football game Aug. 31, the New York Jets' preseason finale. That night, he completed only 10 of 22 attempts for 105 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles' scrubs, cementing his status as the No. 3 quarterback. Four months later, he's prepping for another finale on the 31st. This time, it's the final regular-season game and the opponent is the New England Patriots. This isn't the junior varsity anymore. Hackenberg could make his NFL debut Sunday in a relief role, and wouldn't that be fascinating? Because the Jets' practices are closed to the media, nobody other than teammates and coaches have seen the 22-year-old in action since the preseason. He's cloaked in mystery. Inquiring minds want to know: Is it the same Hackenberg as the preseason or has he made improvements in his game?

"He's got an arm and he makes great throws that are eye-popping sometimes," tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said Wednesday. "If he gets out there and gets an opportunity, I know he'll run with it. He'll do a good job. He's gotten reps throughout the weeks.

"He's going to do a good job if he gets out there on Sunday. He's got the arm, there's no question about it. He's got it all. ... I think he'll surprise a lot of people."
If he's frustrated by nearly two years of inactivity, Hackenberg has done a nice job of bottling it up. He always says the right things, never complaining about his lack of opportunities. He sticks to the script, even if it makes him sound robotic. Pressed on the prospect of making his NFL debut, he finally conceded a sense of excitement.

"I think, naturally, as a player, yeah, you're excited," he said. "The big thing is to not get lost in that and continue to make sure you're hammering home the fine details every week."

The final week could be his week.

Brian Costello, NY Post
Todd Bowles left open the possibility of playing backup quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Sunday against the Patriots. Offensive coordinator John Morton said he has seen progress from the second-year player this year.

“I just think getting familiar [with the offense], the biggest thing is the offense, the timing, the three-step, five-step, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into this offense,” Morton said. “Mentally he does a great job picking up everything. It’s just having the right footwork, making the right throws, making sure it’s on time. That’s the biggest thing. I’ll tell you what, he’s had a good week of practice. Both of those guys [Hackenberg and Bryce Petty] have so far.”

Hackenberg, who has not played a snap in two seasons, has spent most of the year facing the Jets’ defense as the scout-team quarterback. Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said Hackenberg has shown some skills in practice.

“He’s been really good,” Rodgers said. “The thing is, the guy is talented. He just zings the ball around, and you sit there and you see the arm talent and all that, so he’s done a great job from that aspect for us.”
Morton acknowledged to get a true read on a player, you have to see them play in an actual game, not just practice.

“I think it’s a determining factor,” he said. “That’s up to the head coach if he makes that call. He always gets some reps with the first team, and he’s got a couple more this week. So, we’ll see what happens.”

What are the expectations for Hackenberg?

“The expectations are, listen, you’re on a NFL team now, to go out and do the right thing,” Morton said. “To go out and do the best that you can to your ability and it’s my job to make sure that I put them in the right position to have success. If we do that, I think we do a pretty good job of doing that as coaches, you have to make those throws. If the guy is open, you have to make the throw. So, listen, it’s an ongoing process. We can talk about this and we’re not going to know until we get in a game.”

Menish Mehta, NY Daily News
You don’t need a PhD in Tasseography to read these tea leaves: There’s a strong belief on One Jets Drive that ownership wants Todd Bowles to continue to lead this rebuilding outfit.
Nothing is officially official, but Woody and Christopher Johnson have put a premium on stability at head coach and general manager during this rebuilding process. However, there are important questions for Bowles to consider before anything is finalized. First and foremost, do the Jets have a smart plan to land a franchise quarterback?
Bowles, who is under contract for 2018, is a patient man, but how much longer does he have to patch together a squad unsettled at the most pivotal position in American team sports? He has fielded a pair of journeyman quarterbacks and been put in the unenviable position of defending a pair of developmental quarterbacks in his first three seasons.

Real talk: The Jets could — and perhaps, should — have beaten the playoff-bound Saints and potentially playoff-bound Chargers the past two weeks with a better quarterback.
I wouldn’t wish this signal-caller mess on my worst enemy.

The Jets simply don’t have a chance to win with Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. One year after a 41-3 Christmas Eve bloodbath in Foxborough, Bowles & Co. will likely ring in 2018 with another loss to the Evil Empire on Sunday.
The Jets have done a solid job setting a proper foundation necessary for sustainable success, but it’s time to speed it up a bit. Bowles, who should get a two-year extension, needs help from the front office and ownership if this is going to work.

Whispers that other teams would be interested in Bowles if he somehow shakes free shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s a respected coach around the league. Surely, the Jets are aware of that regardless of the chatter from misguided Barcalounger wizards. Lombardi and Halas couldn’t weave magic with the Jets this season after the roster tear down last spring.



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