The New York Jets are reportedly giving Todd Bowles another shot. The New York Daily News’ Gary Myers is hearing that Bowles will be retained by the club despite a miserable four-win season in 2016.
Todd Bowles will be back next season. That's what I was told today. https://t.co/i2yuwflFtv
— Gary Myers (@garymyersNYDN) December 28, 2016
“Bowles was considered to be in danger of getting fired with the Jets at 4-11 and not even competitive in their last three losses, but a well-placed Jets source told the Daily News on Wednesday, “I don’t anticipate changes.”
The news won’t please Jets nation, who have been calling for Bowles to be fired. New York struggled badly in 2016 with one game remaining, posting a -154 point differential due to having one of the league’s worst defenses. The club specifically performed poorly at home, where they’re 1-6. The offense was a disaster as Ryan Fitzpatrick regressed, throwing 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, and fully justifying the decision to refuse handing him a long-term contract. Meanwhile, Bryce Petty started the last four games at quarterback, but didn’t perform any better.
Following a 10-6 season in 2015, the Jets were expected to challenge again for a playoff spot. Injuries depleted that from ever happening; 17 players are currently on the LTIR as New York has used 72 players total.
Firing Bowles would be justified, but keeping him around for one more season is the smart play. Bowles has only had two seasons on the sidelines, one of which was an unexpected success. Axing him now would mean more turnover, which is the last thing the Jets currently need. Continuity is important. There’s also no obvious candidate on the market to replace Bowles unless they somehow want a reunion with Rex Ryan.
Bowles isn’t the most problematic aspect of a lost season. Finding a new quarterback and improving a once-great defense will help the Jets be watchable again. Also, get some players who won’t quit on him at the first turn of trouble.
Who knows? Maybe the Jets’ turnaround is with Bowles on the sideline long-term.