Inspite of a 4-11 disaster of a season Todd Bowles is likely safe as head coach of the New York Jets, according to multiple news sources this week.
The story initially broke from Gary Myers of the New York Daily News, who reported that a trusted source doesn't expect any changes to be made. If that is the case, one would have to assume that even if the Jets get blown out by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Bowles isn't going anywhere. Neither is GM Mike Maccagnan.
The 2016 season has been a total dumpster fire. Bowles has taken and deserves his fair share of criticism. He has shown little interest in developing a quarterback with Bryce Petty getting only garbage games to play in, and Christian Hackenberg never stepping onto the field. Instead he, and even Maccagnan, allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to dictate things from his contract to his time on the field. And Fitz was a total stinker.
He allowed in-fighting to develop inside the locker room, which boiled over last weekend when Sheldon Richardson and Brandon
Marshall started ripping each other in the press.
He came in as a defensive guru and watched his defense become one of the worst in the NFL. The Jets secondary can't stop a nosebleed, which is both a combination of bad coaching and injuries that have beset that unit.
There has even been a sense that the team threw in the towel on the season weeks ago.
All of those indictments should point to a firing of Bowles. But is not all on him. Keep in mind it was Maccagnan who allowed Fitz to become a distraction. It was Maccagnan who has had two underwhelming drafts the past two years, and it was Maccagnan who spent all that salary cap space to bring in guys like Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie before the 2015 season. If the chickens were to come to roost for Bowles, they almost certainly should come to roost on Maccagnan.
But it looks like that the chickens won't come to roost.
It's a controversial decision. One one hand one can argue that Bowles should be gone for all the reasons stated above. At the same time, one can understand why Woody Johnson would feel inclined to keep Bowles around for another year. Namely Johnson will be heavily criticized for giving up on a young head coach and GM just two years in. He put a great deal of time in looking for replacements for Rex Ryan and John Idzik after the 2014 season, even hiring Charley Casserly and Ron Wolff as consultants. If he changed course now, he would look like Jimmy Haslam in Cleveland.
Not to mention the Jets are one year separated from a 10-win season under Bowles. Which season was the aberration? 2015? or 2016?
But, perhaps the greatest argument to keeping Bowles is this: the Jets are going to tear apart this ball club. They are going to strip the fat of aging and costly veterans and do a full rebuild. In other words, success is no guarantee right away in 2017. If the Jets were to fire Bowles and look toward experienced head coach candidates, what candidate would want this job when they know full well that 2-14 is likely in the first season? There are none. In short, Bowles is a guinea pig. He is not a good head coach. He should be fired on Monday. But, because a full rebuild is coming, this job is not attractive to anyone out there.
Personally, Bowles should be fired. He is a terrible head coach, and it won't get any better next season. He has not shown any passion, appears uninterested at times, and has no say in the offense or special teams -- instead relying on his coaching staff to get the job done. The biggest indictment is that he calls the plays for the defense, and they are horrible. Bowles should go. But it won't happen.
The least Jets fans can hope for is that the likes of Chan Gailey (offensive coordinator) and Kacy Rodgers (defensive coordinator) get fired on Monday.