By Kate Arhar // @clvlndk8
The New York Jets have fired head coach Todd Bowles.
Following in the departure of Rex Ryan, the Jets named Bowles as their new head coach in January 2015 and signed him to a four-year deal. That deal ended today.
Going 10-6 his first season, the team peaked and the Jets future was bright. Unfortunately, this was followed up by 5-11 in 2016, another 5-11 in 2017, and then this year’s 4-12 record. Coming in last in the AFC East for three years in a row (even if you do have to the New England Patriots in your division) isn’t the way to keep your job.
Insiders report that Bowles never let concern for his job override his work with the players. He earned respect from them, and the New York media as well. He is, by all reports, a good guy.
But being a good guy isn’t enough in the NFL these days. Winning is all that matters, and he just couldn’t get the job done to the satisfaction of owner Chris Johnson or General Manager Mike Maccagnan.
The #Jets have made it official, firing coach Todd Bowles, per team official.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2018
Bowles began his professional football career as an undrafted free safety for the Washington Redskins, who won Super Bowl XXII. After retiring as a player, his coaching career took him to Green Bay, Miami, Philadelphia, and Arizona, where he was voted the Associated Press’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2014.
Bowles’ experience as a defensive coordinator was not reflected on the Jets and their numbers. The defense ranked #29 in points allowed, although they were in the middle of the pack with 13 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries on the year.
With only 2,865 yards and a 17:15 TD to INT ratio, first round draft pick Darnold had a rough season. Being sacked 30 times plays into that, but the fact remains that this offense wasn’t productive, ranking #29 in points scored.
Early reports indicate that Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy may be the front-runner for the job. Considering the work he did with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, he could be the right guy to get the most out of QB Sam Darnold.
That should be the top factor in looking for a head coach for this team. A lot went into getting Darnold so high in the draft, and the Jets quarterback woes have gone on for quite a few years. They really need that pick to pay off if they are going to build a team that can compete in a division that may be in the last years of Patriot dominance.
Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8