Todd Bowles will be in the Coach of the Year discussion this season. Yes, really! Many fans don’t want to hear that. They have already written off Bowles as a failure, which is unfortunate.
Bowles was the assistant coach of the year in 2014. In 2015, he was considered a Coach of the Year candidate as he got the Jets to overachieve. Yet, after one season when expectations were too high and everything went wrong, Bowles can’t coach. If you can find a coach who can overcome injuries and integral player regressions, he would be the first. Bowles can coach.
Consider this: Under the previous coaching staff, Brian Winters and Quincy Enunwa were afterthoughts or possible busts. Since Todd Bowles and his staff began coaching the team, both players have begun to realize their potential – both as players and leaders. All but one of the rookies that Mike Maccagnan and Bowles have drafted are on the roster. All of those players have a role or are showing promising development. Many will step in to starting roles this season.
Now, expectations are SO low for the Jets, in the eyes of the media, any level of success will come as a surprise to them. The Jets will have success this year. All of the players are on the same page going in to camp. Unlike last year when Ryan Fitzpatrick’s selfishness clouded the entire offseason. The veterans on the team won’t mentally check out when their expectations are dashed. The locker room won’t divide into factions.
This is a young locker room on the 2017 Jets. They are building a common goal through shared experience. Woody Johnson finally accepted that reality. Now, Bowles and Maccagnan have the assurance that this season is about coaching young players. They will make mistakes, but the players will learn from them.
The notion that the Jets have the least talented roster in the NFL is absurd clickbait. It makes nice headlines and it is trendy to trash the Jets. However, the roster is not bare. There are a lot of promising players and some are question marks, not negatives.
There will be rough patches, but the Jets should also win some games that eluded them last season. Remember in week one Nick Folk missing an extra point proved costly. How about the first Miami game and the phantom offsides on the kickoff? Lastly the Rams game, Bryce Petty was making his first start on short notice with Fitzpatrick unsure if he could play.
It is not unreasonable to think the Jets can exceed their five wins from last season. Muhammad Wilkerson thinks so. If they do, Todd Bowles will be in the Coach of the Year discussion.