With 2018 being the year of the quarterback draft, the Jets management decided it was in the team’s best interest to be so bad that they could be in a position to draft a quarterback, so they let the veterans go and built a team that would be so bad. The pundits and Jets fans predicted the Jets would win zero to three games at best this season.
The Jets players had other ideas. They finished the season winning five games, and at one point, they actually had a winning record. They even put themselves in a position where they could get a wild-card spot at 5-7 until they lost four in a row to end their season. That was good enough for Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan and Jets head coach Todd Bowles to get two-year extensions.
Is the bar so low for the Jets that both men were rewarded just for defying the odds this season? It is not like they won nine games this year. Not only they won five games, but they were unwatchable and irrelevant. They did not draw well at home this season.
Sorry, but Jets CEO and chairman Chris Johnson should have high standards before either or both receive an extension. The Jets are no better now than they were when Bowles and Maccagnan were hired. Under this new administration, the Jets are 20-28 after three seasons. This isn’t what we call progress.
No one has any idea how good Bowles is as coach. His first season as a Jets coach was a success based on the team winning 10 games when no one expected it, but he has had two losing seasons in his last two seasons.
It’s hard to blame Bowles for the last two seasons since his players were not good enough. In the Jets head coach’s second season last year, the players became old and unproductive. This season was full of inexperienced players learning on the job along with castoffs trying to make a name for themselves.
Still, the third-year Jets head coach does leave so much to be desired. His teams often have penalty issues, and his clock management in games is awful. Sometimes he struggles to call a replay when situation calls for it. This is his third year, and the Jets hope he would get better with his game management. Great players can overcome his coaching errors, but those types of players are few and far between. He has to figure it out next season or he should be out of a job.
To Bowles’ credit, his players played for him after the veterans quit on him last season. He also had enough of Mo Wilkerson’s tardiness to practice to the point he finally had to suspend him for a game against the Saints and after that he was inactive for the final two games of the season.
While there are some positives about Bowles as a head coach, he has ways to go.
Maccagnan has not been great at his job. His draft picks have been okay at best, and he has struck out in drafting his two quarterbacks in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. The roster hasn’t produced stars or Pro Bowl players. Some such as Leonard Williams, Jamal Adams and Darron Lee are still in the developmental stage.
The Jets have not showed signs they are an up-and-coming team, and they have given no reason to believe they are trending upward despite what Johnson, Maccagnan and the players are saying. All of this is on the Jets general manager.
To be fair to him, it takes several years for some to develop. Next year has to be the year that his three draft classes need to show value. His job security depends on it along with getting a quarterback.
It’s been three years, and that means Jets fans want progress now. It’s hard to blame them when they have not seen their team in the playoffs for the last seven years. From watching this team, they have not showed anyone that this organization is going in the right direction, so it was a curious tact that both received extensions.
Maybe the extensions are nothing more than semantics. If the Jets have a season like the last two seasons, it’s going to be a tough sell to bring Bowles and Maccagnan back after next season, so they could be fired after next season.
They could have pulled one on Johnson this season, but they know they are not going to keep getting mulligans.
Sooner or later, the results have to be there for both to hold on to their jobs.