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Inside Todd Bowles surprising hot seat mindset

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BRIAN COSTELLO

Every day around 4 a.m., Todd Bowles is easy to find.

The Jets head coach walks around the team’s practice fields, getting in some early-morning exercise before his day begins, alone with his thoughts. You have to wonder what those thoughts are these days.

Bowles appears to be entering into a can’t-win situation this season. The third-year Jets coach has watched as the team has torn down the roster this offseason, leaving him with an offense that has the firepower of a water gun.

The Jets’ plan to tear things down and rebuild makes sense for everyone associated with the Jets — except Bowles. He is entering his third season as the team’s head coach with no playoff appearances on his resume. His contract has one year left on it beyond 2017. For most coaches in the NFL, this is what you would call do-or-die time. You’re either going to be extended or fired at the end of the season.

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Bowles is in a funny position, though. A playoff appearance cannot be the measuring stick for him. So, what will it take to save his job? Four wins? Five wins? He should be the Coach of the Year if this team finished 5-11.

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Woody Johnson, Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles.Getty Images

You might think Bowles is spending his days worrying about a pink slip, but you would be wrong. Bowles is entering this season with the attitude that he is going to coach his butt off, win as many games as possible and then see what happens. If Woody and Christopher Johnson fire him, he is confident he will land another job as a head coach or defensive coordinator.

Bowles declined to be interviewed for this column. He is being very careful to make sure he does not give the impression he is campaigning to keep his job through the media.

Those around him say he knows the deal. How could he not? He realizes wins will be tough to come by this year, but he has been energized by changes to his coaching staff and having a young roster that is eager to take coaching.

“This is probably my most enjoyable year right now,” Bowles said in an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa last month. “I feel that good about it. I feel great about the guys, I feel the chemistry is good. I’m happy to come to work every day. I always have been, but right now this has been my most enjoyable year.”

Bowles has been around the NFL for more than 30 years now as a player, scout, assistant and head coach. An undrafted free agent out of Temple, the odds say he should have never had the career as a player he had with a Super Bowl ring from Washington and eight years in the league. So, Bowles has faced long odds before.

 

 

Maybe not this long, though.

Woody Johnson said in May that he values continuity and will judge this team on progress and development, not wins and losses. That sounds great in May. Let’s see how he feels watching from London when MetLife Stadium is empty in November and the team is in the midst of a lost season.

For Bowles, the key question will be this: is the arrow pointing up at the end of the season? Do the Jets have a few young players emerging that give hope for the future? Can they win a few games in December? Can he keep the locker room together?

If not, he will be somewhere else next year taking his early morning walks.

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He's simply a lousy coach or at least he has shown that so far.  No one should feel sorry for this guy heck no one has taken him to task for a great number of mistakes he has made.  Now he gets the free out of coaching a 'rebuilding' team so no matter what nothing will be his fault.

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15 minutes ago, Lupz27 said:

Great Guy, bad HC.

Agree with this.

Also think enough of his issues are fixable - to the point that in a different situation with some experience under his belt I could see him having success with another organization if he's given another HC opportunity.

On the flip side I could also see him falling flat on his face if given another HC opportunity. Just trying to make the point I'm not sure he's a lost cause. Here, maybe. Overall, not sure.

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1 hour ago, derp said:

Agree with this.

Also think enough of his issues are fixable - to the point that in a different situation with some experience under his belt I could see him having success with another organization if he's given another HC opportunity.

On the flip side I could also see him falling flat on his face if given another HC opportunity. Just trying to make the point I'm not sure he's a lost cause. Here, maybe. Overall, not sure.

If he coached both sides of the ball the same way he would have a bright future, on D it's young, fast, aggressive, attacking style, but on O it's old, slow, conservative garbage.

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2 hours ago, Lupz27 said:

If he coached both sides of the ball the same way he would have a bright future, on D it's young, fast, aggressive, attacking style, but on O it's old, slow, conservative garbage.

I wonder how much of that is personnel driven. It's possible none of it is. Early on in the tenure I was actually a fan of what they were doing spreading teams out, forcing them to put DB's on the field, and throwing a good amount but also using a power run game against the DB heavy packages. But obviously that changed in a big way.

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