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Lichtenstein: Bumbling Bowles Clueless About His Own Team

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No idea who this columnist is but he seems to capture a lot of the sentient here with this red meat:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/09/12/new-york-jets-todd-bowles-bilal-powell-darron-lee/

No one should have been surprised at the outcome of the Jets’ seasonopener in Buffalo on Sunday.

The offense looked as pathetic as advertised in the 21-12 loss and I warned you that the defense was overrated.

This is one of the worst teams in the franchise’s not-so-glorious history.

Head coach Todd Bowles got pummeled afterwards from those who believed that a couple of his game management decisions cost the Jets a shot at a rare victory.

Folks, even if Bowles was more aggressive in the last 30 seconds of the first half or went for it on fourth down from near midfield with four minutes remaining and down two scores, the Jets weren’t winning that game.

Bowles’ personnel choices and assignments on Sunday, however, should be up for debate, and they have longer-reaching implications than just one defeat among what will surely be a double-digit total by season’s end.

bowles1 Lichtenstein: Bumbling Bowles Clueless About His Own Team

Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 10, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

How can Bowles develop or get the best out of his players if he doesn’t even know who his best players are and what they can do?

I’ll give you three examples:

Bilal Powell incognito

I’m sure Bowles watches a ton of game film, but I can’t fathom how he can conclude that Matt Forte, in his current 31-year-old condition, is anywhere near Powell’s level. Yet Powell, who gained the third-most rushing yards in the league over the final four weeks of last season after Forte broke down, did not get a single touch in the first quarter, a stanza in which the Jets accumulated a grand total of 16 yards in six plays.

It was only after Forte’s second dropped pass of the first half that Bowles went to Powell. He was given two carries in the last four minutes of the second quarter.

When confronted during his postgame press conference about the curious allocation of workload, Bowles noted that Powell had more carries than Forte on the day. Yep, he won 7-6.

It shouldn’t have been that close.

Bilal Powell

Jets running back Bilal Powell takes off during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 1, 2017 (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

I will grant you that Powell had a very unremarkable performance (22 rush yards, 17 yards on pass receptions) in his limited reps. but that’s not the point. This is a team starved for playmakers and Powell has shown a level of dynamism that Forte just doesn’t have any more.

The Jets are wasting away Powell’s prime. To those who claim he’s injury-prone at 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds, I would counter that he’s played in at least 14 games every season but one (he played 11 games in 2015) since 2012.

Forte is regarded as the consummate pro, but his body language after his drops suggested that his mind might be on greener pastures than Gang Green’s. There’s been speculation that the Jets will trade him by the midseason deadline, but no matter the intention, the running back roles should be reversed now. Powell should be the feature back, with Forte in relief and on third downs.

The miscasting of Darron Lee

The surest route to busthood is to be assigned tasks out of your comfortzone.

Take Lee, the Jets’ first-round draft choice in 2015. All of the scouting reports at the time indicated that the linebacker “excels in space” and is not quite as stout when taking on bigger blockers.

So where does Bowles have Lee? On the inside in a 3-4 alignment, of course.

Was anyone else wondering, as Buffalo’s tandem of LeSean McCoy and Mike Tolbert ran roughshod to the tune of 152 yards on 34 attempts, where Lee was on these plays? I know the box score stated that Lee registered 10 tackles and a sack, but I lost track of the number of times the Bills’ backs blew through the first two levels of the Jets’ defense while Lee was entangled with an offensive lineman.

I knew the Jets’ run defense was going to suffer without David Harris in the middle for the first time in 11 years, but this was embarrassing.

And Lee’s pass coverage was even worse. As tweeted by Brian Costello of the New York Post, Lee was the lowest-graded Jets defender by ProFootballFocus.com, surrendering a 134.7 passer rating on his coverage responsibilities.

It’s a long season, so there’s still hope that Lee will grow on the job. With this regime, however, I have doubts.

Who’s No. 2?

Bowles had the perfect opportunity to clear up his quarterback depth chart in his postgame remarks.

He could have said that Bryce Petty was still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the third preseason game and didn’t want to risk having to play him in an emergency.

Josh McCown

Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches the action during the second half against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 10, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

No one would have challenged his decision to make Christian Hackenberg the backup in Buffalo.

That would have made too much sense.

Instead, Bowles left open the possibility that the pecking order was created on merit. Bowles only said that Petty had a full week of practice, intimating that he could have played if needed. Bowles felt Hackenberg was the better option.

Josh McCown went the whole way behind center, so you might think this criticism is a stretch.  However, it represents exactly the kind of thinking that has made Bowles a prime target for ridicule.

While none of the “Terrible Trio” will save this franchise, Hackenberg has to be considered the least likely to succeed at this point. He has provided no basis for hope, other than his pedigree of having been drafted in the second round in 2015. In virtually every preseason appearance since, he has looked lost in the pocket and hasn’t been able to deliver an accurate ball with the requisite efficiency anywhere on the field.

Are we all missing something?

Hackenberg will get his opportunity at some point in this lost season, as he should. But don’t tell me he deserves to get one before Petty.

 

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The absolute WORST thing that could happen is that Woody fires both and the Jets repeat the failure of hiring HC and GM seperately. After all Woody, stupid is as you do.

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1 minute ago, ASH1962 said:

We have long established Bowles incompetence as a HC, but even more infuriating to me, was watching Dalvin Cook carve up the Saints last night all while thinking to myself what if our dumba$$ GM would have drafted him. And why the f**k wouldn't he? Are you telling me he could not spot the speed and talent of this player? If not, he belongs nowhere near an NFL team, Cook is a star. And it is not like we are overflowing with offensive speed, talent, and star power. In fact the converse is true, we have nothing, absolutely nothing and in the 2nd round where we have failed over and over and over, that would have been a Home Run. A grand slam Hone Run.

Imagine the NY Jets with Deshaun Watson, or Kizer and Cook both on offense with our #1 and 2 picks. Guarantee we are a MUCH better team and franchise then we are now. I can never forgive Mac for the stupidity of his drafting, regardless of how good or bad Adams and Maye will be, and when Cook wins Rookie of the year and the rushing title, Mac will have scrambled eggs all over his stupid face. It is almost as though he listened to draft "experts" about these players without even really knowing who or what they are. Effing stupid Jets, never get a god damned thing right.

Yeah, Cook, while good cannot run without at least a mediocre OL; we don't have one. Watson would have been killed either by our inept coaching staff or by our lack of OL, seasoned WRs and no running game to fall back on. Yes, Mac's drafting isn't perfect (or even good sometimes), but with the lack of OL and WRs, and our coaching staff's inability to put the players in a position to excel, it wouldn't matter if we drafted a young Farve or a young Peterson, this offense would still stink.

 

Finally, even if the coaching was good, a team with so many rookies/young players is bound to struggle; no body to show them the way; no body to help cover for their mistakes. It is learn by fire and it is going to be painful to watch.

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59 minutes ago, Ex-Rex said:

The absolute WORST thing that could happen is that Woody fires both and the Jets repeat the failure of hiring HC and GM seperately. After all Woody, stupid is as you do.

But they both need to get replaced. That doesn't happen by firing only one of them, and leaving the other to hire yet another incompetent and furnish him with more bad draft picks plus lazy or past-prime veterans.

The worst thing that could happen is giving either one of these two - even the perceived lesser of these two evils - another 3 years.

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1 hour ago, Ex-Rex said:

The absolute WORST thing that could happen is that Woody fires both and the Jets repeat the failure of hiring HC and GM seperately. After all Woody, stupid is as you do.

Ikr, wouldn't that be just the worst? If only they could fire them both, and then, I don't know... maybe hire a GM who then turns around and hires his own coach and staff?

But, as we all know, we're not allowed to do that.

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54 minutes ago, bostonmajet said:

Yeah, Cook, while good cannot run without at least a mediocre OL; we don't have one. Watson would have been killed either by our inept coaching staff or by our lack of OL, seasoned WRs and no running game to fall back on. Yes, Mac's drafting isn't perfect (or even good sometimes), but with the lack of OL and WRs, and our coaching staff's inability to put the players in a position to excel, it wouldn't matter if we drafted a young Farve or a young Peterson, this offense would still stink.

 

Finally, even if the coaching was good, a team with so many rookies/young players is bound to struggle; no body to show them the way; no body to help cover for their mistakes. It is learn by fire and it is going to be painful to watch.

That is a tired, old cop out excuse that if we'd drafted [insert name of incredibly great player who makes everyone else better] then he'd be total garbage and the results would be identical. It's not only unprovable, but it's also untrue.

QBs who know what they're doing seem to move effortlessly through the pocket and also survey & analyze what the defense is doing before the ball is snapped. We trot out past failures and future failures who drop back and stand there like dumbasses, and then lament how they had no time to throw. Do you really not see how many times teams get into their opponents' backfields only to watch even pocket passers slide up or to the side and still complete a pass downfield? It's routine, but excuse-makers would have others believe it's the result of being afforded a 5-second pocket.

But we don't have a QB like that. Just like we don't have an edge rusher, and don't have an acceptable OL (regardless of any QB's awareness or escapability), and the panic-driven decision to massively over-draft Hackenberg represents the only pick in the first 3 rounds that we've used on these positions in 3 drafts.

This is the culmination of 3 years of Mike Maccagnan's oversight as GM. Whine as people will about the number of bad picks from the prior 2 drafts, but on top of the massive amount of cap room and favorable draft positions he inherited, Maccagnan's hardly the first GM in history to inherit only 3 solid starters, plus a backup QB and secondary depth, from the prior 2 drafts (not to mention some solid veterans already in place, with adequate time to find their replacements). Some inherit even less to work with. It's what he does with the opportunity, and he's done crap. It's not like we're bad but getting better. We're bad, and have been on a consistent downward trajectory since he blew through all that cash.

The only thing that's on the horizon to shield him and buy a slightly extended stay is drafting a QB high and blowing through another $200m in veteran contracts. But one could afford this opportunity to someone without such an abominable track record. No doubt, Bowles is doing his GM no favors with his lousy coaching, but even Bowles could coach the team to a 10-win season in better circumstances. This is a massive failure, from a franchise that knows a thing or two about measuring failures.

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2 minutes ago, JetsFanatic said:

If the Jets fire Bowles after this season he definitely could get another job. No HC can win with this team. It depends if they are competitive and show improvement. 

What has Bowles shown you that would make anyone think he can be a Head coach again if he got fired. What does he do really well? I cant even think of anything. He's a DC. Some guys are just better coordinators then coaches. Bowles is one of them. 

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Assuming the Jets are selecting in the top three or four in the 2018 draft (after Sunday's pathetic performance in Buffalo, I have no reason to believe otherwise), does anyone believe that Todd Bowles is the right head coach to develop this pick into a premier NFL QB? I don't. He keeps making the same personnel and game management mistakes. His offense stinks. His defense consistently underperforms. He's terrible.  Worse than Herm Edwards. Worse than Mangini. Possibly as bad and maybe even worse than Kotite. (Once I would have believed that that would be impossible). It's up to the owner to find a quality coach and GM. Until that happens, it really doesn't matter who the Jets get in the draft. I've never been more disgusted or pessimistic.

Edited by TMAC
misspelling

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2 hours ago, ASH1962 said:

So that is the excuse huh? You want to leave potential franchise changing players to someone else and draft stupidity because you think your OL is no good? Ok fine, what about next year, should we pass on Darnold or Rose because we have a $hit OL? You cannot use the OL excuse to suit your point of view and you cannot forgive this idiot GM and blame it on the OL, which BTW he neglects yearly as well. I have to admit, I was an ardent Mac supporter and thought all of our problems were caused by an incompetent HC. I was dead wrong, they are both beyond awful and both need to be shown the door immediately if not sooner.

It is not an excuse; it is a fact; every poster goes to town about how if we just drafted this person or that person. Or if the GM were to have some foreshadowing of how good some player they skipped over. Truth is NOBODY knows how these player would have played had we drafted them. Pining over some player we didn't pick isn't even hindsight it is pure guesswork.

Also, talking about how great a player is that we didn't draft wont make the team any better next year either. Just saying...

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1 hour ago, Sperm Edwards said:

That is a tired, old cop out excuse that if we'd drafted [insert name of incredibly great player who makes everyone else better] then he'd be total garbage and the results would be identical. It's not only unprovable, but it's also untrue.

QBs who know what they're doing seem to move effortlessly through the pocket and also survey & analyze what the defense is doing before the ball is snapped. We trot out past failures and future failures who drop back and stand there like dumbasses, and then lament how they had no time to throw. Do you really not see how many times teams get into their opponents' backfields only to watch even pocket passers slide up or to the side and still complete a pass downfield? It's routine, but excuse-makers would have others believe it's the result of being afforded a 5-second pocket.

But we don't have a QB like that. Just like we don't have an edge rusher, and don't have an acceptable OL (regardless of any QB's awareness or escapability), and the panic-driven decision to massively over-draft Hackenberg represents the only pick in the first 3 rounds that we've used on these positions in 3 drafts.

This is the culmination of 3 years of Mike Maccagnan's oversight as GM. Whine as people will about the number of bad picks from the prior 2 drafts, but on top of the massive amount of cap room and favorable draft positions he inherited, Maccagnan's hardly the first GM in history to inherit only 3 solid starters, plus a backup QB and secondary depth, from the prior 2 drafts (not to mention some solid veterans already in place, with adequate time to find their replacements). Some inherit even less to work with. It's what he does with the opportunity, and he's done crap. It's not like we're bad but getting better. We're bad, and have been on a consistent downward trajectory since he blew through all that cash.

The only thing that's on the horizon to shield him and buy a slightly extended stay is drafting a QB high and blowing through another $200m in veteran contracts. But one could afford this opportunity to someone without such an abominable track record. No doubt, Bowles is doing his GM no favors with his lousy coaching, but even Bowles could coach the team to a 10-win season in better circumstances. This is a massive failure, from a franchise that knows a thing or two about measuring failures.

All i hear is blah. blah. blah, we just suck and it is all blah's fault. had we only drafted blah our lives would be better. I am not making excuses for the coaching staff NOR Mac. Just pointing out that football is a complicated team sport and you can't pluck one player and say - yeah he would be the same here. Trade Adams for this RB and this team still STINKS. It is something we are going to have to suffer through this year.

But, my guess is that you will be happy and both Mac and Bowles will be gone. Of course good teams don't trade FOs every 3-4 years. Bad teams do. But I hear your frustration. 

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3 hours ago, ASH1962 said:

So that is the excuse huh? You want to leave potential franchise changing players to someone else and draft stupidity because you think your OL is no good? Ok fine, what about next year, should we pass on Darnold or Rose because we have a $hit OL? You cannot use the OL excuse to suit your point of view and you cannot forgive this idiot GM and blame it on the OL, which BTW he neglects yearly as well. I have to admit, I was an ardent Mac supporter and thought all of our problems were caused by an incompetent HC. I was dead wrong, they are both beyond awful and both need to be shown the door immediately if not sooner.

just how is anything that goes on during game day have anything to do with mac?  if the team sucked it's bowles' fault.  at this point mac can only watch the game unfold and prepare for the draft and next season.  there are tons of teams that have bad players (on paper) and manage to put an effective team on the field.  a few years back just about the entire pittsburgh line was out with injuries but they still managed to play.  a few  seasons back the patsies had a similar spate of injuries.  same goes for the chargers.  they all managed to succeed. it's all about coaching and leadership.

i am not ready to count bowles out mainly because i don't want to wait another 3 seasons before the jets finally make some noise but he clearly has to get his team better prepared. and hopefully we will see the team make progress in that direction.

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2 hours ago, joewilly12 said:

Image result for fire todd bowles

is this the only thing your computer prints.  I think we know your feelings about bowles and mac by now. :P

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47 minutes ago, jetfan39 said:

is this the only thing your computer prints.  I think we know your feelings about bowles and mac by now. :P

With all the endless Bowles threads I feel its a waste of time commenting anymore so I just let my feelings be known with the IMAGE. 

You will never see this again as its a waste of time for me to copy and paste and post it anymore. Sorry 

 

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2 hours ago, bostonmajet said:

It is not an excuse; it is a fact; every poster goes to town about how if we just drafted this person or that person. Or if the GM were to have some foreshadowing of how good some player they skipped over. Truth is NOBODY knows how these player would have played had we drafted them. Pining over some player we didn't pick isn't even hindsight it is pure guesswork.

Also, talking about how great a player is that we didn't draft wont make the team any better next year either. Just saying...

This is very true IMO.  I always go back to OBJ possibly being the Jets pick a few years ago.  If we did draft him I really don't think we would be seeing these corny commercials with him and him being potentially the highest paid non QB in the league.  

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2 minutes ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

Forget players, its positions. What are the marque positions in the NFL in descending order?

QB

LT

3-4 OLB/4-3 DE/Edge Rush

Corner.

 

Notice, no Safeties, no Defensive Tackles, no 3-4 DEs. Because those arent premium positions. 

 

Drafting for BPA is sound in theory. When youre already good. When that player is a premium position and fills a need. IDGAF how good Jamal Adams or Leonard Williams are, you dont draft a DT or a fracking Safety in the top 6 when you have ZERO QB, ZERO Playmakers, or are already 3 deep at the position.

 

As for Bowles, I thought Rex was bad, and I thought Herm was a moron. But Bowles is worse than both of them. Hes the worst Gameday HC since Kotite. Al Groh would be a massive upgrade, and the only reaaon hes still employed and might actually be back is because of the current social undercurrent in the NFL.

The best thing the Jets could have done was trade down and perhaps select one of those positions.  I don't know what deals were discussed or if any made sense but we didn't do a deal.  Adams was probably the best player available on the field and in the locker room.  

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Quote

 his game management decisions cost the Jets a shot at a rare victory.

 

Quote

the Jets weren’t winning that game.

 

 

Yeah, I stopped right there. 

Image result for ron burgundy that doesn't make sense gif

 

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2 hours ago, bostonmajet said:

All i hear is blah. blah. blah, we just suck and it is all blah's fault. had we only drafted blah our lives would be better. I am not making excuses for the coaching staff NOR Mac. Just pointing out that football is a complicated team sport and you can't pluck one player and say - yeah he would be the same here. Trade Adams for this RB and this team still STINKS. It is something we are going to have to suffer through this year.

But, my guess is that you will be happy and both Mac and Bowles will be gone. Of course good teams don't trade FOs every 3-4 years. Bad teams do. But I hear your frustration. 

So instead it's easier to say blah blah blah and suggest elite players would be ordinary here and/or have no impact because Jets. But beyond your strawman suggestion that mobs of people are suggesting that swapping a safety for a RB would make this failure a success, rather what they're pointing out is that this is but another example of poor design rather than a single, catastrophic culprit.

Good teams also don't stick with bad personnel just for the sake of sticking with them. As I so often hear said, as justification for keeping these failures for longer: when has that ever worked? Should we have stuck with Kotite? I mean he couldn't get us much worse than 1-15, right? Maybe we should have extended Herm before the Chiefs wooed him away. I didn't realize until now you were secretly a fan of sticking with Idzik for another 3 years to avoid replacing him within a mere 4 seasons.

This abortion of a roster is borne from poor planning upon poor planning, poor judgment upon poor judgment. Granted, the one who chose the chooser is the true mother of this failure, but Woody isn't selling the team anytime soon no matter how much we wish it. The best we can hope for is for him to realize his mistake sooner rather than later, and try something different. Neither Bowles nor Maccagnan are getting smarter. Or even if they improve, the amount by which they need to improve is too great, and if all their experience to date has led to what we see before us, a mere 2 more years isn't going to fix their issues.

If you aren't getting through a wall by banging your head against it, the solution is not to bang your head against it for even longer, suggesting that staying the course of failure is some type of virtue. Perhaps try something smarter, and find a way around the wall. 

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