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Todd Bowles calls out Jets defensive line in meeting after rough day in Buffalo

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Todd Bowles calls out Jets' defensive line in meeting after rough day in Buffalo 

emailBY DANIEL POPPER

Jets defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and Kony Ealy sat slumped next to one another at their lockers after a season-opening loss to Bills on Sunday. They dressed quietly and chatted somberly before Todd Bowles, dressed in a powder-blue three-pice suit, walked over with a suitcase in hand. The trio looked up. Bowles spoke a few stern words, gave the three players a nod, and walked away toward the door.

A day later, the Jets reviewed film from the 21-12 loss in which Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy totaled 110 yards on 22 carries, and Bowles delivered a more detailed and specific message to his defensive line during a meeting: You must be better. The unit missed assignments all afternoon, failing to clog up running lanes while McCoy rattled off a flurry of back-breaking big gains, including three rushes of more than 20 yards.

Bowles implored his defensive linemen to eliminate their mental mistakes.

"Our room, we take a lot of pressure. Coach even called us out," Wilkerson said of Bowles. "We take pride in ourselves and our work, and we definitely accepted the challenge and know we got to play better this week."

Wilkerson wasn't surprised by the personal shots from Bowles.

"We men," Wilkerson said. "I feel like as a man, you should definitely want to accept that challenge."

AUG. 31, 2017, FILE PHOTO

Todd Bowles issued a challenge to his defensive linemen after a poor showing in Week 1.

(BILL KOSTROUN/AP)

Wilkerson's defensive linemates mimicked that sentiment.

 

"We took that very personally," nose tackle Steve McLendon told the Daily News. "We're held to a certain type of standard here, and Coach asked us before the game: 'What kind of standard are we held to?' And we told him, and we didn't hold up our end of the bargain. So he put us on, he told us in the meeting. 'Hey, D line, it's on y'all.' We know what kind of standard we're held to here. And all we want to do is play hard, play smart and dominate up front."

"As a D line, we want to be the leaders of the group. We want to be the leaders of the team, and obviously be the major reason why we win," Ealy added to The News. "I don't blame Coach Todd for getting on us, because obviously we need that."

Ealy appreciated the way Bowles went about calling out the defensive line. He used the opportunity as a teaching moment.

"I look at it as a challenge with Coach Todd, how he got down on us. It was nothing bad, but we understood it," Ealy said. "He doesn't just point the finger. He shows you why he's mad obviously by showing you what we could be better at. It's up to us as professional to just go out there and correct it."

Muhammed Wilkerson and the Jets' defensive line is looking to answer the challenge their coach has issued to them.

Muhammed Wilkerson and the Jets' defensive line is looking to answer the challenge their coach has issued to them.

  (JOHN COLLINS/ FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The most difficult part, though, is ahead for this group. This week, the Jets’ defense will be tasked with slowing down a potent Raiders offense highlighted by quarterback Derek Carr, receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, running back Marshawn Lynch and an athletic, physical offensive line.

"You can't pinpoint one area with these guys," Bowles said. "They got a lot of weapons."

Lynch is coming off a season out of the league after announcing his retirement in 2015. He returned to his hometown Raiders in April, and in his debut this past weekend, he pounded the Titans for 76 yards on 18 carries, once again showcasing his downhill, bone-crushing style of running.

"He looks better than ever," Bowles said of Lynch.

For Ealy, the Jets’ defense must start by limiting the man known as Beast Mode.

Up next for the Jets' defensive line will be the Raiders and Marshawn Lynch.

Up next for the Jets' defensive line will be the Raiders and Marshawn Lynch.

  (CHRISTOPHER HANEWINCKEL/USA TODAY SPORTS)

"We got to stop the run," Ealy said. "We stop the run, then we force them into third-and-long, and we go eat."

Obviously, that strategy is easier said than implemented.

But after getting reprimanded this week, the Jets’ defensive linemen are motivated to fulfill their head coach's demands.

"We didn't play up to our standards last week, but that's behind us. We're not going to dwell on that," Wilkerson said. "All those things…we did wrong, we got to correct those. Otherwise it will be a long day for us this week."

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19 minutes ago, Charlie Brown said:

No matter what Bowles does for some he can do no right; I wonder why that is?

 

Yup... There's very few of us holding onto grey areas... You apparently either love someone/something, or hate them with a passion... No one can just be Ok. Or do some good things and some bad things.

Ah well. It makes people sound silly so it's all good.

 

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Just now, Spoot-Face said:

 

I'm not going to applaud him for "calling out" his players--something that a head coach is supposed to do--until it produces results. Until he can show he can actually motivate his players and turn their game around, all his "talk" is absolutely meaningless.

Sigh... See this is exactly what I mean. I'm not asking you to APPLAUD him. Every thing he does doesn't need to be put the "good" jar or "bad" jar. Sometimes it's okay to just say "yep, he did what a coach does. cool.".

But for the people that hate him, that's impossible for them to do. Instead it has to be cynical and sarcastic and gets turned and flipped around to somehow be a negative, when the reality is it's just a normal, average, middle ground, run of the mill coach move. It's okay for their to be a third jar to put your marble. 

 

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9 minutes ago, DMan77 said:

Sigh... See this is exactly what I mean. I'm not asking you to APPLAUD him. Every thing he does doesn't need to be put the "good" jar or "bad" jar. Sometimes it's okay to just say "yep, he did what a coach does. cool.".

But for the people that hate him, that's impossible for them to do. Instead it has to be cynical and sarcastic and gets turned and flipped around to somehow be a negative, when the reality is it's just a normal, average, middle ground, run of the mill coach move. It's okay for their to be a third jar to put your marble.

I put it in the "bad jar" because it's clear that he's terrible at motivating and disciplining his players.

That's a bad quality in a coach, and he does NOT deserve a null grade on that. It SHOULD be called out for what it is. Nonsense.

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When I see the team--and certain players--perform as badly under him as I've seen, with nothing changing, I'm not gonna sit back, shrug, and complacently say, "Cool, at least he's trying. I'll put that in the 'incomplete' column."

Nah, screw that noise. A lack of results is a lack of results. I'm not going to simply be okay when he just goes through the motions. That's an incredibly low bar for the head coach of my favorite team.

I expect better than that. Perhaps that just makes me an idiot.

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14 minutes ago, Spoot-Face said:

I put it in the "bad jar" because it's clear that he's terrible at motivating and disciplining his players.

That's a bad quality in a coach, and he does NOT deserve a null grade on that. It SHOULD be called out for what it is. Nonsense.

Right, so this goes back to the original point. He can't do anything right to some people... What if a report came out that he didn't talk to his players about things? Or that he didn't hold a meeting? Also the bad jar from inaction? 

Look it's cool. I'm not trying to tell people how to be a fan or who to like or not like. That's all you!... Not trying to say my way is better! I just think it's very crazy that people get SO written off that they can never do anything right. It's like politics. Think of a politician or political party you 'like' (or can stand anyway) but that other people just seem to mock and laugh at and roll their eyes at no matter what... If you're a democrat, you hate every move the republicans make, or find the downside in it. And it's the same the other way. No one is able to say "Well _____ and ____ were pretty bad but I'm cool with _____"... It just doesn't happen.. And it's the same around here.

It's just sort of disappointing. People have painted themselves into such corners over things. Hardline stances. No objective viewing. Just rolling around a topic until we find a way to make it negative. Just looking at something and finding some way to help it prove our point, then jumping up and down and pointing and saying "See?! see?! we're right and you're wrong!"... 

And again, it's fine. If you don't like someone; you don't like them. Such is life. It's difficult to be objective day to day. It's much easier to saddle up to your core beliefs and ideas and just run with them until things line up with how you feel.

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1 hour ago, southparkcpa said:

In between hot dogs and burgers the D line looked up briefly, shook their heads and said....  Hmmm, He can talk after all. 

Word.

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4 minutes ago, Integrity28 said:

Headlines this week:

Todd Bowles has no regrets over decision to punt in Jets' loss

then:

 
Ya see, it's kind of impossible to hold others accountable for their mistakes, when you yourself cannot own your own mistakes. This represents the fundamental flaw of bad leadership. No wonder this guy cannot hold the locker room.

So what bowles is saying, is that the defensive line should have won the game for them.

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Tell Mo that if he plays well maybe someone will trade for him before the deadline.   Otherwise the Jets are inclined to cut him in 2018 unless he makes the 2017 Pro Bowl.  

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59 minutes ago, Spoot-Face said:

 

I'm not going to applaud him for "calling out" his players--something that a head coach is supposed to do--until it produces results. Until he can show he can actually motivate his players and turn their game around, all his "talk" is absolutely meaningless.

Who said anything about applauding Bowles :blink:

All I said is why are folks attacking Bowles for doing what most ofus said we would want any coach to do?????

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1 hour ago, DMan77 said:

Sigh... See this is exactly what I mean. I'm not asking you to APPLAUD him. Every thing he does doesn't need to be put the "good" jar or "bad" jar. Sometimes it's okay to just say "yep, he did what a coach does. cool.".

But for the people that hate him, that's impossible for them to do. Instead it has to be cynical and sarcastic and gets turned and flipped around to somehow be a negative, when the reality is it's just a normal, average, middle ground, run of the mill coach move. It's okay for their to be a third jar to put your marble. 

 

Thank you.. Thank you..

I am with you 100%!!

Indeed I wanted Bowles hired and thought he was a good choice.  I realize he still a new HC (beginning 3rd year) and am willing to see what he still can do; but that doesn't mean I can't be critical of a move Bowles or Mac makes...

In this case, Bowles did what should have been done iMO.. so what is so wrong??

As you suggest people get upset if you don't agree with the party line, either yea or nay....................... and that is actually in opposition to a fan site IMO, people should be able to discuss things so that they get more info or different perspective without being ridiculed or lambasted.  

I'm all for that third Jar...... :) 

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2 minutes ago, Charlie Brown said:

Thank you.. Thank you..

I am with you 100%!!

Indeed I wanted Bowles hired and thought he was a good choice.  I realize he still a new HC (beginning 3rd year) and am willing to see what he still can do; but that doesn't mean I can't be critical of a move Bowles or Mac makes...

In this case, Bowles did what should have been done iMO.. so what is so wrong??

As you suggest people get upset if you don't agree with the party line, either yea or nay....................... and that is actually in opposition to a fan site IMO, people should be able to discuss things so that they get more info or different perspective without being ridiculed or lambasted.  

I'm all for that third Jar...... :) 

Good luck with this, you're both going to need it .

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1 hour ago, Spoot-Face said:

I put it in the "bad jar" because it's clear that he's terrible at motivating and disciplining his players.

That's a bad quality in a coach, and he does NOT deserve a null grade on that. It SHOULD be called out for what it is. Nonsense.

+1, Bowles was supposed to be the anti Rex and not allow players to slack and freelance, i.e. instill some discipline. He lost me after the KC debacle. He should have had some players walk home after that game. Mistakes like we saw last week in year three if this defense are totally unacceptable. 

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53 minutes ago, DMan77 said:

Right, so this goes back to the original point. He can't do anything right to some people... What if a report came out that he didn't talk to his players about things? Or that he didn't hold a meeting? Also the bad jar from inaction? 

Look it's cool. I'm not trying to tell people how to be a fan or who to like or not like. That's all you!... Not trying to say my way is better! I just think it's very crazy that people get SO written off that they can never do anything right. It's like politics. Think of a politician or political party you 'like' (or can stand anyway) but that other people just seem to mock and laugh at and roll their eyes at no matter what... If you're a democrat, you hate every move the republicans make, or find the downside in it. And it's the same the other way. No one is able to say "Well _____ and ____ were pretty bad but I'm cool with _____"... It just doesn't happen.. And it's the same around here.

It's just sort of disappointing. People have painted themselves into such corners over things. Hardline stances. No objective viewing. Just rolling around a topic until we find a way to make it negative. Just looking at something and finding some way to help it prove our point, then jumping up and down and pointing and saying "See?! see?! we're right and you're wrong!"... 

And again, it's fine. If you don't like someone; you don't like them. Such is life. It's difficult to be objective day to day. It's much easier to saddle up to your core beliefs and ideas and just run with them until things line up with how you feel.

It really isn't about this particular incident, it's what this incident represents. A continued lack of discipline and accountability in the locker room. That starts with the head coach. It's the same bullsh*t that we had to deal with under Rex Ryan. Inane, useless statements like, "I have to do better" or "we have to do better" or "we'll get it fixed", all the while the same problems persist, and the same players seemingly take ownership of the locker room. No accountability whatsoever. I actually thought Bowles was different than Rex, and would actually hold players accountable during his first year. I held Bowles in high regard, but after watching the Rex-like abomination in 2016, and getting a small glimpse that this season doesn't look like it's going to be any better, I no longer will cut him any slack. And to simply call someone a Bowles hater for pointing out the bullsh*t that actually exists is narrow-minded.

1 hour ago, DMan77 said:

Look it's cool. I'm not trying to tell people how to be a fan or who to like or not like. That's all you!...

No, that's what you did. Please point out where I did.

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41 minutes ago, Charlie Brown said:

Who said anything about applauding Bowles :blink:

All I said is why are folks attacking Bowles for doing what most ofus said we would want any coach to do?????

I think it's quite reasonable for them to be, at the very least, skeptical of what's said in the article.

Is this reason alone enough to crucify Bowles? Absolutely not. But it's what it represents. Years of no accountability. It's frustrating. It's like when someone apologizes to you, but you know they're full of sh*t. It's kinda irritating and there's nothing wrong with pointing it out. If Bowles didn't have a problem with disciplining his players, then this wouldn't even be an issue. Fans didn't make this up just as another excuse to hate on Bowles.

I've always appreciated your optimism, Mr. Brown, and even though we may not see eye-to-eye all the time, you've still got my respect.

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