Jetsbb Posted December 25, 2016 Share Posted December 25, 2016 http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/65880/jets-coach-todd-bowles-is-reliving-the-old-pete-carroll-nightmare-sadly FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The debacle that unfolded Saturday was reminiscent of a long-ago Christmas Eve in 1994. The coach was Pete Carroll, and he got whacked after only one season because a couple of knuckleheads -- James Hasty and Brian Washington -- infected the locker room with their toxic attitude, creating a perception that the team had quit on Carroll. The New York Jets were awful down the stretch, culminating with an ugly loss in Houston on Dec. 24. Owner Leon Hess overreacted and fired Carroll, who has done quite nicely for himself. The same scenario is playing out for the current Jets, as Todd Bowles -- considered a rising star only a year ago -- is getting buried by a talent-thin team that seemingly isn't fighting for him. Not only did they get embarrassed by the New England Cheaters, 41-3, but they pointed fingers after the game, with some players questioning the effort. The locker room appears divided, with a couple of so-called stars -- Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson -- in the forefront of the turmoil. Unwritten rule No. 1 in the NFL: If you want to get your coach fired, start bickering with each other and make comments about the team not trying hard enough. The players probably didn't do it on purpose, but they put Bowles squarely on the hot seat with one game remaining in this rotten season. If Bowles gets sacked, it'll be because of Saturday's mess -- on and off the field. Richardson, who should've been grateful he was allowed to play a week after his Snapchat fiasco, called out Marshall in the locker room. He went public with a simmering personal feud, creating another headache for Bowles, whose entire body ached in the aftermath of a kidney and gall-bladder attack. Wait, there was more. Leonard Williams, the team's most promising star, said "guys weren't ready to play" and were "going through the motions." Muhammad Wilkerson basically echoed Williams' sentiment. Imagine: Wilkerson made an impassioned speech before the game, imploring his teammates to win it for Bowles, who left a hospital to coach the game. If they were inspired by Bowles' toughness, it sure didn't show. Is the locker room dissension widespread? No, but a few bad apples can create the wrong perception. That happened in '94, and it cost Carroll his job. A couple of weeks ago, Bowles appeared safe, but he lost by 21 and 38 points to the Dolphins and Cheaters, respectively. Nothing irks owner Woody Johnson more than losing badly to division rivals. The Jets (4-11) were non-competitive against the mighty Cheaters. Eight of 11 starters on offense began the season as backups. They had no chance. Still, a 38-point loss is "inexcusable," as Bowles called it. Johnson didn't even make the game. Family obligation, the team said. Now what? If Johnson fires Bowles after only two seasons, he'd cast himself and the organization in an unflattering light. He'd be known as an owner who bails out at the first sign of adversity, and good luck trying to attract a top head-coaching candidate willing to work in that environment. Johnson is about to make one of the biggest decisions in his 16 years of ownership. He can be a strong leader and recommit to Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan, expressing dissatisfaction with 2016 but also showing he's a man of his convictions. After all, the Jets won 10 games last season; it's not as if MacBowles is a two-year bust. Or Johnson can make himself into an early-days George Steinbrenner, impatient and cartoonish, tossing Bowles and/or Maccagnan into the dumpster marked "John Idzik." Unless Johnson can pull Nick Saban out of a magic hat, he won't find a savior out there. Hess got antsy 22 years ago, dumping Carroll if favor of Rich Kotite. How'd that work out? Bowles is having a rough year, but he has been undermined by horrific quarterback play, an old roster and an inordinate number of injuries. He's well-respected around the league, and you can bet he'd get interviews for head-coaching positions if the Jets put him on the market. Now Johnson has reached a crossroads in his ownership. He can change the perception by staying the course or doing what his predecessor did all those years ago. For Pete's sake, Woody, don't be swayed by the noise and few meaningless games. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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