Stories this season describing the play of the New York Jets have revolved around common themes of how they could have won games that were lost; have they, or will they, turn the corner; and the more popular ones, the tempered quarterback controversy (or situation), i.e., why is Ryan Fitzpatrick starting, and why isn’t there more focus on Jets’ younger players, such as Bryce Petty, their future.
Now seeping into the conversation among those in rumor mills is the firing of Jets’ second-year head coach, Todd Bowles. His name is being mentioned, along with some names that you might know, such as Jeff Fisher (Los Angeles Rams), Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers), Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts), Chip Kelly (San Francisco 49’ers), John Fox (Chicago Bears), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), a constant over the years, Mike McCoy (San Diego Chargers) and Gus Bradley (Jacksonville Jaguars).
Bowles defuses this controversy, and all questions with clear, precise answers. Beginning with, who is his starting quarterback. “Ryan,” he stated.
“He’s our starter, no different than anybody else on both sides of the ball right now,” said Bowles.
In regards to Petty and other Jets players riding the bench, waiting to register some minutes, Bowles explained, “We get looks at them every day. As a coach, you weigh trying to win ballgames first, and there’s a time and place that those guys will get a chance to play. It just won’t be next week.”
Not factoring next season into his coaching decisions yet, at this point, Bowles again noted, “We’re just trying to win ballgames, and get everybody better.”
There is a curiosity on the part of Jets management to see all of the young backup players in game situations, but realistically they can’t all get playing time.
“There’s a time and place for that, and if and when we get to that point, I’ll make that decision,” said the coach.
He continued, “We’re all fighters. We’re all trying to win every game, whether we’re trying to get to 8-8 or whether we’re trying to be 16-0. We’re trying to win ballgames and we’re trying to win. It’s not about Bryce and it’s not about Fitz—it’s about our team trying to win ballgames.”
Monday night’s primetime game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium across the bridge in the Meadowlands will get the 3-8 Jets closer to 8-8, or closer to looking at Petty and the team’s other backups.