The first thing that the New York Jets need to do to build upon their foundation is to extend the contract of head coach Todd Bowles. Secure his position, then make decisions regarding the quarterback position for next season. Will Josh McCown, who sustained a season-ending injury to his hand last week, heal, and be retained? Will they draft a quarterback or look into free agency?
Either way Bowles and his general manager, Mike Maccagnan, are building a nucleus together that may be short of some players in key positions right now, but with several personnel decisions, the Jets are not far from being a competitive post season team.
Bowles has had a questionable time coaching the QB since he arrived, first with Geno Smith losing his quarterback job because of a broken jaw sustained in a fight with a former teammate. Maccagnan’s foresight bringing in Ryan Fitzpatrick to back up Smith was a bonanza for the Jets. They had a ten-win season, missing the playoffs by one game.
Misfortune caught up to the Jets last season, limiting them to just five wins. This season’s wins were quite unexpected but promising considering that they’ve won three more than what was expected.
Bowles is a tough coach who commands the respect of his players. Issues in the past with Sheldon Richardson had gotten Richardson traded to the Seattle Seahawks. It’s a wait and see right now with Muhammad Wilkerson, who had to sit out Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints because of disciplinary problems. Excessive lateness to meetings has created a rift between the Jets and their defensive end.
Bowles, who has the potential to evasively answer questions like New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick or Greg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, was very direct when it comes to Wilkerson’s return.
“We’re still working through things,” said Bowles. “We’ll see,” regarding if Wilkerson would practice with the team yesterday (Wednesday). “It’s an internal thing. We’re still working through some things, and we’ll go from there.”
Is it possible that Wilkerson will be held out of the final two games against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday and the Patriots the following Sunday, New Year’s Eve?
Bowles repeated, “It’s an internal thing. We haven’t worked through everything yet, but we’ll work through them and you guys will know when we make a decision.”
What will factor into that decision?
“It’s an internal thing. That’s all I’m going to say about it,” emphasized Bowles, leaving one question unanswered. What goes into an internal decision? “Internal means internal,” he said in summation.