Players have windows. Teams have windows. But so do coaches – and Todd Bowles’ window may be closing in New York.
Bowles, 53, is 15-17 in two seasons with the Jets, who had a massive talent exodus this offseason.
What are the expectations for Bowles in 2017?
“For Todd Bowles, it’s going to be tough,” former Jet and NFL safety Erik Coleman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He’s going to have to show improvement. He doesn’t need to make the playoffs – because no one expects him to make the playoffs – but he has to show that team is progressing, that the culture of the organization has changed, and that they’re moving in the right direction. I think that’s the most important thing about Todd Bowles’ season.”
It all starts with picking a starting quarterback. Bowles’ options are Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty.
(Yes, you read that correctly.)
McCown is 38, Hackenberg is yet to play a regular-season snap, and Petty has three touchdowns and seven interceptions in his career.
Coleman believes that Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016, will be the starter – eventually.
“They would like him to start, (but) I think that Josh McCown will start out the season as the starter,” Coleman said. “He’s a veteran. He’s been a great teacher for Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. They would like to start out the season with him and eventually hand over the reins to Christian Hackenberg and ultimately find out if he’s the man we’re going to go with or do we need to draft one of these quarterbacks that’s coming out next year?”
Unfortunately for Hackenberg, the Jets lack proven talent at wideout. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are no longer Jets, and Quincy Enunwa (neck) is out for the year. The Jets’ top returning wideouts are Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, and Jalin Marshall, who combined for 75 catches last season. Coleman believes the Jets’ leading receiver could be someone they pick up in free agency.
Time will tell.
“This is going to be a season of growth,” Coleman said. “Who is going to step up for this team out of the shadows to establish themselves as a starter?”
In the end, the Jets will likely struggle this season, but Coleman believes 6-10 is a possibility – which should be enough to save Bowles’ job.
“A lot of people count them out,” he said. “They say they’re going to win one or two games, but when you have a group of players that are this young and this hungry, sometimes you don’t know that you’re not supposed to win and you will yourself into some victories. As long as the players show that they’re progressing and they’re moving in the right direction, (Bowles should be safe).”