The NFL season is inching closer. Through July, Shutdown Corner will examine three big questions for each NFL team as it heads to training camp.
New York Jets
Report date: July 28
Location: Florham Park, New Jersey
1. Will Todd Bowles last the season as head coach?
By all accounts, Bowles is a good man and good coach, a New Jersey native who set the tone for his tenure early on by immediately cutting IK Enemkpali after Enemkpali sucker-punched Geno Smith in the locker room during his first training camp with the team, and then was transparent with media and fans about what went down.
But after a 10-6 first season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, the Jets seemingly haven’t recovered since that 2015 regular-season finale when, with a playoff berth on the line, Fitzpatrick imploded in Buffalo. A thin roster unsurprisingly won just five games last season, and as of right now, the roster is even thinner (have you taken a look at the receiving corps?).
There were rumblings toward the end of last season that Jets owner Woody Johnson might replace Bowles after just two seasons, and it’s known that Johnson can be easily swayed by fan sentiment. While it should be on general manager Mike Maccagnan to account for the major flaws of New York’s roster, if the Jets are just terrible come December, will Bowles pay with his job? Heck, will he even want the job?
2. Who is the Week 1 starting quarterback?
The Jets have three quarterbacks on the roster: 38-year old journeyman Josh McCown, third-year man Bryce Petty and second-year Christian Hackenberg.
Coming out of offseason camps, Jets reporters believed McCown was the leader for the job, even though that doesn’t make a lot of sense: he’s basically a rental, signing a one-year contract, and at his age isn’t exactly the “future” at QB for Gang Green.
What McCown is, however, is apparently a teacher for the youngsters: Bowles said last month at minicamp that “even when you go to kindergarten, somebody’s got to be the teacher,” which explains why McCown is on the roster, but not why he’d be the Day 1 starter.
The Jets know what they have in McCown; over the past four years, he’s started 27 games for the Bears, Buccaneers and Browns, with 42 touchdowns against 25 interceptions – and just five wins. Petty started four games last season but wasn’t great, but Hackenberg didn’t take a snap as a rookie.
If the rest of the team is going to be young and struggle, why not throw one or both of the young QBs into the deep end and see if either one can swim?
3. Is it January yet?
Sorry, Jets fans, but this is a bad team. Like, terrible. You deserve better than a roster that was decimated of leadership and talent in the offseason – LB David Harris, C Nick Mangold, CB Darrelle Revis and receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall were all released – and to have even Browns fans confident their team probably won’t be the worst in the NFL this season.
Imagine how many incomplete projects and “Honey Do” list items you can get done this fall if you work every Sunday instead of enduring the frustration of this New York Jets season.
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