McDonald: Bowles Has Changed Jet Culture

(Dave Pokress/Sportsday Wire)

The Jets may have to thank the owner of the Patriots for today’s win, because Robert Kraft’s other business may have helped get Ryan Fitzpatrick’s mojo back.

Thanks to Gillette, the Jets quarterback had a nice trim beard and with that, he has a nice tidy win over the Miami Dolphins, 38-20, in a game that was never in doubt from the opening kickoff.

“We spread the ball around a little bit,” Fitzpatrick said. “We had some good runs early. We had some throws that opened up the running game a little bit. I think spreading it around helps a lot. I think Brandon is such a big, physical guy out there and we had him in some one-on-one situations we were able to take advantage of. I think that was the plan and early on we still struggled a bit, whether it was penalties or not picking up third downs, and the defense really kept us in it, kept going and giving us possessions. It was nice to score at the end of the half and get some momentum for the second half.”

Ok maybe it wasn’t Gillette. Maybe Fitzpatrick uses Norelco. However, the win put the Jets back on track and raised their record to 6-5, keeping them in the hunt for the AFC Wild Card.

“We know we have to win ball games,” said coach Todd Bowles. “Everybody is in the same boat right now. We have five games left and whoever wins out gets in.”

But not matter what they do over the next five games. If they finish 6-10 or 11-5, the Jets can safely say they made the right call by hiring Bowles.

Bowles has been a breath of fresh air for this club. Sure, he’s not going to be the greatest quote and doesn’t write the story like Rex Ryan, but he is proving that he is taking no nonsense when it comes to his team.

When IK Enemkpali punched Geno Smith in the face over a matter of $600 dollars, he was immediately cut and this past week when Quinton Coples had an incident on the plane back from Houston, he was given his walking papers.

It didn’t matter if both of those players ended up on Buffalo and Miami, respectively, it was addition by subtraction.

These days, the ‘N’ in the NFL seems to stand for nonsense with too many players having off the field incidents and in the past, some of those always seem to end up in Florham Park.

Not anymore, because Sheriff Bowles will not allow this.

And were the Jets hurt by Coples wearing the teal and white this week? Not at all.

“Just the guys that were close to him,” Bowles said. “He has a lot of close friends on this team because he’s a heck of a guy, but from a football standpoint, I don’t think it had an impact because he wasn’t playing in the first place.”

After the frat house years of Rex Ryan, Bowles is a breath of fresh air. Coming in to this season, not many expected the Jets to have six wins by the end of the season, let alone the end of November. But now at 6-5 they will be playing meaningful football as they await the coming of Santa next month.

More importantly, Bowles is laying the groundwork for next season. He is ridding himself of the team Knuckleheads, which will open spots for players that will buy into his system.

The bottom line is that this year is bonus and the Bowles era should be regarded with what he does with next year’s team.

And if bonus means playoffs, then so much the better.

Either way, though, it’s been a very good start to his coaching tenure.


About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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