Jets’ Head Coach Todd Bowles to Be More Involved in the Offense

Todd Bowles will be entering his third season as the head coach of the New York Jets this year, and the former longtime defensive guru is vowing to take a bigger role in the team’s offense.

“It’s just the way I feel as a coach and the way I’ve evolved to where I need to be,” Bowles told reporters at the AFC coaches’ breakfast at the NFL’s Annual League Meetings in Phoenix this week. “Everything from that standpoint, I need to be heavily involved.”

Sounds like a plan except that Bowles has very little experience running an offense. He’s never really paid much attention to the offensive side of the ball during his career. He realizes that in order to be a complete head coach, he’s going to have to. His predecessor, Rex Ryan, made the fatal career mistake of ignoring the offense. A mistake that cost him not only the Jets’ head coaching job, but the Buffalo Bills job as well.

Perhaps the fact that the Jets hired an inexperienced offensive coordinator, John Morton, formerly a wide receivers coach in New Orleans and San Francisco, that has Bowles seeking to get his feet wet on offense. Morton will be calling plays for the first time in the NFL this year.

“It doesn’t mean I’m calling the plays,” Bowles told Eric Allen on the Jets’ official website. “It means I’ve been on the defensive side for two years and those guys are well aware of what they’re doing and everything else. Its time for me to go to the other side just to sit in meetings. Offensive coordinatorJohn Morton is calling the plays. They have their system in place and I’ll understand all that. I’ll just know a lot more situationally on game day as far as understanding where we are, what we’re trying to do and how we’re exactly trying to do it from an intricate standpoint.”

Another reason for Bowles sudden interest in the offense is the team’s lack of a franchise quarterback and the shallow talent pool they currently have on offense at the moment.

Bowles told Allen that although the Jets signed veteran QB Josh McCown in free agency this month, there will still be an open competition at the position in training camp between McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

“Well, there’s going to be a competition. Josh is coming in, Hack is coming back and we’ll see where Bryce is with his health,” said head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, AZ. “Hack will get a chance to prove himself this year and Josh will get a chance to prove himself, so we’re looking forward to it. And if we decide to add one, we’ll add one to the mix there whether it’s the draft or a free agent.”

Then again, there is still a possibility the Jets select a quarterback with the sixth overall selection. If North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky is available, will they be able to pass him up?

McCown is a 38 year-old journeyman who’s rough and tumble style is very similar to that of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s. He is simply a stopgap candidate. Petty appears to be nothing more than backup material and Hackenberg was not afforded any snaps last season as a rookie even though the Jets had nothing to lose by playing him.

Bowles is getting used to not having a solid option at quarterback. Fitzpatrick played well in Bowles’ first season here and then played about as poorly as one could imagine last season and had to be replaced by Petty and Geno Smith.

The first year it worked out and the second year it didn’t,” said Bowles. “We didn’t have such a good year so the third year going in, we just have to make sure we have a guy who doesn’t turn the ball over and a guy that commands the room. We have to make sure to help that guy and not put it solely on the quarterback.”

Sounds like a plan. Not that he has much of choice at this point.

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