This is a pivotal season in the Todd Bowles era for the New York Jets. The numbers are what they are, three seasons on the job and no playoff appearances.
When you add those numbers to the last four years of the Rex Ryan era, the Jets have not reached the playoffs since 2010. That’s a long time around these parts.
But, when it comes to New York City’s metropolitan sports teams, patience seems to be the word of choice around town lately.
The Knicks and Nets realized they had to go all-in on a team rebuild in order to fix their respective problems. It took the Knicks a little longer to come around, but, better late than never, right?
Even the Yankees had their own version of a rebuild which saw management strategically replenish their pool of young prospects. The move helped bring them within one game of the World Series last year.
Patience is the one word each of these teams have asked of their fans while they go about trying to change or build on their fortunes. The Jets are no different.
Two years ago, Bowles began filtering out whatever negative energy was in the locker room and replacing it with players who were ready to buy-in wholeheartedly. Last year, an injection of youth, led by Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye for the defense, helped provide further evidence of a plan worth buying into.
This year, the hope is they’ve finally found their elusive franchise quarterback with first round draft pick Sam Darnold. A week into training camp, Darnold’s beginning to turn heads in a way the Jets never came close to with Christian Hackenberg.
Management has already shown their belief in Bowles with a contract extension which runs through the 2020 season. This was done while the team was on its way to their second consecutive 5-11 season.
Bowles knows how important it is to show progression and he’s been consistent with demanding self-awareness and accountability of his players. He’s never shown signs of panic or someone who has lost sight of the big picture.
But the 54-year old head coach, from Elizabeth, New Jersey, doesn’t need anyone to remind him that what matters most in his chosen profession are wins.
The time has come for the Jets to start rewarding their fans for the patience they’ve shown them, by winning more ballgames.