The recent words of Todd Bowles not only reflect poorly on the New York Jets head coach, but the organization as a whole.
Welcome to the NFL’s version of the madhouse.
It’s a unique place, an area of the league that routinely has onlookers and colleagues pointing and laughing. It’s a place that provides jokes and butts and fumbles coming off of butts while the rest of us eat turkey. It’s a place that even warrants much pity (especially considering Robert Kraft’s latest words regarding Tom Brady‘s ambition of participating in another six-to-seven NFL seasons).
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the NFL madhouse resides in Florham Park, New York, home of the New York Jets.
Once considered the league’s circus, Woody Johnson’s organization has now turned into the most maddening destination in sports. Recently, Todd Bowles, the head coach of the currently discussed franchise, uttered words that simply added on to this maddening environment.
“It’s part of it,” Bowles said at the NFL owners meeting on Tuesday. “Sometimes you’re late to work. It’s life. It’s not life threatening … Sometimes your alarm clock isn’t going to go off.”
Forget Rex Ryan for a moment. We all know how buddy-buddy he was with the players. Bowles just took the term “player’s coach” to another level.
The entire topic of tardiness to meetings surrounds the Jets dismal 2016 season that saw reports surface about both Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson showing up late or not even at all to team meetings. For a man in Richardson, who’s looking for a big payday and Big Mo, who’s coming off the worst season of his pro career, the issue of solid player character remains at large — and an extremely important part of the future for each.
Moreso than individual player character, however, is the issue of team character — something this group has lacked for awhile. The Jets are always in this position and as per usual, leadership fails to disappoint the pundits who can’t wait to pounce.
Bowles’ latest words of wisdom prove why the organization remains such a laughingstock en route to nowhere.
First and foremost, even if the report was completely blown out of proportion and the duo was just late for one meeting, Bowles needs to understand his words greatly impact things moving forward. He’s the leader of the sideline, the leader of that locker room. He’s the guy his players will take a cue from on a daily basis.
Acknowledging that players were late and that it is “OK” to be late isn’t a good move. Rich Kotite knows it’s probably not the best way to go about things. The tactic is pure rationalization at its finest — something the franchise has performed diligently for decades.
With the words, Sheldon’s unfortunate and wild Snapchat incident from December is further highlighted. The rumors surrounding the Richardson-Brandon Marshall feud become a bigger deal. Questions regarding what really happened between Geno Smith and IK Enemkpali start to creep towards the front of our minds.
For a guy who says so little at all times, it’s shocking to see him play down tardiness to team functions.
A part of Jets fandom was curious to see how the locker room might change after the recent subtractions of veterans like Darrelle Revis, Geno Smith, Brandon Marshall and Nick Mangold. Some held out hope that the grittiness, character and commitment to each other were going to shine down as positive attributes for the Jets come the summer of 2017.
With Todd Bowles at the helm, it’s pretty obvious that part of Jets fandom will be disappointed. This week, instead of accountability, we received rationalization.
If you expected the culture in Florham Park to change this upcoming season, you’re sorely mistaken.
Bowles actually said, “Sometimes you’re late to work. It’s life.”
There are no words. That, my friends, is a terrible thing to announce to the world as a leader.