Content available exclusively for subscribers
People wonder if there is a philosophical divide. Maybe yes, maybe no. Or maybe it’s impossible to answer.
Many in the media are pushing the narrative that the Jets are tanking this year.
You see this written all over the place.
But Todd Bowles has repeatedly said it’s not true.
“My expectations are high and the team’s expectations are high, and that’s really all that counts” said Bowles at the team’s recent veteran mini-camp. “I’m trying to get to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl. It’s no different than any other year.”
Whenever I mention Todd’s position on tanking, I hear from people who point out that it’s possible that the GM and owner are tanking, but Todd, as the head coach, can’t go along with that, either with the team or the public.
So are the Jets a house divided?
What is going on here is simple.
The Jets are finally trying to build a team the right now – stop with the quick fixes and box office signings.
This is the first year of that new blueprint.
While many in the media don’t think they can possible win this year with how their roster is constituted, nobody really knows how this is going to turn out. Nobody.
I think the mindset of the Jets’ front office brass is let’s try this a different way, load up on young, hungry players, up the intensity and toughness of the team, improve the football culture, and let the chips fall where they may in 2017.
They went 5-11 last year with a roster loaded with overpaid veterans. They got blown out six times. They can certainly get the same results without spending like drunken sailors.
Now they aren’t looking for that same result, but why waste the kind of money they did last year?
I think the Darrelle Revis contract was the final straw. Woody and company had an epiphany, and decided they were going to try a different approach. What a colossal waste of money the Revis deal was – $39 million for two lousy year.
I wrote a cover story late in the season for Jets Confidential Magazine called “Tweak Time.”
The editorial, directed at Woody, stated the owner needs change his approach – no more Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Darrelle Revis, Mark Sanchez big splash moves. They might give you an upfront jolt at the box office, but generally come back to bite you down the road.
I’m not saying that Woody is taking this new approach because of what I wrote. That would be egotistical and presumptuous. And I have no idea.
But I’m not going to rip him now for how the Jets approached this off-season after I wrote that.
I would be a hypocrite to do that.
He’s changed his ways.
And I don’t think he’s promoting a tank job this year.
Perhaps they have a bad year. Perhaps they have a good year. Who knows.
But I think, whichever way it goes, they will have a better culture and will fight harder than last season.
July 3, 2017
Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Wednesday.