By Glenn Naughton
As bad as things seemed during and in the immediate aftermath of last night’s embarrassing 41-10 loss for the Jets at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts, things may have gotten significantly worse in the hours since.
In speaking to the media after the contest, head coach Todd Bowles sounded like a broken record stuck on the phrase “we got our asses kicked” or some variation throughout the presser, and he was right.
The second-year coach had seen enough. “I don’t think we had a lot of effort. I’ll see the film, I’m sure there are some guys who showed effort”. A scathing, yet honest evaluation from the head coach before continuing, “We’re gonna’ play the guys who want to play”. Now, less than 24 hours later, and Bowles shockingly changed his tune, saying the “effort was a lot better, but we made some mistakes that cost us”.
After watching film, Todd Bowles said: "Actually, I thought the effort was a lot better but we made some bonehead mistakes that cost us."
— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) December 6, 2016
The effort put forth by his players wasn’t the only subject that saw Bowles change his stance. The head coach went from “playing the guys who want to play”, to a statement about how he will discuss any possible changes with his staff, but when pressed about the likelihood of making changes, he wasn’t willing to say for sure that any changes would in fact be made.
Todd Bowles says further lineup changes will be discussed with the coaching staff.
— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) December 6, 2016
So in a matter of hours, what looked to be the most promising outcome from a horrendous loss, an angry critical coach promising change, Bowles has morphed into a coach offering praise for effort while refusing to re-iterate the need for change.
The comments regarding his player’s effort puts Bowles on an island of sorts, as the team has been lambasted from both the local and national media for its lack of heart. Aside from the television broadcast itself calling out the club’s lack of interest, others took to twitter to call the Jets out.
Longtime respected NFL exec just texted to say the Jets might be giving the worst effort he's ever seen.
— Ian O'Connor (@Ian_OConnor) December 6, 2016
Oh. My. The Jets should be embarrassed by this effort.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) December 6, 2016
And yes….even the man who nobody likes, Stephen A. Smith nailed it….
This @Jets defense is embarrassing itself. @Colts WR's are wide open. No defender in the vicinity. Haven't seen them like this since Kotite.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 6, 2016
Adding to the confusion and embarrassment, Bowles revealed to team scribes that quarterback Bryce Petty would be the team’s starter for the four remaining games on the schedule. It was the right thing to do and it makes perfect sense. What didn’t make perfect sense, was the fact that Bowles didn’t take the time to first fill in Fitzpatrick or Petty of his plan. Fitzpatrick, as it turns out, was informed of the decision by an offensive assistant only moments before meeting with the press. Of course those who despise Fitzpatrick will see no issue with this, but it’s a bush league move that even Bowles said he could have handled better, explaining that he was going to tell Fitzpatrick but he got caught up with other items after the game.
Bowles said he still has not spoken to Fitzpatrick. Says he will talk to him tomorrow. Admits he could have handled it better #nyj
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) December 6, 2016
Frustrated Jets fans are also left wondering why Fitzpatrick started the game at all as Bowles revealed that Petty would be starting the season’s final four games regardless of the outcome last night, “even if we won 45-0 tonight”. Wait, what?
The head coach stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick for this long because he gave the team “the best chance to win”, but now an admission that winning or losing wasn’t going to matter in how they moved forward?
As bad as the Jets were on the field last night, the flip-flopping and head-scratching comments from Bowles since the final whistle have been just as bad.