It was a topic that was discussed on this week’s episode of JetNation Radio with former Jets linebacker Chad Cascadden, and it’s a question Jets fans hope won’t have to be answered at the end of this year. But given the unpredictability of an NFL season and the performance of Gang Green over the past two years, one can’t help wonder what happens if the 2018 season is in fact a flop.
Should this year be another season of sub .500 football with inconsistent play and blown leads, where should the blame lie? With General Manager Mike Maccagnan, Head Coach Todd Bowles or both?
At this point in time, a season similar to 2017 would have to fall on Bowles as Maccagnan has made across the board improvements, most importantly, handing Bowles what is arguably the best QB room the franchise has ever had.
In Josh McCown, the Jets have a savvy veteran leader who played well last season, and is set to compete with an established young starter with playoff experience in Teddy Bridgewater. Then of course, the Jets nabbed the top quarterback in the NFL draft in Sam Darnold after Maccagnan’s masterful trade to get the Jets from the sixth pick in the draft, to third overall. When was the last time the Jets had a quarterback depth chart that looked this good? Kristian Dyer of Metro says it could be never.
The feeling that Bowles’ seat will be hotter than Maccagnan’s if the team turns in a clunker next year was shared by Cascadden, who had this to say during his interview; “If the Jets struggle this year, it’s gonna’ fall on Bowles, and rightfully so”. The answer came as no surprise as Cascadden had cited the team’s many upgrades earlier in the interview. Cascadden also said that he felt firing Bowles after this past season would have been unfair, and that moving forward, he believes in the head coach, saying “I think he can do it, but he’s got to show us first”.
As is the case with any NFL GM, Maccagnan’s track record has been imperfect, but appearing to have filled the team’s near fifty-year void at quarterback by adding a pair of young first round signal callers in Bridgewater and Darnold, he has certainly earned himself more wiggle room as an executive who, if the Jets do play well in 2018, could be looking at his second NFL executive of the year award with he and Bowles earning a pair of contract extensions.
If ownership comes away unhappy with the season, it could be the end for Bowles, leaving Maccagnan to make his first hire at head coach since taking over as the team’s GM after the failed John Idzik three years ago.