FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Even after a 5-11 record in 2016, a staff overhaul and a flurry of offseason roster cuts, Todd Bowles’ focus hasn’t changed.
“Our ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl,” the Jets coach said Saturday, after Day 2 of rookie minicamp.
“Obviously, we have to take steps. We have a lot of guys we have to get acclimated chemistry-wise right away, but our goal is to win regardless of whether we have younger guys or older guys.
“Our goal is to win, so progress for me is being a lot better than last year and getting to the playoffs and getting to the Super Bowl. That’s the ultimate progress. There is progress and steps between that. Obviously we want to win a lot more games than last year and we want to go to the playoffs. And that’s what we’re coaching and striving to do [is] to go to the playoffs, so that’s my goal.”
The Jets — a team with no quarterback (still) and no playoff appearances since the 2010 season — are in rebuild mode while trying to remain competitive on Sundays. But that strategy is a complicated and unpredictable one, given the current makeup of the roster. General manager Mike Maccagnan has repeatedly voiced his preference for building a stable franchise through the draft. And that, unfortunately for fans, can’t happen overnight.
Last week, owner Woody Johnson reiterated that he’s not a patient man when it comes to losing, but nevertheless there isn’t necessarily a ‘playoffs or bust’ mandate for Maccagnan and Bowles in 2017.
“I judge it by the progress of the individual players and as a team. That’s what I look for,” Johnson told Newsday a charity event. “Are they making progress over the course of the year? Are they better at the end of the year and the middle of the year than when they started out?”
Bowles, however, has his sights set on a bigger target — and that’s the Super Bowl.
But is that really a pragmatic goal for this season?
“It’s realistic every year,” Bowles said.