The day after one of the worst Jets losses in recent memory, Todd Bowles remains the coach, and he put everyone on alert.
Bowles isn’t going anywhere – for now at least. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be changes to his staff during this bye week, or to the lineup when the Jets play the Patriots Nov. 25, or that Bowles won’t take over some of the play-calling.
“I’m considering everything at this point,” he said during a conference call Monday.
Everything is on the table right now for Bowles to try to get this 3-7 team out of the mess that only got messier with Sunday’s 41-10 rout by the Bills. Bowles said he accepts “all of” the responsibility for where the Jets are, and he believes he can clean things up.
“What gives me faith that I’m the right guy?” Bowles said. “I coach football. We picked a bad day to have a bad day. As a coach, you go back to the drawing board, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to come back and prepare better and get ready for the next one.”
It’s not often that an NFL team makes an in-season coaching change. The Jets haven’t done it under the Johnsons’ ownership, and not since 1975. Bowles, who is 23-35 and in his fourth year, likely will ride this season out, barring any more demoralizing and humiliating defeats like Sunday’s.
“I don’t talk about my job status,” Bowles said. “But we know we get paid in this league, and we’re in this league to win football games. We’re 3-7, so we just got to do a better job.”
The Bills totaled 46 points in their previous six games, then rang up 41 on the Jets as fans booed and called for Bowles’ dismissal. Afterward, cornerback Morris Claiborne said the Jets “laid down,” an indictment of Bowles, his staff and the players.
Bowles didn’t agree with that assessment, but he let the players know that when they return next week they’d better be ready to play or there will be changes. It might not be enough to save his job, but Bowles’ responsibility is to get the team to play competitive football.
Bowles said his message to the team was “We stunk it up.
“We own it. We have to own it. We have a week to live with it. When they get some time off, make sure they rest up and get healthy. We got to come back and try to win six games one at a time. We’ll see who wants to play.”
It didn’t look like the Jets did against the Bills, even though all of the players said they were prepared and had a good game plan.
The offense continues to be dull and ineffective under first-year coordinator Jeremy Bates. It was the fourth straight week that it got nothing going, and the Jets have only three touchdowns in their last 15 quarters.
Bowles didn’t rule out changes to his staff. “Not at this time, but we’re re-evaluating everything,” he said. “As the days go by, we’ll see.”
Bowles said he would “do a ton of self-evaluation” during the break and would “cover everything.”
The Bills played with more passion and fire, and the Jets’ lack of resistance and urgency on defense was surprising and troubling. The Jets’ defense has been pretty decent, but it allowed 212 yards rushing – its second-most under Bowles – and 239 yards passing to Matt Barkley in his first game in nearly two years.
“We should look at it as an embarrassment and never forget this moment,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said Monday.
The Jets got a reminder Monday when they watched film of the game. “It was as bad as I thought,” Bowles said.
After the bye, the Jets will face the Patriots at MetLife Stadium, where an angry mob could be awaiting Bowles. He said he’s ready for it.
“It’s not my first rodeo,” Bowles said. “When you win games, people cheer, when you lose games, people boo. I get it. It’s part of sports.”