By Will Kay | Contributing Writer
The New York Jets are undoubtedly one of the most disappointing teams in the National Football League this season with their 3-9 record. Coming into this season, the Jets were expected to be a player in the American Football Conference playoff race, as they were coming off a 10-6 season with first-year head coach Todd Bowles. The wheels fell off early, and now with four games remaining and sitting at the bottom of the NFL standings, there are now headlines coming out of the locker room that questions the unity of the team.
Star wide receiver Brandon Marshall was very vocal about defending his head coach and his future with the team. Marshall said, “You guys do remember a couple of years ago, he was probably the most coveted coach out there. All of a sudden, he lost it?” Marshall also defended this Jets team when the comparison to the 2014 Chicago Bears team came up, which he has called “the worst environment and worst year I’ve ever had. Ever. Ever”
When commenting about comparing the two teams, Marshall went on to say, “You can look at it from outside and say this is a similar situation, but it’s not. That whole organization was divided. That’s not the case here. We’re together. We’re having a bad year. Sometimes years like this build teams to be stronger. [The Bears’ situation] was 100 times worse because their locker room was divided. There was a lot of division. There was a division between players and there was division between players and coaches. We don’t have that here. We’ve had some tough conversations. We hold each other accountable. But we’re still together, and that’s promising.”
Marshall has stated that he wants to finish his career with the Jets, so it’s very positive to see him step up and be a vocal leader on the team, even in their dark days. There’s no doubt that this team is facing major adversity and it is easy to point fingers at each other, but Marshall wants to stay divided. Does this team have major holes to fill? Of course, as addressing positions such as quarterback and cornerback will probably be near the top of the list for the 2017 NFL Draft.
On the other side of the debate, critics have every right to kill the Jets for their performance this season. After their super embarrassing 41-10 loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts on the national stage of Monday Night Football, Todd Bowles’ job security started to be questioned. The New York Post and New York Daily News didn’t hold anything back, running the headlines “Todd Must Go!” and “Fire Bowles!” after losing four straight and falling to 3-9.
Owner Woody Johnson and General Manager Mike Maccagnan will have to make the decision on whether or not Bowles is fit to lead the Jets moving forward. If they listen to Marshall, the firing of Bowles would cause more division than solution. If the Jets don’t win another game this season, the case to bring back Bowles after a 3-13 season will be tough.