It has been a rough offseason for the New York Jets, who have jettisoned several big-name and high-priced veterans. Sure, some of them probably needed to be shown the door and had outsized contracts. But that doesn’t mean what’s left isn’t all that encouraging.
So concerning is the Jets’ youth that head coach Todd Bowles made a pretty shocking statement when asked why he might start soon-to-be 38-year-old quarterback Josh McCown amid what could be a pretty massive youth movement on the rest of the roster.
“Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody’s got to be the teacher,” Bowles said Monday after the Jets’ first mandatory minicamp practice, via USA Today.
Ouch. Even if the analogy makes some sense, it doesn’t exactly send a strong message about the state of the franchise. Could this be some subtle shade at management and ownership for not managing the salary cap better and assembling a stronger roster? Read it how you may.
One of those “kindergartners,” quarterback Christian Hackenberg, has been the talk of the offseason. But yeah, not necessarily in the best of ways. His errant passes have been about as accurate as a toddler’s tantrum throws. (Hey, we’re just building off the metaphor the coach laid out there.) This is another reason why Bowles might feel compelled to go with McCown or Bryce Petty over Hackenberg, on whom the Jets spent a second-round pick last year but don’t yet know what they have.
Bowles is in a tough spot here, and there’s only so much mentoring and teaching he’s going to want to do with a roster that featured only a handful of players 30 years and older. He just has to hope that his permanent recess doesn’t come too soon, unless he’s got a fully guaranteed contract, in which case getting fired might not be the worst result in the world, professionally speaking.
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