Don’t Count on the Bowles-Maccagnan Era To End ‘Same Old Jets’


How many times have we seen this before? Go back as far as the early 1970s and there has been one era after another for the New York Jets with not much to show for it. With Todd Bowles becoming the 18th head coach in the much-maligned franchise’s history, as well as Mike Maccagnan the 16th general manager, the future seems bright with a clean slate and fresh start. But how long before ‘Same Old Jets’ begins to rear its ugly head?

Giving credit where it is due, team owner Woody Johnson did go about this the right way and the hiring process with consultants Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf did play itself out diligently enough to make two solid choices.

In a perfect world, Johnson would have liked to sit down once again with Dan Quinn on Monday before inking Bowles. But the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator has an NFC Championship Game to prepare for and nothing could be made official until his team’s season ends, which may not happen until after the Super Bowl in February.

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles against the Kansas City Chiefs at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The other teams searching for a head coach also had their collective eyes on both Bowles and Quinn, so losing out on both was a distinct possibility. Let’s face it; the Jets job – for one in a major media market – is not exactly one that candidates are pounding on the front doors of the Atlantic Health Center for.

Playing second banana to the Giants in their home town(s) and the stadium, dealing with the intense media spotlight and a franchise that seems jinxed at times all add up against it. Since the days of Joe Namath and Weeb Ewbank (who was the head coach and GM during that time), the Jets have had flashes of greatness, but more seasons of being the butt of late night talk show host’s jokes.

Bowles and Maccagnan come in with high marks for what they have done so far in their respective careers, but this will be both if their first ‘big dances.’ Bowles was the Miami Dolphins interim head coach for three games in 2011, but that was a team playing out the string. And he has only been a coordinator since 2012. Now Bowles has the whole thing in his lap.

With Maccagnan, he has spent the last 15 years in the front office of the Houston Texans, the last four being the director of college scouting. Now he has to jump into the Gotham fire with no prior GM experience. Lucky for him, this year’s NFL Draft is in Chicago and not Radio City Music Hall, where the boo birds would give him a ‘warm welcome’ if the Jets do not draft who they like – or even know, for that matter.

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Although he has zero football knowledge, Johnson likes to be a hands-on owner when it comes to personnel decisions. He was the one who decided on Maccagnan and Bowles, even though the usual course of business is to let the GM do the hiring.

Will Johnson sit back and give this new era a shot? Or will he panic when things start out rough, which they probably will considering this is a 4-12 team with a bad quarterback situation?

Being cynical with the Jets may not be fair to them, but they’ve earned.

Next: 10 Options at QB for the 2015 New York Jets