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Blunt Bowles Bakes Under Media Pressure

by Sunah Choudhry

Once the middle of the season approaches for football fans, every fan can determine whether their team is going to the playoffs or not. With every team that fails, the blame game from reporters and die-hard fans draws closer.

The finger could be pointed at the owner and general manager. And finally, there comes a time when the organization has to face the heat and put their head coach front and center to answer the hungry reporters that need responses for the fans.

As for the New York Jets, the blame game is an annual tradition for everyone across the NFL. With rookie quarterback Sam Darnold caught with a boot on his right foot at practice last Wednesday, questions began to rise from all directions.

Once the clock starts ticking for the Jets, it just never seems to stop despite how poorly they play every single season. For this football team, the finger can most definitely be pointed at head coach Todd Bowles.

Junior nutrition major Cinquay Boyd voiced his concerns regarding the Jets and how the complete opposite is happening with his favorite team, the Miami Dolphins.

“I’m a Miami Dolphins fan and Adam Gase will literally tell you what’s the problem and Gase doesn’t even care who you are,” Boyd said. “He shipped off our two Pro Bowl players for a fourth-round draft picks and what happened. We were supposed to be one of the worst teams on paper and Bowles is the opposite of that. He doesn’t do that.”

Bowles has been part of the Jets organization for four years now, which warrants him to a full evaluation of his performance as head coach. The least I can say about the 2018-2019 season is that the Jets have been as disastrous as Eli Manning is at quarterback right now.

With that being said, everyone has been wondering why the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft was wearing a boot on Wednesday and why Bowles had not revealed to the media of the undisclosed injury. This led to widespread speculation that Bowles had hidden the injury from the media, which ultimately was not the case.

According to The New York Times, Bowles did not receive an injury report before the phone call. For those that are unaware, Bowles has always been the Bill Belichick wannabe to the media, which leads to the media begging for answers from the coach and the coach not really caring.

Senior justice studies major Terri-Ann Shorter feels as if coaches like to put on a fake exterior to the media by pretending they do not know what is going on with the team to protect their players.

“I do agree that injuries do play a big role in this,” Shorter said. “If they lose a game, they may not want to be like, ‘Oh well, he’s injured’.”

Shorter discussed that these coaches use their own strategies for putting their players out in the media.

“They don’t want all the backlash to fall on one player because he’s in the public eye; he’s the star,” Shorter said. “Once the star player is gone, there is the game.”

The once highly anticipated AFC East rookie quarterback matchup against the Buffalo Bills is now disintegrated due to both teams’ first-round quarterbacks being injured. The game ended in a disastrous 41-10 upset by the Bills.

This also brings up a problem of decision making and coaching management for both teams. Both teams have two banged up rookies that have an enormous amount of talent but are being tortured by their weak offensive lines that should be protecting them.

Both teams have talent on their rosters but are not doing anything to enhance that talent to spread to the entire team. On top of that, the players also have to face the media as well.

With failing teams also comes the dreadful locker room interviews where reporters question players. For the Jets, Darnold has been taking most of the heat, and the tri-state area media is no joke and no one holds back. So when questions like, “Why do you think you lost today, and how do you think you can fix it?” start to become normal questions, how does a rookie who has the entire team on his back answer those types of questions when he has simply just started? The blame and question should always fall on the head coach.

When Bowles deals with the media, it is more like talking to a stone. The stone will simply not give you the answers you want, which is the media’s worst nightmare. Bowles’ nightmare might be worse, which is the Jets having a 0-16 season similar to the Cleveland Browns’ record in the last year.

According to Bowles’ contract, he still has until 2020 to accomplish that goal. So who knows, he might get it with the rate that he is going at.

In this instance, the blame should fall solely on Bowles because he is the leader in this situation. He is the one that should be leading the charge of the uprising of the so-called #NewJackCity Jets. It is time for Bowles to deal with the heat that is the media or else he will have to answer to fans and possibly a billboard asking for his firing.

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