At the start of the season, Todd Bowles was one of the favorites to be the first coach fired in the NFL. In New York, he was the marked man, not Ben McAdoo, who was coming off a playoff appearance in his first year as the New York Giants coach.
A few months later, McAdoo is out of a job and Bowles is coaching his way to a contract extension with the New York Jets.
The NFL is almost impossible to predict.
"It's unfortunate," Bowles' said of McAdoo's firing. "Every situation is different. I️ can't control what goes on in that building, but I️ hate to see a fellow guy get let go. But it's part of the business we have."
The NFL is a funny business. McAdoo lasted only 28 games, compiling a record of 13-15. Bowles' record after 28 games? Yep, it was 13-15, sans the playoff appearance. Obviously, there were many other factors that resulted in a pink slip for McAdoo.
Bowles' yearly records are 10-6, 5-11 and 5-7, although this season has to be considered a positive because there were zero expectations. Bowles took a rebuilt roster and made it more competitive than anyone could've imagined, which should result in a renewed commitment from ownership. If Woody and Christopher Johnson don't see it that way, they're missing the big picture.
On Monday, Bowles refused to discuss his job status in a conference call with reporters.
Bowles isn't working under a playoff mandate from ownership, which simply wants to see progress from the team, especially the young players. He was reluctant to comment on whether he believes he has satisfied the "progress" requirement, but Bowles acknowledged, "Guys are working hard and they're playing together. We're fighting every week and we're competing. I'm pleased about that. We just have to clean up some mistakes and get better."
Five of the seven losses were decided by eight points or less, which illustrates, yes, they're competing.
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum, one of the team leaders, praised Bowles for his consistency and his accountability.
"As a man and as a player, I love him and I'd run through a wall for him," Beachum said. "I've only been here a year and I love everything about him."