Sportress of Blogitude

Todd Bowles: Blaming losing season on poor chemistry a ‘bad excuse’

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t believe poor locker room chemistry played a role in the team’s disappointing 5-11 season, despite a handful of players making that assertion.

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa has stated issues in the locker room “didn’t help us. Veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis added that a fight between Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall cast a “dark cloud” over the locker room.

Bowles disputed the notion that those kind of problems negatively impacted the team. Instead, Bowles believes players commenting upon them is the actual issue.

“It’s a problem that they’re saying it,” Bowles said of the comments from some of the players, via NJ.com’s Darryl Slater. “I was on a Super Bowl team, and we argued in the locker room every day, even if we won games 45-0. It’s a matter of squashing it and leaving it right where it is, and that’s a sign of maturity and growth.”

Bowles, who reportedly will be back in 2017, added that players have to overcome the issues that can emerge behind closed doors.

“[Discord] happens in locker rooms all the time,” he said. “I don’t think that was a problem as far us winning and losing, and playing hard. Arguments are going to happen. You just deal with them right there, and put them in their place. To say that was a problem for us winning and losing, that would be a bad excuse.”

The Jets learned the lesson that discord happens in NFL locker rooms all the time in spades this season. Beyond the Richardson-Marshall spat that spilled out of the locker room, Richardson and fellow defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson also were benched for tardiness.

Myriad issues plagued the Jets throughout the season. From the protracted and contentious contract negotiations with Ryan Fitzpatrick — and his subsequent abysmal play — to a leaky defense that allowed the fifth-most points (409) in the NFL certainly didn’t help. The aforementioned locker room issues arguably are secondary and it would be shortsighted to lay blame on one specific issue or problem.

Sure, locker room discord didn’t help, but had the Jets been winning games, poor chemistry likely never would have became an issue in the first place.