After four seasons, no playoff appearances and too many losses, Todd Bowles is expected — and surely is expecting — to be fired the day after this season mercifully ends.
That will make Sunday’s game against the Packers at MetLife Stadium Bowles’ final home game as the Jets’ head coach and, quite possibly, his final game as an NFL head coach.
There will be no ceremony at MetLife. But neither, as he trots off the field and through the tunnel for the final time, should there be any large cups of beer hurled at him — the way Joe Walton went out back in 1989.
Bowles’ imminent fate shouldn’t be cause for celebration. No one should root for another person to lose his or her job. Even for frustrated Jets fans who wanted Bowles fired weeks or even months ago, rooting for someone to be fired is bad karma.
But the reality is this: The job Bowles has done over the past four seasons has not been enough to earn him a fifth year.
Since having the Jets at 10-5 in 2015 and a win away from getting to the playoffs, Bowles is 14-33, including that ugly loss to the Bills in the 2015 season finale that kept them out of the playoffs. Two 5-11 seasons followed and the Jets are 4-10 this season.
Bowles owns a career 24-37 record and is 6-19 since a promising 3-2 start to 2017 went to hell.
His imminent ouster, while popular among the masses of Jets fans, will not be popular among the men in his locker room.
“It’s phenomenal playing for coach T. Bowles, man,’’ second-year safety Jamal Adams told The Post. “It ain’t his fault. Everybody wants to put the blame on the head coach. But at the end of the day, the players go on the field and we play football.’’
Adams has been Bowles’ most vocal advocate as whispers of his impending ouster have grown to screams.
“It’s part of the business, man,’’ Adams said with some resignation in his voice. “Hopefully, he stays. That would be my choice.’’
Adams revealed that he plans to request a meeting with “the guys upstairs’’ after the season “just to get on the same page, because we’re in this together.’’
“We’ve got to change this organization, man,’’ Adams said. “This organization hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2010. Come on, man. It’s about to be 2019. I came into high school in 2010. It’s about time. You got to change it up. It’s all about being on the same page and seeing what we can do to get better. It’s about winning championships, it’s not about losing. It’s just been too long of a stretch for the organization.’’
Jets players, along with defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers — a long-time friend and fellow coach with Bowles — lauded the head coach’s consistency and dignity through all the losing.
“I hate that we haven’t had the success that we all wanted, but he is the same guy every day, and that’s the best thing he does,’’ Rodgers said.
“More than anything, he’s been consistent,’’ left tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “He’s not [a] Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde type of guy. You know what he expects from you from the get-go. If you don’t meet those expectations, he lets you know. You can respect that about a person who, when they tell you something, they actually do it.’’
Consistency and dignity, of course, doesn’t always win games.
Won-loss records are attached to coaches, not linebackers, running backs, receivers, cornerbacks or offensive linemen. For Bowles, the record is damning. The players know that and there’s a sense inside the locker room that they’ve let their coach down.
“As players, as a team, none of us has accomplished the goals that we set out for as a team, and if anyone in here says that we did then we had some terrible goals,’’ linebacker Brandon Copeland said.
“A lot of times us losing games has nothing to do with our preparation or what the coaches did,’’ defensive lineman Henry Anderson told The Post. “It’s the players not executing and us not doing the job to the best of our abilities, and Todd takes the blame for stuff like that.
“I know I feel guilty sometimes, but that kind of comes with the territory when you’re the head coach — you take the blame for a lot of losses and you get credit when things go well.’’
Beachum recited something he said he has heard Bowles say on more than one occasion.
“He’s said that he can take care of himself; that he’s a big boy,’’ Beachum said. “He’s been around this business long enough to understand what’s real and what’s not. He’s danced this dance. He understands the grind, understands the business aspect and also understands dirty part of this game — being cut, being released, bouncing from team to team.’’
And being fired.
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