As the Jets met for the final time this season Monday in Florham Park, Todd Bowles’ message to his team was clear: “No more excuses.” Yes, the Jets exceeded expectations with a 5-11 season, after many had written off the group completely in the spring and summer. Yes, they can take positives from wins over the playoff-bound Chiefs, Bills and Jaguars. Yes, they can find moral victories in staying competitive with the Patriots, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. But if the Jets want to reach the place they desire — sustained success and Super Bowl contention — they can no longer be satisfied with near-misses. By Bowles’ standard, being one or two plays away is not sufficient, even with the roster Mike Maccagnan handed him this season. “It’s just a no-excuses business. You win games or you don’t,” Bowles said Monday in his end-of-year news conference. “It’s not 5-11, but you played a couple games close. It’s not so-and-so got hurt, or so-and-so wasn’t here. You win in spite of (that).” Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse thinks some of his teammates, especially the younger ones, needed to hear that reality from Bowles, who earned a two-year extension last week before the Jets ended their season with a 26-6 loss to the Patriots in Foxborough on New Year’s Eve. “I thought his message was right on point,” Kearse said. “It’s either we’re going to be serious about this, or we’re going to just continue to pretend. And I’m not in the field of being a pretender. If we want to win games, we’ve got to do what’s necessary to win games, whether that’s sacrificing certain things, whether that’s doing more than usual, spending that extra time. I think those are the necessary things that we’re going to have to do if we want to go to where we say we want to go.” “From my perspective, there were too many excuses,” Kearse added. “A lot of, would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.” Kearse, however, noted the youth on the Jets’ roster and how learning these lessons is part of development.
Todd Bowles' end-of-season message to Jets is to ditch the excuses in 2018
New York Daily News | Jan 2