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Notes To Close The Season. Revis, Harrison, Ivory.

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It's been very refreshing to cover the Jets this year with Todd Bowles at the helm. His down to earth pragmatism was a welcome change to the hot air bluster of Rex Ryan. Here are some takeaways from his final press conference.

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The Jets have a host of players about to hit free agency. Wilkerson, Harrison, Ivory, Fitzpatrick, Pace, Powell, Davis, Colon, Henderson etc etc. Which means there are some tough decisions ahead, and the 2016 New York jets will look very different to the 2015 New York Jets.

  • Bowles confirmed that the team will have around 12-15 new players next year, but that the core is solid. When asked if he thought the team needed to get younger, he said "I think we need to get faster. I don't know about younger". The truth is, many key contributors for the Jets are over 30, we do need to get faster, but we also need to get younger.
  • Don't expect the coaching staff to experience much turnover. As John noted, we don't have a lot of assistants at the stage where they are ready to make the leap, and Bowles confirmed that he expected everyone to return. Whether it's personnel or coaching, I wouldn't be surprised to see some help brought in for the special teams unit.
  • Chris Ivory is a free agent and coming off his first 1,000 yard season. He went through rough patches, some ups and some definite downs, including just 6 carries in the season finale. Will the Jets re-sign him? I'm not so sure, and Bowles comments did nothing to make me believe we were going to break the bank to bring him back. "I like Chris. Whether you want him back and how it works out in free agency, are two different things".
  • Remember Dee Milliner, well Bowles expects him to compete for a starting spot next year. Although he did specify that he spoke to him about his health and while he's not ready to label him as injury prone, it is something that could really hinder him going forward "He's along the same line (as Kerley). He has to get healthy. Me and Dee (Milliner) talked about it. He has to get healthy. He has to stay healthy. He has to be ready to play."
  • Bowles mentioned that dealing with unexpected incidents such as the Sheldon Richardson off-season situation was a big learning curve for him in his first year as a head coach, but specified that Sheldon had really come on through the season: "I thought he's been great since then. He's a very engaging guy to be around. He's been honest. He's been upfront. He's been on time. He's been doing everything he needs to do"
  • As we mentioned yesterday, Bowles did confirm that he would like to bring Fitzpatrick back and if he did return he would be the starter. However he understands that this is business and if a team is willing to overpay, it could get complicated, but the hope is there: "But you can't take away from anything that he's done this year from a records standpoint or otherwise. He's been great for the guys in the locker room and he knows we want him back and he wants to be back. It's just a matter of working it out."
  • Keeping the defensive line together will be very difficult for the Jets, they have three exceptional talents there in Harrison, Wilkerson and Richardson and Leonard Williams had a very impressive rookie season too. You do get the feeling that Bowles will speak up in favour of Harrison who was key to the Jets having one of the best run defenses in the league: "I thought Damon had a great year. Damon solidified the run game and helped us stop everything inside. You can't block him with one and sometimes two guys. I thought he was very important for us"
  • Revis came under a little criticism after the Buffalo game, not only for Watkins getting the best of him, but for not answering any questions after the game. However Todd Bowles said he still considers Revis to be an elite corner and "he's a good corner. That doesn't mean that good corners don't get beat or have bad games, but they have some bad games. I still think the same that I always did. He's a good player. He's tough. He's smart, he works hard and he's athletic. We're glad to have him"