As speculation swirls, Todd Bowles won't discuss future with Jets

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Monday, December 24, 2018

Preparing for what likely will be his final week as the coach of the New York Jets, Todd Bowles refused to address his tenuous job status Monday. He wouldn't even say whether he wants to be back for a fifth season.

"I do not talk about my job," Bowles said on a conference call with reporters.

When asked whether he's hoping to return in 2019, he replied, "Personally, I do not speak about my next job. I worry about tomorrow when Christmas comes, and I worry about New England on Sunday. And I'll go from there."

Bowles, who has lost 19 of his past 25 games, is expected to be fired next Monday. He's signed through 2020, but the season fell apart with a six-game losing streak in the middle of the year. The Jets blew fourth-quarter leads in their past three defeats, all of which were marred by costly penalties.

Despite the swirling speculation, Bowles has refused to fuel the narrative. He insisted he's not thinking about his future.

"Not really, until the season is over," said Bowles, whose career record is 24-39.

On Sunday night, Pro Football Talk, citing an unnamed source, reported that the Jets are planning to pursue Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson addressed the report Monday, saying in a statement, "Todd Bowles is our head coach. There is no truth to the report of our interest in Jim Harbaugh."

If the Jets were to pursue Harbaugh, it wouldn't be the first time.

In 2009, they held a clandestine interview with Harbaugh when he was the coach at Stanford. They eventually hired Rex Ryan for the position. In 2015, they expressed interest in Harbaugh before he took the Michigan job, eventually naming Bowles as their coach.

Bowles said he has no reaction to the Harbaugh speculation.

"I don't have one," he said. "It's probably a question for the person who reported it."

In a recent interview with ESPN, Harbaugh stated emphatically that he won't leave Michigan, his alma mater.

"I'm on record right here, right now: I'm not going anywhere," he told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "I'm staying at Michigan. We have big plans here, and there's a lot we want to accomplish."

Bowles also was in no mood to elaborate on his postgame criticism of the officiating in Sunday's 44-38 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Jets set a franchise record with 172 penalty yards, prompting Bowles to lash out.

"I said what I said and I meant everything I said," he said Monday morning. "All has been said, so I'm done with it. ... I'm not going to sit here and play Monday-morning quarterback."

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