Todd Bowles says Fitzpatrick-Petty switch at QB was miscommunicated

One day after changing quarterbacks, New York Jets coach Todd Bowles admitted he botched the exchange.

Bowles was so busy tearing into his team after an embarrassing 41-10 lossto the Indianapolis Colts that he failed to inform Ryan Fitzpatrick he was being replaced by Bryce Petty for the final four games.

Fitzpatrick learned of his permanent demotion from assistant coaches, moments before he faced the media. It made for an awkward news conference late Monday night because Fitzpatrick didn't seem to have the details.

Reporters already knew because they heard it minutes earlier from Bowles.

"I'd been meaning to tell him and I got tied up with a few things," the coach said Tuesday.

He acknowledged he could've handled it better.

"I probably could've and he tried to cover for me," Bowles said. "Like I said, I had a lot on my mind and got some things off my chest, and it kind of went over the wrong way. I'll talk to him [Wednesday morning]."

Bowles has come under fire for his handling of the quarterbacks this season, and this latest misstep provided more fodder for his critics.

The Jets are 3-9, having lost four in a row. Monday night was the most lopsided defeat under Bowles. On Sunday, they travel to the woeful San Francisco 49ers (1-11), who have dropped 11 straight.

Suddenly, Bowles, who went 10-6 in his first season, is facing questions about his job security. As usual, he spoke the day after the game with owner Woody Johnson, but he declined to say whether his job came up in the conversation.

"I know what my job status is and I don't worry about that," he said. "I'm going to do the same thing and keep grinding like I always do." The Jets seemed uninspired in the game, falling behind 14-0 before they made a first down. Afterward, some players questioned the team's effort, as did Bowles, who backed off on that Tuesday.

Bowles insisted he still has control of the locker room.

"I don't believe I ever lost it," he said.

"We had a bad game. We had a terrible game," Bowles added. "That's without question. [The fans] have a right to think that, but I know what we have in this locker room and I know what we have in this building. So I'm OK with that." Bowles said he's mulling lineup changes, but he already made the bombshell change by benching Fitzpatrick for the second time.

Fitzpatrick will be the No. 2 quarterback for at least two weeks, with rookie Christian Hackenberg remaining the No. 3. Bowles said he has no plans to play Hackenberg, a second-round pick.

"Not unless Bryce gets hurt," he said. "Right now, I do not see him getting any playing time." Hackenberg has received only scout-team reps, and it "would be a disservice to the kid" to put him in a game, according to Bowles.

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