A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Not ready for fun: The record isn't good, and Todd Bowles knows it. He's 20-28 in three seasons, with no playoff appearances. He's not hiding from it; he's attacking it.
"We get judged on wins and losses and, right now, I'm not a very good coach," he said at the conclusion of minicamp. "Hopefully, we can win a lot of games and I can become a very good coach."
Unlike some coaches, who lightened the mood in June with team trips, celebrity guest speakers and quirky activities (see: Bill Belichick, the no-fun coach), Bowles sent a message by sticking to football, just football, according to several players. Their only day to relax was June 7, the final day of OTAs. He made it a meetings-only day, cancelling practice -- a pleasant surprise for the players.
Oh, sure, Bowles invited military personnel to practice one day in the spring, as he usually does. They conducted team-building activities that included a taxing physical component, so it wasn't exactly party time.
The players took it upon themselves to kick back on their own time. For instance, the entire offensive line went for ice cream the other night (yes, really) and the defensive line enjoyed a gluttonous dinner at a New Jersey steakhouse, where the players devoured seafood towers that included everything from oysters to lobster. Mike Pennel wasn't able to attend, but he paid the bill. Big Mike, as his teammates call him, came up big.
But during work hours, it was football over fun -- a good move, according to one veteran.
"Fun is winning. When you're winning, that's fun," tackle Kelvin Beachum said. "That's what we're worried about. I applaud all the teams that do it -- I've been on teams that have done that -- but right now we're trying to build something so we can get to that point. You have to get to the playoffs before you get to have those kind of opportunities. We haven't been there yet."
2. If at first you don't succeed: Zack Martin's monster contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys this week served as the latest painful reminder for Jets fans on how their team botched the 2014 draft. Martin is one 13 players with multiple Pro Bowls from that talent-rich draft, one of the best in recent memory. With 12 selections, the Jets should've made a killing, but only one has become a productive player -- wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (sixth round).
Privately, former general manager John Idzik, the mastermind of the debacle, has told people his picks weren't properly developed. That's what you call passing the buck.
Anyway, the current regime is taking another swing at the 2014 draft. Thanks to free agency, the Jets have stocked up on '14ers: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (first round), center Travis Swanson (third), center Spencer Long (third), linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (fourth) and linebacker Avery Williamson (fifth).
Maybe they'll hit on a few this time.
3. Full house: It'll be crowded and cumbersome, fascinating and perplexing. We're talking about the quarterback situation, of course -- one of the NFL's longest-running soap operas.
There will be speculation over the next two months about the possibility of trading Bridgewater, but the reality is the Jets probably need him. My gut tells me they will go into the regular season with three quarterbacks. Here's why:
Josh McCown will be 39 and has an injury history; Bridgewater's surgically repaired knee is a question mark; and Sam Darnold is a rookie with only 22 college starts to his name. Bowles said Bridgewater is healthy, but I talked to someone with knowledge of his devastating injury in 2016 and that person wonders if his knee can withstand the rigors of a full-time gig.
Without a sure thing at quarterback, it pays to hedge your bets and keep all three.
There's one caveat: If Darnold has a lights-out preseason and wins the job, it wouldn't make sense to keep both McCown and Bridgewater. They'd be eating up $16 million in cap space while riding the bench.
4. New title for Lee: Linebacker Darron Lee is the odds-on favorite to be the primary playcaller on defense. In fact, he practiced with the speaker in helmet throughout the spring, enabling him to get the calls from the sideline. This is a big step for the former first-round pick, who called it "a huge honor." The middle linebacker usually gets the job, as Demario Davis and David Harris did in past years, but Avery Williamson is new to the system. There's also a chance he may not be an every-down player, and you want the playcaller to be on the field at all times.
"It means a lot," Lee said. "It shows the trust [Bowles] has in me, just as he knows I have that trust in him, that he'll put us in the best position to make plays."
5. Quick hits: A few thoughts and observations on minicamp and the OTA practices:
a. Darnold did what a high draft pick is supposed to do: He demonstrated the physical talent that got him into that position. What impressed me were his intangibles, the stuff you can't teach. I'm not going to put him in the Pro Bowl just yet -- remember, these were non-contact practices -- but he stamped himself a legitimate contender for the starting job.
b. I really liked Jeremy Bates' enthusiasm and teacher's mentality on the field. The new offensive coordinator will be vital in Darnold's development. Their personalities are different -- Bates is fire, Darnold ice -- but they're both gym rats. The offensive linemen seem to like Bates because of his commitment to the running game.
c. It's a deeper roster than a year ago, which will create good competition in training camp. There are a few positions where they actually have legitimate backups and might have to cut decent players.
f. Defensive end Leonard Williams looked quicker than in past years. Bowles singled him out, saying Williams has improved his conditioning. He's making a contract push.
g. Something tells me the seemingly never-ending search for punt and kickoff returners will continue. Rookie Trenton Cannon, the latest hope, is very fast, but he's not a natural punt returner.
6. Camp Bowles: The training camp schedule still is being finalized, but I'm hearing the annual Green & White scrimmage could be at Rutgers instead of MetLife Stadium. As usual, the Jets will train at their Florham Park, New Jersey facility, but it could be tough to see them, as the general public might have access to only three practices. Part of the reason is because they will be out of town the week of Aug. 12. They'll be in Richmond, Virginia for three joint practices with the Washington Redskins.
7. The last word: "I think I got to see him play one time in his high school career. And then in his Canadian league career, I got to see him one time in person. It was after our last minicamp practice last year. I flew to Vancouver to watch him play in their last preseason game. So it's kind of surreal to see him every day in practice. ... The first time I get to coach my son is in the National Football League, on the highest level of football possible. So that's a little different." -- defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers on DB Kacy Rodgers II.
8. On that note: Happy Father's Day to all the dads, especially to mine, who shows uncommon toughness on a daily basis.