New York Jets: Thoughts on New Coach Todd Bowles

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Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson arrives before the game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As reported about earlier this morning by our good buddy Craig Hoffman, the Jets officially announced their newest employee, head coach Todd Bowles. He replaces Rex Ryan, who is remaining in the division as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

Read Craig Hoffman’s article at the link above, as he gives you a great biography of the career of Todd Bowles, as well as his rumored offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey, and Kacy Rodgers, said to be his choice as defensive coordinator.

Now I wanted to give you my thoughts on the hiring.

First of all, I want to take my hat off to Woody Johnson, Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf for taking swift action on hiring a coach. The Jets had to make a hiring as soon as they were ready, and if Todd Bowles was their guy, great job doing it. Like I have said before, waiting for Dan Quinn to become available would have been very risky business. Making a decision like that puts all of your eggs in one basket. If plan A was Dan Quinn, and he decided to go elsewhere, what if plan B goes to another team? The Jets could not take that type of change. They recognized that, and made the move to sign Bowles.

I also commend the group for moving in for the kill, and sealing the deal when they had their man. Word had started to leak out that after meeting with the Jets, Todd Bowles was on his way to see the Falcons. I had read some source information that indicated that Bowles had become the favorite to land the Atlanta job. The Jets decided that Bowles was their guy, and they did not let him leave the building. Great work by Woody and company for getting aggressive, and getting the job done.

Among the candidates that were left, it is very hard to argue with Bowles’ credentials. After retiring as a player, take a look at his coaching career, courtesy of the team website:

Pro Coaching Career Defensive Coordinator ■ Arizona Cardinals (2013-14) ■ Philadelphia Eagles (2012 midseason) Interim Head Coach ■ Miami Dolphins (2011) Assistant Head Coach/Secondary Coach ■ Miami Dolphins (2008-11) Secondary Coach ■ Philadelphia Eagles (2012) ■ Dallas Cowboys (2005-07) ■ Cleveland Browns (2001-04) ■ New York Jets (2000) College Coaching Career Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach ■ Grambling State (1998-99) ■ Morehouse College (1997)

It is also hard to argue with all of the positive words that have come from Bowles’ former players. Even look at the NFL Network, on their “Total Access” show, the analysts kept repeating one phrase when discussing the NFL coaching searches. Willie McGinest and company all had this to say, “I love Todd Bowles”.

That says something. It says that Todd Bowles inspires players. That cannot be a bad thing. I am behind this decision 100%. In this group of candidates, Bowles is a great choice. I had no interest in Jack Del Rio. Dan Quinn would have been interesting, but the Jets couldn’t wait around. Gary Kubiak decided not to take any interviews. Tom Cable can stay out West. The Jets did just fine here.

I have my small “buts”, however. Read on.

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles against the Kansas City Chiefs at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike Craig, who gives a lot of great reasons for this choice, I am not as sold on Chan Gailey as Bowles choice for the offensive coordinator. I have mixed feelings here. Craig is absolutely right, Gailey has gotten a lot of production out of less than ideal players. But, his offenses have only ranked in the top ten two times. Overall, his team unit results as coordinator have been mediocre, more often than not.

The other “but” is more of a philosophical one.

The NFL is a passing league. The change has been obvious, and dramatic. It’s not a bad thing to have a good defense, just ask the Seattle Seahawks. But, to win in this league, you have to be able to throw the football, and to score points. Every team seems to be able to understand that, except for the New York Jets.

The Jets haven’t had an offensive-minded coach since 1995-1996, and we all know how that turned out. The Jets haven’t had a good offensive-minded coach since the 1980’s. It really felt like it was high time to change that, and bring in an offensive coach, which I was hoping for. I thought it was time to change the mindset around this team.

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But, it’s hard to really question it, since there weren’t a lot of offensive-minded candidates to choose from. So, it’s more of a philosophical difference, like I said before.

But, all in all, it’s hard to be unhappy with the Jets today. They have football people in place. Todd Bowles is the guy. Let’s see what he has got.