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MMQB / Si : Todd Bowles: ‘Nothing Surprises You’


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— As Todd Bowles walked through the indoor field at Jets’ headquarters on Wednesday afternoon, his partially replaced right knee wrapped in ice, he came upon his star defender giving an interview. There was Darrelle Revis, sitting on a bench and preparing to answer a question about how Bowles’s defensive style compares to that of other coaches the cornerback has played for. Before Revis could speak, Bowles chimed in. “Yes, what are they?” he said, walking by without breaking stride.

 

“Come on, coach,” a laughing Revis teased back.

 

Bowles’ easy rapport with perhaps the most important player in the locker room is critical. Just seven months into his tenure as the Jets’ head coach, Bowles has already faced a crisis heard ’round the NFL. Geno Smith’s broken jaw, inflicted by IK Enemkpali’s locker-room punch, has knocked the prospective starting quarterback out six to 10 weeks. That imbroglio occurred just a few weeks after defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was charged with resisting arrest, which could keep him off the field for longer than his four-game drug suspension. Bowles, who inherited the majority of his roster, was suddenly faced with holding his team together under the glare of the New York and national media.

 

Who is Todd Bowles ? And what is he made of as a leader ? The MMQB sat down with him this week to find out.

 

VRENTAS: You’ve had an interesting week. When you first heard what had happened between Smith and Enemkpali, what was your first reaction? Was there a part of you that thought someone was trying to prank you?

BOWLES: No. This is football. They’re grown men, and they’ve got to handle things better. You handle it the same way you handle any crisis, whether it was Sheldon’s thing or whether it was something else. You’re disappointed, and then you’ve got to look for solutions.

‘I don’t put up any fronts,’ Bowles says. ‘What you see is what you get.’

VRENTAS: There’s not a road map for how a head coach should handle one player punching another one in the locker room.

BOWLES: Definitely not. Not a road map. But if you’ve been in this business long enough you see quite a few things that happen. You just don’t want it to be your team, but when it’s your team, you’ve got to have a good pulse of your team to see how you handle it.

 

VRENTAS: Was there a situation from your playing or coaching career that has been helpful?

BOWLES: My whole career (chuckles). You see a lot, and you go through a lot. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your team. It can be on different teams. You try to learn from others’ mistakes so it doesn’t have to be yours. Over your whole career, you see a lot in this business, so nothing really surprises you. The first time you’re like, Wow; then the next time, you’re like, OK; then just nothing surprises you. You don’t want it to happen, but you’ve got to deal with it.

 

VRENTAS: You were an interim head coach before, after the head coach was fired in Miami, and you were an interim defensive coordinator in Philadelphia, after the defensive coordinator was fired. What did those experiences teach you about holding players together in turbulent situations?

BOWLES: It teaches you to be yourself, and not to get too high or too low when situations happen. You’ve just got to be ready to handle them. Because if you panic, everybody else panics. You can’t panic.

 

VRENTAS: Are you watching to see how players handle last week’s incident as test of sorts for what you have in the locker room?

BOWLES: I know what I have in there. We have some good guys, and we have some good leaders in that locker room. That’s not even a question. Every day is a test, and things come up, and you learn how to handle them together. It’s easy to handle them by yourself, but as a team, you have to handle them together. You have to be walking on the same page.

 

VRENTAS: Did what happened last week cause you to change any part of your approach as a head coach?

BOWLES: No, you can’t change your approach. Certain things are going to happen that are out of your control. You have to make sure everybody knows and understands and makes sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

VRENTAS: Will it affect how you view or coach Geno?

BOWLES: Not one thing. Nothing changed.

 

VRENTAS: You coached with Bill Parcells for two seasons in Dallas, when you were the Cowboys’ secondary coach. What did you take from being a part of his staff?

BOWLES: Everybody talks about the snarl and the demeanor, but he’s a very sharp, intelligent guy. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being such a smart football coach. And he teaches you the ball game. He’s a no-excuse, no-nonsense guy, but he teaches you how to coach the game, how to see the game, and he taught a lot of people how to play the game. On that staff, in 2005, we had a bunch of people who were pretty good coaches: [sean] Payton, [Tony] Sparano, [Todd] Haley, Kacy Rodgers.

 

VRENTAS: You’re the seventh member of that ’05 Cowboys staff hired as a head coach.

BOWLES: That says a lot about [Parcells]. It doesn’t say anything about us. It says a lot about him, and how he picks and grooms coaches, and what he can do with people, and how he sees talent and develops talent. He’s a Hall of Famer, and that says a bunch about him.

 

VRENTAS: Your most recent influence before becoming a head coach was Bruce Arians in Arizona. What rubbed off from him?

BOWLES: Bruce was my college head coach, so being a head coach with him in the league, he trusted me to be myself. Bruce’s [mentality] is defend every blade of grass, and always try to win every game. So he taught me the “no fear” attitude, which I already had, but he ensured it. And you play to win, all the time. In case of doubt, you play full speed. You don’t back off; you’re going for all or nothing.

 

VRENTAS: “No fear” in what respect?

BOWLES: How you play the game. Don’t be afraid to take chances and do things. Just play the game as you see it. If you have a thought, let it go through. Don’t second-guess yourself. Just go ahead and do it, and you live with the results.

 

VRENTAS: He always did that on offense. Go deep, and don’t settle for the check-downs.

BOWLES: Yes, he did. But it was calculated. It wasn’t just a whole aerial show. It was calculated in the things he did. When it’s calculated, don’t have any doubts. Just make sure you pull the trigger.

 

VRENTAS: Your defense has played that way, blitzing as much as you did in Arizona last season.

BOWLES: We did. But again, it was all calculated. Those guys were good players. They made me look good.

 

VRENTAS: Did you talk to Arians after what happened last week?

BOWLES: He texted me, to make sure I was alright. I said I was fine. He said OK, if you need to vent, let me know. I said OK.

 

VRENTAS: Have you taken him up on that offer?

BOWLES: No, he’s got his own team to run. You don’t do that. (laughs) In the offseason, though, I might vent to him a little bit.

 

VRENTAS: You’ve put up a strong front publicly responding to crises on your team. Do you feel like you’ve responded well?

BOWLES: I don’t put up any fronts. What you see is what you get. You don’t look back and say you’ve done a good or bad job. It’s a learning process. I don’t care if you’ve been a coach in this league for 10, 15 years, it’s an ever-growing process. You just try to weather the storm the best you can, and move forward and make sure the team is focused. There will be more things that come up throughout my coaching career, I’m sure. And you handle that as they come.

 

VRENTAS: The transition from coordinator to head coach is always an interesting one. How have you balanced your responsibilities?

BOWLES: It’s still a work in progress. You try to do a little bit of one thing one week, then you do a little bit the next week. You try to put your foot in where needed until you get a good feel for your team, which I think I do at this point. It’s a steady balancing act. You don’t ever get to say, I’m doing one thing all the time. It’s always a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

 

VRENTAS: Have you decided whether you want to call the defense during the regular season?

BOWLES: No, because [in the first preseason game], we were just letting guys play. There was no game-planning or play-calling really involved. It was very generic, and we were just trying to make sure guys could run around fast and know what they were doing. We’ll get a good feel these next two games coming up. A lot of other coaches [call plays], so it’s no big deal. You just want to see where your your team is at before you do that.

 

VRENTAS: What identity do you want your defense to have?

BOWLES: Aggressive. We’re going to try to be an offensive defensive team. We try to dictate and not be dictated to. That’s pretty much what it is.

 

VRENTAS: In picking an offensive coordinator, did you want someone who would complement that style?

BOWLES: It’s whole different set of circumstances. You don’t want him to be conservative, but you want him to be well-rounded. You want him to be able to teach, first of all. I wanted a good balance between the run game and the pass game. I wanted a guy that I know could command a room, but yet relate to the players and get his point across, and do a bunch of things that we do on defense but from an offensive standpoint. Chan [Gailey] was that guy.

 

VRENTAS: When news of the locker room fight broke, and Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped into the starting role, there were some people in the league who were more concerned about facing Fitzpatrick early in the season because of his long history in Gailey’s system. How big of a factor was that familiarity with the offense in bringing Fitzpatrick in?

BOWLES: You bring him in because he’s played a bunch of games in this league and he’s smart. You bring him in because he knows how to play. We brought him in because we still thought he could be a good player.

 

VRENTAS: With Rex Ryan in Buffalo and Mike Tannenbaum in Miami, your division rivals are people who have been in this building—they either coached or drafted your players. What kind of impact will that have on those games?

BOWLES: It makes it more interesting from a fan standpoint and a commentary standpoint. As a coach, you can’t approach it any other way. If you’re in this league long enough, you’re going to bounce around some places. All those guys have been in this building before. But that doesn’t have any bearing on the football game, so you’ve got to kind of keep it separate.

 

VRENTAS: But these are guys who know your players’ motivations, know their strengths and weaknesses, have coached them or drafted them.

BOWLES: I’ve been a lot of places where they’ve coached my players. That’s not a big deal. Players play for whatever reason they play. They play because they want to show those guys they can still play, and they play for themselves, and they play for the team. It is very interesting having all of them in the same division, though. I can’t recall that before. It’s interesting.

 

VRENTAS: Your reputation so far has been that you are understated. Will that change?

BOWLES: I just go with what the day says. If everything isn’t going right, I’ll probably be upset. If things are, I’ll probably be calm. If there are big plays, I’ll be excited. I just coach. I don’t worry about the understatement or the overstatement. Your personality comes out as it goes. You can’t just make one.

 

VRENTAS: What makes you believe in your team this season?

BOWLES: The guys we have, and the coaches we have coaching those guys. We’ve got some proven players and guys that have been dong it for a while. And we have some exciting new young guys. If we can jell, and the chemistry can come together, and the injury bug doesn’t bite us, we have a chance to have a solid team.

 

> http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2015/08/21/nfl-new-york-jets-todd-bowles-talking-football?ref=yfp

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VRENTAS: Did what happened last week cause you to change any part of your approach as a head coach?

BOWLES: No, you can’t change your approach. Certain things are going to happen that are out of your control. You have to make sure everybody knows and understands and makes sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

VRENTAS: Will it affect how you view or coach Geno?

BOWLES: Not one thing. Nothing changed.

 

 

 

I hate seeing comments like this.  I'm not going to look too far into it because it just a silly little interview...but how on earth do you walk away from you QB's jaw being broken and not change one thing in how you coach that individual?  That just doesnt make any sense to me.

 

And yes, you can change your approach.  Just ask Tom Coughlin.  He changed his approached and won a couple of Super Bowl's as a result.  

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VRENTAS: What identity do you want your defense to have?

BOWLES: Aggressive. We’re going to try to be an offensive defensive team. We try to dictate and not be dictated to. That’s pretty much what it is.
 
VRENTAS: In picking an offensive coordinator, did you want someone who would complement that style?
BOWLES: It’s whole different set of circumstances. You don’t want him to be conservative, but you want him to be well-rounded. You want him to be able to teach, first of all. I wanted a good balance between the run game and the pass game. I wanted a guy that I know could command a room, but yet relate to the players and get his point across, and do a bunch of things that we do on defense but from an offensive standpoint. Chan [Gailey] was that guy.

 

I love these too!  Sounds like Jets won't be playing scared anymore.  Hope this is true!

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Bowles is the real deal. He's got top notch coach written all over everything he does. The Jets really made a great move with him.

I agree 100%

 

Just because a coach doesn't say what posters want him to say doesn't make him a poor HC or not telling the truth.  A good HC IMO sees things fans can never see and hence makes their evaluations on hopefully the total picture and not just a piece of the screen.

 

Bowles sounds solid, like he is not looking to be the star, mimic other HCs, or be what he thinks others want him to be...... but rather Bowles is looking to just be a good HC for the NYJ and that is key...

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Results will dictate how the Bowles era is viewed. But it's refreshing to see how he's handled and

squashed the "incidents" that have come up. Especially with how the NY media loves to hang onto

and repeat the story. He answers it once and not again, forcing the media to move on

Agreed

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I agree 100%

Just because a coach doesn't say what posters want him to say doesn't make him a poor HC or not telling the truth. A good HC IMO sees things fans can never see and hence makes their evaluations on hopefully the total picture and not just a piece of the screen.

Bowles sounds solid, like he is not looking to be the star, mimic other HCs, or be what he thinks others want him to be...... but rather Bowles is looking to just be a good HC for the NYJ and that is key...

I like Bowles. I'm also 100% certain he's outright lying about his perception of Geno. That's fine, that's coach speak, but it's a lie.

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I hate seeing comments like this.  I'm not going to look too far into it because it just a silly little interview...but how on earth do you walk away from you QB's jaw being broken and not change one thing in how you coach that individual?  That just doesnt make any sense to me.

 

And yes, you can change your approach.  Just ask Tom Coughlin.  He changed his approached and won a couple of Super Bowl's as a result.  

JIF as a coach you have to stay consistent players pick up on bullsh*t and Bowles seems to be a no bullsh*t kinda guy . I see no reason why he should change anything at all.

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JIF as a coach you have to stay consistent players pick up on bullsh*t and Bowles seems to be a no bullsh*t kinda guy . I see no reason why he should change anything at all.

You're telling me that you just treat Geno and a guy like Sheldon the exact same way you've been handling them?  And ignore the fact you're starting QB was knocked out by a fringe player and you're best player is rolling around with weed, kids, running from the cops with a loaded weapons and getting arrested?  I'm sorry, but you're wrong.  You 100% have to recalculate the way you're developing both men because clearly whatever you were doing, isnt working. 

Good thing is, I think he was lying.  Like Slats said.  No way you can just stay the course with a player that's getting knocked out by other players.  There's an issue there and just staying consistent is damn near retarded.  You 100% have to treat him different because he's clearly an immature a$$hole.

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You're telling me that you just treat Geno and a guy like Sheldon the exact same way you've been handling them?  And ignore the fact you're starting QB was knocked out by a fringe player and you're best player is rolling around with weed, kids, running from the cops with a loaded weapons and getting arrested?  I'm sorry, but you're wrong.  You 100% have to recalculate the way you're developing both men because clearly whatever you were doing, isnt working. 

Good thing is, I think he was lying.  Like Slats said.  No way you can just stay the course with a player that's getting knocked out by other players.  There's an issue there and just staying consistent is damn near retarded.  You 100% have to treat him different because he's clearly an immature a$$hole.

I see where you're coming from . What you are saying seems to be how you handle those guys in a one on one situation maybe take them in you're office read the riot act whatever ... But when it comes to dealing with them in front of the team in a practice atmosphere and in the facility you have to stay consistent IMO maybe we are just looking at 2 different scenarios .

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I see where you're coming from . What you are saying seems to be how you handle those guys in a one on one situation maybe take them in you're office read the riot act whatever ... But when it comes to dealing with them in front of the team in a practice atmosphere and in the facility you have to stay consistent IMO maybe we are just looking at 2 different scenarios .

Agreed....we're looking at it differently.  You absolutely you dont change the way you handle the on field stuff, but in the meeting rooms, one on one...he better be changing his conversations with them.

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-- What we learned on Wednesday, Day 28 of New York Jets training camp :

1. Bowles prefers gassers, not push-ups: Trying to combat the team's penalty problem (17 in the last game), head coach Todd Bowles instituted a new rule at practice: The team runs gassers if it commits more than five penalties in a practice. And so the players ran sprints Wednesday because they compiled six penalties. Previously, they had to run gassers only twice in camp -- punishment for fighting. Bowles believes the sprints will curtail the number of penalties. Why? "Professional guys don't want to run," he said. Rex Ryan had a different approach, making the players, coaches and staff members do push ups on the field whenever a flag was thrown. Different strokes ...

2. Good news on the linebacker front: Turns out that Calvin Pace (strained groin) didn't suffer a significant injury on Monday. Pace is day-to-day, according to Bowles. He probably won't play Saturday night against the New York Giants -- what's the point? -- giving him ample time to rehab for the season opener. Pace's injury bears watching because he's 34 years old, and soft-tissue injuries tend to linger for the older guys. Trevor Reilly, fighting for a roster spot, is expected to start for Pace.

3. They're playing musical wide receivers: You'll see a lot of receivers in the mix on Saturday night, especially with Chris Owusu (concussion) and Shaquelle Evans (back) expected to play. The Jets have some tough decisions to make, so look for Quincy Enunwa, TJ Graham and DeVier Posey to get a good run. Jeremy Kerley (concussion) and rookie Devin Smith (ribs) are out.

4. Almost ready to name starters: Some coaches believe in finalizing their opening-day lineup for the third preseason game, creating a dress rehearsal-type feel. Bowles said most of the starting jobs are set, but "some of them still have to prove themselves and get a lot more playing time this week." He didn't want to name names, but the hunch here is that he's referring to his youngest would-be starters. He's kind of an old-school coach that way, not wanting to anoint players before they've paid their dues. In that respect, I suspect he'll be studying rookie defensive end Leonard Williams and safety Calvin Pryor, who missed the second game because of a death in his family. The right guard competition is over. Truth be told, it never began. Willie Colon took control from the outset.

5. They didn't offer Osi a contract: On Wednesday, Osi Umenyiora signed a one-day contract so he could retire as a member of the Giants. Good for him; he had a terrific career. In his news conference, he noted that he received an offer from an undisclosed team on Tuesday. It reportedly was the Jets. Here's what I heard: On Tuesday, the Jets -- compiling a short list of available outside linebackers -- reached out to Umenyiora's reps to clarify his playing status. Obviously, the Jets are hurting at outside linebacker, but I don't think it was a case of them trying to talk him out of retirement. They ended up signing an undrafted free agent named Byron Johnson who was cut by the Buffalo Bills in June.

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/53481/jets-coach-todd-bowles-institutes-new-rule-to-curb-rash-of-penalties

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–- Nearly a month into his first training camp, Todd Bowles thinks he has a good grip on what the New York Jets are and perhaps can be this season.“I have a pretty good idea what we have,” Bowles said as the team broke training camp on Thursday. “With the exception of three or four guys, I have a good idea of everybody else. I understand what we can be. I know what kind of work we have ahead of us but I have a good idea of what we have.”

“I see we have potential to have a good team,” the first-year coach added. “But we got to gel and the chemistry has to come together. It is OK to have pieces but I understand what those pieces are and we have a lot of work ahead of us but we do have the talent to get there.”On Saturday, Bowles may get a better idea of what he has on offense as the starters are expected to play the first half and perhaps a little into the third quarter against the New York Giants.With the Jets expecting to have a stingy defense, the offense will have to hold up its end and Saturday should give the Jets a better idea of what they have on the offensive side.

The third preseason game is when teams use their starters the most and that means this will be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s biggest opportunity of the preseason to show what he can do with his familiarity of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s offense and with the receiving tandem of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.“A lot of these games, stuff that is not expected is going to happen during the (third) game whether it is a new blitz or a new issue we didn’t foresee that is going to come up,” Fitzpatrick said. “So we got to be able to talk about it on the sideline and adjust and overcome the issue. Those are good things to work through.”Fitzpatrick wants to work on his timing with his receivers and adjusting to different coverages. Considering that the starters won’t play much in the final preseason game –- if at all in some cases –- the Jets’ offense knows this will be good indicator of how much more work it needs.

“This weekend will be a truest test to see where we are at not only as a team but as position groups,” Decker said. “It has gotten better day by day. Now the true test will be going against someone else for a full half and a couple of series.”Since taking over for the injured Geno Smith, Fitzpatrick has gotten more comfortable with his receivers and his timing according to Bowles.Certainly Fitzpatrick’s familiarity with Gailey’s system –- the two were together in Buffalo for three seasons –- has been helpful.“He is a guy who knows the system well, he has played a lot of football so he is comfortable in the huddle,” Decker said. “Not a lot of things shake him… You got to be poised in very critical situations.“He’s got his fundamentals, he knows how to read defense, he is savvy, he makes the right throws and checks at the line, he is a guy that is going to put us in the right position a lot more than the other way. Just nice to have someone of his caliber, intelligence and savvy to be leading us offensively.”

Decker said the passing game will be able to measure progress on Saturday by how many completions are made.“It’s the small thing that a lot of people don’t see,” Decker said. “Certain throws, getting open in this league is difficult. Getting open could be a yard or two yards. Having the ball in the right spot and him knowing where you will be on specific routes, and having that success in practice and game really determines progress.”Regardless of how well the Jets do against the Giants, Bowles has a good idea of what he’s coaching entering this season.

So is he happy with what he thinks he has ?

“Yeah,” Bowles said. “I’m very happy.”

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/53519/todd-bowles-has-pretty-good-idea-of-what-jets-are

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 Rex Ryan had a different approach, making the players, coaches and staff members do push ups on the field whenever a flag was thrown. Different strokes ...

 

'The Jets organization then went on to win the World Pushup Championships 6 years in a row.'

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bowles: Geno moving forward from incident

Jets coach Todd Bowles shares his thoughts on the incident between Geno Smith and IK Enemkpali and his preparation for the 2015 season. Plus, he weighs in on the difficulty of coaching through radio headset issues

>   http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Phil Simms had one discussion with new Jets coach Todd Bowles when Bowles was defensive coordinator for the Cardinals, but that’s all it took.

“I just remember thinking that was one interesting conversation, like really interesting,” said Simms, the CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback.

“I was extremely intrigued, like, ‘Oh, my God, when this guy is a head coach watch out.’ He is an aggressive, confident thinker. That’s the best way to put it.”Bowles will get his first chance to prove Simms right in his head coaching debut Sunday when the Jets face the Browns at MetLife Stadium. The pressure of meaningful games might not seem like much considering the offseason of controversy Bowles has endured, between the Geno Smith punch and Sheldon Richardson’s suspension plus arrest.Former Steelers coach and current CBS studio analyst Bill Cowher was impressed with how Bowles handled the Smith situation and said he can relate to what Bowles is going through now.Cowher replaced the legendary Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh, while Bowles is taking over for Rex Ryan, who has a legendary personality.

“I think the most important thing is just be yourself, you can’t be anybody else,” Cowher said. “He knows the culture he’s trying to create. It does take time to develop trust, … I like the makeup and dynamic they have between GM [Mike Maccagnan], coach and staff. Now, let’s get some players. They have a solid foundation in place, and it will take time to translate with a sense of trust and culture.”While Bowles readies for his first season, Tom Coughlin enters his 12th as the Giants coach against the Cowboys on Sunday night. Coughlin has two Super Bowls on his resume, but has missed the playoffs three straight seasons and has replaced his offensive and defensive coordinator in the past two offseasons to fix glaring deficiencies.“One of the toughest things is to understand that you have to make changes in your coaching staff,” said Cowher, who spent 15 years as Steelers coach.

“And that’s not always the easiest thing to do, to say you are not getting this done when you may not have the best players. Sometimes you have to do to that as a head coach, you have to shake things up. I like that Tom is loyal, but he is not afraid to make changes. One thing about Tom Coughlin: You know what you are going to get day in and day out.”But is this his last chance to fix the Giants? This is the third season in which Coughlin’s job in New York has felt in jeopardy. The previous two times he has responded with surprising title runs. One this year would be a shock, as well, with a questionable defense under Steve Spagnuolo, who returned to the Giants this offseason to replace Perry Fewell.“It’s safe to say there’s a lot of stuff going on with the New York Giants. How’s the defense going to play? What about the linebackers? What about the offensive line? And old Tom Coughlin,” Simms said.

“I’ve been around him enough to know that his energy and desire to win are like it always is. I don’t think it’s a distraction for the team. If you are on the team you understand the situation you’re in. It’s a big year for a lot of people.”

http://nypost.com/2015/09/10/one-conversation-has-phil-simms-extremely-intrigued-with-todd-bowles/?ref=yfp

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Nobody really knows how this is going to work out.

Not you, not Woody Johnson, not Fireman Ed, not the talk radio know-it-alls, not the sports networks NFL insiders.Not even Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles — the two lead characters in this new Jets show — truly know what lies ahead for this franchise that has gone four years and counting without a playoff berth.The Jets start their 2015 season with a 1 p.m. home game against the Browns on Sunday at MetLife Stadium with yet another new regime of general manager and head coach in place.There is a sense from those in the know in NFL circles that Johnson’s choice of Maccagnan at general manager and Bowles at head coach might finally get this thing right for the long term.

There was never that sense when Johnson made the telegraphed Management 101 blunder of hiring his previous general manager (John Idzik) and forcing him to keep Rex Ryan as his head coach. Forced marriages almost never work.And, it now seems in hindsight that regardless of whomever Idzik might have hired as his hand-picked coach had he been given the option, the Idzik era was never going to succeed. His two poor drafts were enough sample-size proof that personnel evaluation was not his strength. And that’s never a good thing for a team whose roster is very thin on talent.So, enter Maccagnan and Bowles, who are one day away from embarking on their first real NFL game at their respective positions.The bombastic and blustery coach (Ryan) was replaced by Bowles, a buttoned-down disciplinarian, and the bean-counter GM with dodgy talent-evaluating skills (Idzik) was replaced by Maccagnan, a scout and player personnel specialist to his core.

Jets fans would like to think the pieces are finally in place to build a sustained run of success — not the flash-in-the-pan spurts that tease the fan base they got during the Ryan years.But here is the rub: How patient is Johnson willing to be as Maccagnan and Bowles implement their system, which is based on methodical and smart building?There are some Maccagnan confidants who wonder with some concern whether Johnson can avoid his tendency to become too influenced by his impatient fan base and become too impatient himself.This is an owner, after all, who told me at the offseason league owners meetings before the 2008 season that his intent was to model the Jets after the Giants with the Mara ownership and the Steelers with the Rooney ownership, pointing out how those franchises have stayed the course with stability at head coach.And then, after force-feeding Brett Favre on then-coach Eric Mangini against his will, Johnson caved to his angry fan base and fired Mangini after a 9-7 playoff-less season when the Favre experiment imploded in the final five games.

Maccagnan is the Jets’ third general manager in the past four years. Already, there seems to be a positive synergy between him and Bowles. The two have been very agreeable on personnel decisions through the draft and free agency and Maccagnan is adamant about not meddling with Bowles’ coaching. Whenever a question is asked of Maccagnan about players and how they might be utilized, he quickly defers to Bowles.“You don’t take a job if you really don’t jell with the guy that you’re going to working for, and Mike and I jelled right away,’’ Bowles said. “That was one of the biggest reasons I took this job — [Maccagnan] and Mr. Johnson.

“We see players the same way,’’ Bowles continued. “We can see things on film the same way. We understand the business part and the football side the same way, trying to make them merge together. If I say something, it’s like it was going to come out of his mouth, and if he says something, it almost comes out of my mouth.“Mike’s been outstanding. Working with him has been totally nothing but joy.’’Bowles said he doesn’t believe a coach and GM having this kind of simpatico is “rare.’’ But he did acknowledge: “I just think it’s hard to match up. I’ve seen some great [tandems] over the years, I’ve seen some not so great over the years.’’

Which will this turn out to be ?

Nobody really knows how this is going to work out. Those who say they know are simply throwing spaghetti against the wall hoping some strands stick.

>    http://nypost.com/2015/09/11/woody-johnsons-typical-mistake-looms-over-bowles-maccagnan/?ref=yfp

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The Todd Bowles era opens Sunday at MetLife Stadium, where the New York Jets face the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. The top storylines  :

1. New man in charge: There's always an air of curiosity when a head coach makes his debut. Bowles has been under the microscope for eight months in no-pressure situations, but now we get to study him in the crucible of a regular-season game. So many questions: How will he manage the game? Is he a risk-taker? Will he be conservative? Can he make adjustments on the fly? What about clock management? Bowles might not call the defensive plays -- coordinator Kacy Rodgers handled it in the preseason -- but he'll be directly involved in the defense. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will call plays from the booth. The dress rehearsals are over. It's showtime.

2. Ryan's hope: Next up on the Jets' quarterback merry-go-round is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will become the 10th Jets' quarterback to attempt a pass since 2008. Only the Minnesota Vikings (13) and Oakland Raiders (11) have had more during that span. The word that comes to mind with Fitzpatrick is "comfort." There's a comfort level between him and Gailey, and that will help Gailey call the game. There will be no surprises. This isn't their first rodeo together, and that relationship has fueled the confidence level of the players. Fitzpatrick knows his limitations. As he said, "I want to be great for who I am and what type of quarterback I am." His track record doesn't inspire confidence. He's the only quarterback since the 1970 merger to start a game for five different teams and fail to post a winning record with each team, according to Elias. Fitzpatrick believes he has matured as a player. We're about to find out if he's right.

3. Offensive game plan: The spotlight has focused on new wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who appears ready for a bounce-back season, but this game could revolve around Chris Ivory and the rushing attack. Like most defensive-minded coaches, Bowles wants a strong running game. Look for them to run out of spread formations, with three and four receivers -- a Gailey hallmark. Statistically, Ivory is much more productive this way, compared to a standard, two-receiver set. The Browns' run defense was awful last season (32nd), but they beefed up the interior by drafting nose tackle Danny Shelton and signing end Randy Starks. The Jets will test them on the edges. Fitzpatrick & Co. didn't face any 3-4 fronts in the preseason, which could create problems. Mike Pettine's scheme -- think Rex Ryan -- creates confusion.

4. Defensive game plan: Bowles landed this gig, in large part, because of his defensive acumen. He's a blitz-heavy coach whose main objective is to make the quarterback uncomfortable. In two seasons as the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator, he blitzed on 47 percent of the dropbacks, the highest blitz percentage in the league. You'll see a lot of eight-man fronts, with the cornerbacks in single coverage and a safety in the deep  middle. This is why they spent big bucks to bring back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, both of whom can play press-man coverage. The Browns don't present many problems on the outside, so Bowles could be ultra-aggressive, attacking journeyman quarterback Josh McCown. The front seven will be tested in the running game because the Browns have an excellent offensive line.

5. Perspective is important: Win or lose, remember it's only one game. The Jets won their last four openers, and look what happened -- four straight non-winning seasons.

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/54046/jets-open-with-new-coach-new-quarterback-and-many-questions

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— Todd Bowles' first training camp as the Jets' head coach emphasized decisiveness and accountability.

In the wake of a series of off-field incidents—a pair of suspensions, an arrest, a locker-room punch that broke the jaw of the starting quarterback—Bowles reacted (at least in public) by basically putting his head down and moving forward. And by having the Jets grind through a camp that often included wind sprints as punishment, Bowles wasn't shy about establishing who was in charge.But behind the scenes, heading into Sunday's opener against the Browns, that method to Bowles' madness has been rooted in his having been a player—and a player who once won a Super Bowl, to boot.Bowles is one of eight NFL head coaches to have played in the league. But for many Jets, he's the first former player to be the boss. Also, seven of Bowles' assistants have experience as NFL players.

And it's ... different.

"It's different when a guy who's played the game and been around success, been a part of success, compared to a guy who's kind of made his way just being around ball but never been in the trenches or being out on the field actually getting after it," said right guard Willie Colon. "I think he understands what a ballplayer looks like, what it should look like from a team standpoint."

NOT MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY

The emphasis on discipline is there—"He's a leaf on the [Bill] Parcells tree," Colon added—but the Bowles Way is not a management style predicated on top-down communication. Bowles has also worked to understand his players by welcoming their input. 

"He's able to see both sides," said inside linebacker David Harris. "If we have a question about what we see on the field, we can go to him, and a lot of times he's able to understand what we're trying to get across."And while Bowles can be demanding, he doesn't always expect perfection. That might seem counter-intuitive, especially in an NFL world dominated by control-freak head coaches. But inside linebacker Demario Davis said it's because Bowles understands how much can happen to affect a given play."Instead of thinking that you can draw it up and win, and it's going to happen just like that, he understands the give and take," Davis said. "That doesn't change his drive toward excellence, but it just kind of makes you more relaxed."

That kind of macro approach, in turn, has helped the players to see how best to tend to what it is they can control.

"As a player, you just know that your coach understands the tough situations that you're in," Davis said. "He knows when to tell you, 'This is one is going to be on you. You've got to be able to make this play because you're going to be by yourself.'

"He also understands which players he can put in those types of situations and win."

ESTABLISHING A CULTURE

Mike Smith, the former Falcons head coach and the co-author of the forthcoming Wiley book "You Win in the Locker Room First," said in a phone interview that a team's culture is established by its head coach and general manager, but that it has to grow from the bottom up."You want to be inclusive," said Smith, who went 66-46 in seven seasons with the Falcons that included four playoff appearances. "When people feel that they're a part of it, they take ownership of it.

"The core of your success is going to be dictated by the culture that you have. When you start talking about the culture of a locker room, you have to be guys that like each other and that like to be around one another outside of the locker room and help each other out."Obviously, then, the starting quarterback getting his jaw broken by a punch from a teammate isn't the kind of culture the Jets want to cultivate. But Bowles and first-year general manager Mike Maccagnan reacted quickly by cutting the puncher, linebacker IK Enemkpali. Bowles and his staff then got to work preparing Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over at quarterback while Geno Smith's jaw heals, without fretting about Smith's standing upon his return.And Sheldon Richardson, whose drug-policy suspension was followed by an arrest? He might be one of the Jets' best players, but he began training camp as a backup.

GIVE IT TIME

Richardson's situation and the Geno Punch show how quickly and unpredictably things can change for a team—a topic Bowles has emphasized repeatedly this summer. But those incidents don't have to define the Jets' season, Mike Smith said."It can be a situation that will galvanize a team and bring a team together," Mike Smith said. "Unfortunately, it [sometimes] takes a negative situation to do that. What's going to define the Jets' season is how they perform on those 16 opportunities that they're given."

Bowles' efforts to relate to his players on their level seems to be a big part of the sort of culture he's trying to foster. But it's still a process, Bowles said."You're not going to come in say, 'This is the way I want to do it,' and then bam, it gets done," Bowles said."You try to show them how to win and how to lose, and how to practice and how to be professional, on and off the field. You have to build that through the course of time, because you have to build trust with the guys. They have to believe in you, and we have to believe in them."

> http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2015/09/how_todd_bowles_former_player_influences_todd_bowl.html#incart_river

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VRENTAS: Your most recent influence before becoming a head coach was Bruce Arians in Arizona. What rubbed off from him?

BOWLES: Bruce was my college head coach, so being a head coach with him in the league, he trusted me to be myself. Bruce’s [mentality] is defend every blade of grass, and always try to win every game. So he taught me the “no fear” attitude, which I already had, but he ensured it. And you play to win, all the time. In case of doubt, you play full speed. You don’t back off; you’re going for all or nothing.

 

VRENTAS: “No fear” in what respect?

BOWLES: How you play the game. Don’t be afraid to take chances and do things. Just play the game as you see it. If you have a thought, let it go through. Don’t second-guess yourself. Just go ahead and do it, and you live with the results.

 

VRENTAS: He always did that on offense. Go deep, and don’t settle for the check-downs.

BOWLES: Yes, he did. But it was calculated. It wasn’t just a whole aerial show. It was calculated in the things he did. When it’s calculated, don’t have any doubts. Just make sure you pull the trigger.

 

VRENTAS: Your defense has played that way, blitzing as much as you did in Arizona last season.

BOWLES: We did. But again, it was all calculated. Those guys were good players. They made me look good.

 

> http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2015/08/21/nfl-new-york-jets-todd-bowles-talking-football?ref=yfp

Awesome answers

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-- This is Todd Ball.

The New York Jets were aggressive and opportunistic. They got better as the game progressed. They didn't hurt themselves with dumb plays. They didn't waste timeouts. They didn't get called for too many men on the field. In the end, they showed killer instinct, giving Johnny Manziel their definition of A&M -- attacking and menacing.

The Jets scored 17 unanswered points Sunday to beat the Cleveland Browns, 31-10, making Todd Bowles a 1-0 coach. His last two predecessors, Rex Ryan and Eric Mangini, also won their debuts in impressive fashion, but we'll save the big-picture analysis for another day. For now, on the morning after the start of a new era, Bowles gets a gold star from us. After the game, he got a game ball from his players."He's a calming presence, but he also has a lot of fire," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "You look at him on the sideline and kind of feel at ease. He's very comfortable in who he is and in his role. We certainly feed off that."

Opening day probably felt like a breeze after a tumultuous summer that included the Geno Smith punch-out, the Sheldon Richardson arrest bombshell and a handful of other mini-calamities that might have caused some coaches to lose their cool. Bowles never did. Perhaps not coincidentally, his players showed the same poise in the crucible of the season opener.Make no mistake, the Jets had the better roster on Sunday, but they also were the better-coached team. They committed only four penalties, finished plus-four in turnovers and made defensive adjustments on the fly, limiting the Browns to only 136 yards after Manziel's 54-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. And the Jets did it without cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who left in the second quarter with a potentially serious knee injury.

"I feel like that was the only play they had all day," cornerback Buster Skrine said. "We just kept coming."

Offensively, the Jets kept it simple. They didn't try to hypnotize the opponent with ever-changing personnel packages and funky motions and shifts, as former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg tried to do on a weekly basis. (In the end, he confused his own players more than the opponent.) His successor, Chan Gailey, employed mostly a one-back, three-receiver set, using Chris Ivory on power runs out of the spread and operating a conservative passing attack with Fitzpatrick.It worked. You could tell by the smile on Calvin Pace's face. After years of trying to come up with alibis for a malfunctioning and turnover-prone offense, the graybeard linebacker was able to enjoy a rare day in which the guys on the other side of the ball actually showed up.

"So happy, man, so happy," he said. "It's good to know we don't have to do it all by ourselves."

Bowles was overshadowed by some terrific individual performances, but don't under-estimate the coach on a day like this. He followed the advice of his Hall-of-Fame mentor, Bill Parcells, who called Bowles last week and told him to coach the game the way you want to coach it. He did, and you didn't see some of the game-management glitches so common in the Ryan era. The coach was poised; the team was poised. That's no accident.In typical fashion, Bowles downplayed everything. Technically, it wasn't his first game as a head coach. He was the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins at the end of the 2011 season, going 2-1. That scenario, he said, made for "a different kind of butterflies. ... Taking over in Miami, you just hoped they respond because they don't have to. They know there's going to be a new coach next year."

And now ?

"There are hopeful butterflies," he said.

His team and its fan base feel the same way.

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/54121/calm-and-fiery-todd-bowles-gives-plenty-of-reasons-for-hope

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Offense

After a slow start, Chan Gailey’s crew really clicked. The offense rolled up 333 yards and had just one turnover. The unit was able to convert turnovers into 21 points, something that has been a problem in the past. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (15-of-24, 179 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 95.7 rating) did enough to lead the Jets to the win. WR Brandon Marshall (6 receptions, 62 yards, one touchdown, one forced fumble) made a huge impact in his first game as a Jet. RB Chris Ivory (20 rushes, 91 yards, two touchdowns) looks primed for a big year.

Grade: A –

Defense

Cleveland put together an impressive opening drive that ended when Calvin Pryor and Demario Davis drilled quarterback Josh McCown at the goal line, forcing a fumble and sending McCown to the locker room. The defense had four of the Jets’ five takeaways, a welcome sign after 2014 when turnovers were rare. The unit limited Johnny Manziel outside of the 54-yard touchdown pass and a few scrambles.

Grade: B+

Special teams

It was a quiet day for this unit. Jeremy Kerley returned two punts for 13 yards and Kellen Davis had a kick return for 13 yards. Nick Folk made a 33-yard field goal and punter Ryan Quigley averaged 43.7 yards on three punts. Nothing good, nothing bad from this unit. Just a quiet day.

Grade: C

Coaching

Todd Bowles got his first win as Jets coach in decisive fashion. Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers get credit for making the adjustments to slow the Browns’ offense down after a fast start. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey called a strong game.

Grade: A

> http://nypost.com/2015/09/13/jets-report-card-what-a-day-for-todd-bowles-and-his-staff/

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—The Jets went 4-12 last year and haven’t made the playoffs since the 2010 season, yet the fans in MetLife Stadium’s Section 124 were strangely confident. Ask them to forecast how many games the Jets will win this season and many will answer with a two-digit number.

“Nine or 10,” Enrique Aguirre said.

“Nine,” a guy in a Darrelle Revis jersey said.

“The Jets will win 10 games and the division,” Falcon McCutcheon said.And these predictions came around kickoff Sunday, well before the Jets sealed their season-opening 31-10 win over the Cleveland Browns behind a spectacular, do-it-all debut by receiver Brandon Marshall.

The Jets’ new leaders, head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan, both New Jersey natives, have tried to temper expectations for the 2015 season, saying they aren’t sure how good their team is yet. The Section 124 faithful didn’t mess around. They’re sure their ferocious defense and just-potent-enough offense will return them to the playoffs.“We got a lot of the old crew back,” said McCutcheon, a 44-year-old Manhattan chef. He was referring to Revis, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and linebacker David Harris, whom the Jets brought back to the team this offseason. Plus, in contrast to the perception of the forlorn Jets fan booing his team’s own draft pick, McCutcheon added: “We’re Jets fans. We always think we’re going to win the Super Bowl.”

Still, they didn’t act that way in a messy first quarter against a Browns team that looks as if they could supplant the Jets as the nation’s football joke.If you’re watching TV, Section 124 is behind the end zone to the right of the screen. Fireman Ed, the famous fan, used to lead the “J-E-T-S” cheers around the stadium from his seat at the front of this section, but not on Sunday. He marked his return to MetLife Stadium by spearheading the chant from different lower-level sections, including one next to 124.The crowd in Section 124 isn’t exactly genteel, but there was surprisingly little cursing, unless you count the taking-the-Lord’s-name-in-vain Third Commandment as cursing, in which case: Whoa, there was a lot of cursing.

One dependable source was Bill Jones, a 40-year-old Con Edison employee. When the Jets decided to run rather than pass on a third-and-3 early in the second quarter and failed to get the first down, Jones stood up and yelled: “Are you kidding me?!? This is worse than Rex Ryan!” When Cleveland backup quarterback Johnny Manziel hit a wide-open Travis Benjamin, who had beaten Cromartie, for a 54-yard touchdown, Jones screamed: “WHAT’S GOING ON?!? C’MON: THE CLEVELAND BROWNS!”At this point in the second quarter, the Browns led, 7-0. The Jets had rushed seven times for 22 yards, while Ryan Fitzpatrick had attempted just three passes. “Let’s start throwing the ball boys,” the guy in the Darrelle Revis jersey said. “The run isn’t working.”Pass is what Fitzpatrick did. He found Chris Owusu for a 43-yard gain. On the next play, he threw an interception to Cleveland’s Tashaun Gipson. “Aw, no, Jesus!” Jones said, before screaming: “YES!” Immediately after the interception, Marshall, who had been the intended receiver, ripped the ball out of Gipson’s hands and secured it. The pigskin never even touched the ground.

After Chris Ivory rushed for a touchdown on the next play, everyone in the section chanted in unison: “BRAN-DON MAR-SHALL!”As the Jets defense continued to stymie Manziel, who ended the game with an interception and two lost fumbles, Fitzpatrick found Eric Decker for a 15-yard touchdown just before the halftime, and then hit a leaping Marshall on the Jets’ first drive of the third quarter to give the team a 21-10 lead. Both scores happened in the end zone opposite Section 124, but Marshall remembered to spread the cheers. After his touchdown grab, Marshall ran over and stood in front of Section 124, his arms out, palms up, as if to say: I can’t hear you. The crowd acquiesced: “BRAN-DON MAR-SHALL! BRAN-DON MAR-SHALL!”Marshall finished the game with six catches, one touchdown and one forced fumble. He gave Fitzpatrick, who was 15-for-24 for 179 yards and two touchdowns, the dynamic target that the Jets hadn’t had in years.

Fans debated who the team’s last spectacular receiver was. They settled on Keyshawn Johnson, who last played for the green and white in 1999.For the rest of the game, Dan Malone, a 42-year-old season-ticket holder, hardly stood up. He politely clapped on well-executed Jets plays. He was never this relaxed at MetLife Stadium. “It’s happened maybe once in the past six years, looking up at the clouds and not having a heart attack,” Malone said.When rain started dropping with five minutes left in the game, cheerful fans started heading to the exits, doubling down on their predictions of double-digit wins. Yet Jones was still not sure. Maybe seven games, he thought. One game isn’t a reliable harbinger of the season. After all, the Jets had beaten the Cleveland Browns.

>   http://www.wsj.com/articles/theres-a-new-hope-for-jets-fans-1442190044?ru=yahoo?mod=yahoo_itp&ref=yfp

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I like Bowles. I'm also 100% certain he's outright lying about his perception of Geno. That's fine, that's coach speak, but it's a lie.

Why is it a lie? 

Unlike most on this board, Geno is still 24 yrs old. It amazes me how so many overlook this, Geno is a kid, to Bowles he's a kid.  Geno is obviously not a finished product, Bowles knows this, but fans don't.  Bowels isn't a fan, he is going to develop Geno, that's his job, he's not worried about the dumbass fans that want him with the morning garbage.

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