Todd Bowles: New York Jets Head Coach
Speaking in terms of becoming a head coach in the NFL, Todd Bowles is a defensive coordinator that I’m not sold on. With that said, this was the perfect timing for the 51-year-old, off a great 2014 campaign with some undesirable coaching destinations. I’m well aware of how nameless the Arizona Cardinals’ front-7 is defensively, considering that Calais Campbell was banged up for a bit and Darryl Washington was suspended. The secondary wasn’t playing at the high level they did in the previous season, despite known commodities in Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. One of the better cornerback tandems in the league, Peterson and Cromartie struggled for half the season under Bowls, a supposed-defensive back specialist,
Bowles applied the same man-to-man method when he was DC for the Philadelphia Eagles, stacking the box with extra defenders to contain opposing QBs and RBs. That left the secondary in consistent 1 on 1 matchups. This is a passing league and when you face the better signal callers, eventually you have to get pressure on the passer without extra blitzers. The Cardinals were 29th against the pass, an area the Jets struggled in despite finishing 14th against the pass. Bowles inherits the 6th-ranked defense after “coaching up” the Cardinals to 24th, but really it was allowing only the 5th fewest points defensively (18.7).
Last time I checked, defense wasn’t the problematic side of the ball under last year’s coach, Rex Ryan, who is now coaching the rival Buffalo Bills. With that said, Bowles brings Chan Gailey with him as offensive coordinator, a decision that could be viewed with polarity. Gailey, former coach of the rival Bills as well, called the plays for C.J. Spiller’s best career year to date. They didn’t find the winning formula, so returning to the division, Gailey gets to work with Geno Smith instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick now. The pessimist would say that Bowles made an outdated decision to bring Gailey back into the league after a couple years off.
Maybe Bowles can bring a player with him from the Cardinals like former Jets corner, Cromartie. Bowles’ predecessor, Ryan, has already stated that he covets inside linebacker David Harris, one of the Jets’ free agents. I believe Bowles brings experience and a very aggressive style, so he has to address the secondary because he won’t have Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and possibly Cromartie. Things got stale with Ryan guiding a sinking ship after making a couple of AFC Championship appearances, but I’m not impressed enough by Bowles to say he’s a legitimate head coach coming into the Big Apple. I see the opportunity here and would take it myself. For a franchise trying to rebuild itself, hiring a motivated and first-time head coach is a better decision than recycling the same veteran candidates.