14 January 2015

Todd Bowles is the new head coach of the New York Jets

(Arizona Republic)
Days after their former head coach found himself a new job, the New York Jets have found themselves their next head coach and it is Todd Bowles, the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. The news was broken seemingly simultaneously by Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter. Bowles has been the defensive coordinator in Glendale for these past two seasons and before that served as an assistant for a handful clubs including the Jets in 2000 under the legendary Al Groh.

Dysfunction seemingly is the norm for the Jets but can Bowles be the coach that can turn the tide?

Considering that Bowles is a defensive coach and that the Jets have now hired six straight head coaches since the very successful Rich Kotite tenure a decade ago, and also that the team is parting with a pretty good defensive coach in Rex Ryan, it is easy to pooh-pooh this hiring. Plus, we all know that the crux of the Jets' struggles come on the offensive side of the ball.

That said, this is a very good hire for the Jets and the Elizabeth (great town) native makes sense for the Jets. Bowles has a well-earned reputation as being one of the better teachers in football as well as being greatly respected by his players. He did a great job this season in leading a defensive unit that suffered through its fair share of injuries this season as his defense led the Cardinals to the playoffs.

What will be key for Bowles is that unlike Rex Ryan, Bowles is rather low-key as a coach and he should be able to cut down on the circus reputation that the team cultivated under the brash Ryan. He will also have plenty of talent to work with including a very good defensive line led by Sheldon Richardson and Muhammed Wilkerson. Bowles excelled at adapting his schemes to his personnel in Arizona, something that helped draw him to the Jets.

However what will make Bowles or break Bowles in the Meadowlands will be how he fills out his offensive staff and solves the club's woes on that side of the ball, something that completely confounded Ryan. It looks like he will bring in Chan Gailey as his offensive coordinator and it will be key to see how he develops Geno Smith or if the team brings in someone from either the draft, a trade or free agency. Gailey was not all that successful in his last gig in coaching the Bills from 2010-2012 but he did almost make Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a quality quarterback en route to that massive extension he received in October of 2011.

The last three Jets head coaches have gone to the playoffs in their first season with the club before the wheels eventually fall off. Bowles has some work to do to reverse that trend and bring a consistent winner to the Jets but he seems like a good fit.

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