FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The Todd Bowles era is now officially underway and for one veteran New York Jet, it has been reinvigorating and refreshing. Bowles has walked the same steps as a player and that is resonating in the Jets locker room.
All-Pro center Nick Mangold talked about his new head coach Bowles as Jets players reported to the team's facility on Wednesday. This is Bowles first time a head coach in training camp - he was an interim head coach for the final four games of the Miami Dolphins season in 2011 - but he is nevertheless giving this Jets team a major boost.
The fact that he is a player is something that is ringing loud and clear and noticeable to this roster. Bowles was himself a long-tenured NFL player and has a Super Bowl ring to back up his credentials.
For Mangold, who was drafted by Eric Mangini in 2006 and then played the last six years for Rex Ryan, he has never had a head coach who played in the league. Now he does and now it shows.
“That he's real passionate about this job,” Mangold said on Wednesday when asked about what he's learned about Bowles so far. “It's the first time I've had a former players as ahead coach. That adds a different perspective to it. It's been real neat learning how he looks at the game, how he runs things. I'm excited to continue with that.”
Bowles is definitely a different temperament than Ryan, who was often too loosey-goosey with his own players. During his first two years with the Jets, that mentality worked with a veteran locker room that was already set and full of professionals. They knew what to do, how to act and how to be responsible.
But as the locker room got younger, Ryan's hyper-friendly approach led to a lack of discipline.
“If there's anything truly you can put your finger on. It's just a different feeling,” Mangold said. “Yea, he understands what we're going through because he went through it. It's a feeling more than anything.”