ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – He may no longer he his boss but Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has nothing but positives to say about Todd Bowles, the man now charged with leading the New York Jets back to prominence. In an exclusive interview with Metro, Arians gave more than passing marks to Bowles and thinks his style can make the Jets into a winner.
Defensive coordinator of the Cardinals for the past two seasons, the now Jets head coach Bowles earns rave reviews from Arians, one of the most well-respected minds in the league. The duo led the Cardinals to the playoffs this year despite a string of injuries at quarterback and on the defensive side of the ball. Despite that, the Cardinals defense was solid and Bowles became one of the top names on the coaching hot stove. Four teams were interested in him, Arians said, but the Jets job left an impression on Bowles.
Now on the job in New York, Bowles received a universal thumbs up for his introductory press conference in February and since then he has established a veteran coaching staff with lots of experience to help right the ship with the Jets. This team hasn't made the playoffs the past four seasons and hasn't had a winning record during that time. But Arians can look on from Arizona and beam with pride at what already is being assembled.
“I love the fact that he brought in (offensive coordinator) Chan Gailey and he wanted a veteran offensive coach who has had a lot of success in the league. Chan's record, he's always been to Super Bowls so they can turn it over and trust him. I love the staff,” Arians told Metro.
“I was pushing as hard as I could for him to be a head coach. I thought he'd be a head coach before I was, it was a matter of finding the right spot for him. He had almost every opportunity with the jobs that were open. He felt very comfortable in New York.”
Arians spoke on Friday at a press conference prior to receiving the Maxwell Football Club's Greasy Neale Award, given annually to the NFL's top head coach. The 78th annual event was hosted this year by the Tropicana Casino.
In February, one of Bowles former players on the Cardinals spoke to Metro off the record and raved about his head coach, praising his intelligence. The player went so far as to say that standing next to Bowles in a game, you can hear him calling out the other team's plays before they broke the huddle.
More often than not, the player said, Bowles was right.
And according to Arians that his former defensive coordinator left just such an impression on a player isn't a tremendous surprise to him. He sees exactly what that Cardinals player was talking about.
“I think Todd is one of the smartest guys I've ever been around. He's a great talent evaluator also. He's going to be a guy that the GM and him will have a great relationship in terms of talent, putting guys on the field,” Arians said.
“He has a very unique skill set in terms of putting players in position to be successful and not asking them to do things they can't do. And mold a system around that.”