Todd Bowles is starting over in a new environment with his old buddy Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay, and he got the chance to speak to the media for the first time on Friday.
The former Jets coach was decidedly dead-panned in New York and rarely broke or showed much emotion. That didn’t change Friday when he was asked about the lack of minority coaches being hired this offseason with so many head coach openings.
“A lot of people feel like they’re being discriminated against and there are a lot of people that don’t get the chance, regardless of race,” Bowles told reporters in Tampa. “You just have to coach your hardest and do your best, the opportunity comes up and you have the chance to grab it, you have to grab it.”
The trend in this latest coaching cycle has been to chase after a young, offensive mind in the mold of the Rams’ Sean McVay, who has become the new Bill Belichick with teams trying to pluck anybody they can find off his coaching tree. There isn’t nearly as much buzz surrounding Chargers’ coach Anthony Lynn, who has had just as much success as head man in L.A. Bowles, who has a defensive background, said the league goes back and forth that way, and he didn’t take it as an affront that so many young, inexperienced coaches were being considered.
“There’s a trend where everybody wants the up and coming signal caller. There’s more of an offensive mentality right now as far as the league is going,” Bowles said. “Everybody’s rushing to get the next offensive genius, so to speak. I don’t know if it’s a slap in the face one way or another, that’s just the way the league goes.”
Bowles also touched on his time with the Jets and what he learned in New York, especially from being thrust under the spotlight with a team that exceeded expectations his first season and then never returned to that level.
"Even media-wise, it's helped me a great deal,” Bowles said. “So overall, I think I've grown as a coach and that was a great experience for me."