NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As far as Jason Taylor is concerned, Todd Bowles was about as good a choice as the Jets could have made this past offseason to fill their head coaching vacancy.
“He’s freaking perfect,” the former star defensive end told the New York Post on Tuesday.
Owner of 139.5 sacks during his tremendous 15-year career, Taylor played under Bowles during the 2009 and 2011 seasons when both were with the Dolphins. The future Hall of Famer spent the 2010 season with the Jets, helping them get to their second straight AFC Championship game.
Taylor then went back to Miami for the 2011 season, his last in the NFL. Bowles, a longtime defensive coach, was interim head coach for three games that season following the firing of Tony Sparano.
Despite going 2-1, Bowles was passed over for the full-time job in 2012. Taylor said he likely would have played longer if Bowles had gotten the gig.
“If Todd’s the head coach, I want to play for Todd,” Taylor said. “That’s the kind of guy he is. I would run through a brick wall for him.”
Bowles went on to successful stints with the Eagles and Cardinals, spending the last two years as the defensive coordinator in Arizona, where his stock went through the roof. He was considered for several head coaching jobs this past offseason before landing with the Jets.
Bowles has been touted as a defensive genius, but unlike his predecessor, Rex Ryan — who was also known for his prowess on that side of the ball — the 51-year-old native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is about paying attention to all facets of the game, not to mention someone who holds his players accountable.
“Schematically, forget about it. There’s nobody out there that can touch him,” Taylor said of Bowles’ ability to design defenses. “He’s honest, very honest, and he’ll tell the players exactly where they are and what they need to do. He’ll have a very focused, disciplined team that won’t have a ton of mental errors or penalties. He won’t put up with that.”
Bowles’ player-friendly approach has been appreciated by the Jets since he came on board back in January, but Taylor said behind the smile and warm demeanor is an intense individual who is extremely organized.
“Don’t mistake the meekness for weakness, put it that way, with Todd,” Taylor said. “He is very chill and laid back it seems, but he is on top of everything.”