He began the week as defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before he was unexpectedly promoted to head coach after Bruce Arians decided to step down.
Bowles was introduced as head coach of the Buccaneers at a press conference Thursday with quarterback Tom Brady in attendance. Bowles replaces Arians, who led Tampa Bay to its second Super Bowl title two seasons ago.
Bowles, who played a major role in the Super Bowl run as defensive coordinator and previously served as head coach of the New York Jets before being fired, says he isn’t going to apologize for inheriting a good team.
“Good players make good coaches, so you always want to have good players,” Bowles said. “I’m not going to apologize for inheriting a talented team. I’ve had less success with a team. It’s different to the fact that I don’t think I can go into this trying to be Bruce. I would fail miserably if I tried. … I can be me.”
Bowles served as head coach of the Jets from 2015-2018, nearly leading the team to the playoffs with a 10-6 record in his first season. New York struggled after that, andando 5-11 the next two seasons and 4-12 nel 2018. The Jets fired him after his third straight losing season.
Bowles was asked Thursday what he learned from his previous head coaching experience.
“I think when you take a head job you have to wear a lot of hats, but you don’t ever experience wearing those hats,” Bowles said. “When you understand that going in … without the experience I think you tend to do things a little differently. You have to be man enough to know when you can change things. Generalmente, when people get fired, they blame everybody else. The first thing I did was look within myself, and there were a lot of things I can do better.
“When I first started in New York, you try to do things the right way. Then you don’t do it your way, you end up having regret. So I’m going to do it my way,” Bowles added.
Bowles said he has a comfort level with his players because he worked with many of them for three years as the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator. As head coach, Bowles said he isn’t going to call defenses but will have input.
“We’re not changing the program, we’re trying to add on,” ha notato.
Bowles and Arians have a relationship that dates back more than 40 anni. Bowles played safety for Arians at Temple in the 1980s and was defensive coordinator on Arians’ staff with the Arizona Cardinals before joining him in Tampa.
He said Arians informed him Monday about his decision to step down and described Arians’ decision as “agrodolce.”
“He is the most influential coaching figure and father figure that I have ever had in this league,” Bowles said.
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