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Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles Press Conference Transcript

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NJ Advance Media for NJ.com via USA TODAY Sports

The Jets introduced their new general manager, Mike Maccagnan, and their new head coach, Todd Bowles today.

Press conferences like this do not mean a whole lot. For what little it is worth, I was pleasantly surprised by Maccagnan's performance. The word on him had been that he didn't like the spotlight, but I thought he came off at ease and artfully sidestepped questions that could have tripped him up. I liked what I saw better than my first impressions of John Idzik two years ago, not that it matters much. (Man, did I have Idzik pegged from the start or what?)

I also liked Bowles. Nobody is going to be able to top Rex Ryan at an event like this, but he showed a little bit of personality. I was also impressed by the answer he gave about how Bill Parcells taught him how to coach coaches. It is overlooked, but a first time head coach is not used to managing a staff. It was a good answer.

Anyway, if you missed it, the transcript is below.

Opening Statement…

WOODY JOHNSON: Thank you for all being here. As you know, we’ve gone through a long process. We’ve interviewed many, many, very well-qualified people for these two jobs, the general manager and the head coach of the New York Jets. Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly were invaluable in helping me go through the process, the football questions, their analysis of the players and their insight, and their help and all the contacts they had in the league were invaluable to me in making this decision. So, I really appreciate their efforts and thank them.

Well, today we have two New Jersey guys in front of you. Unbelievable. We didn’t necessarily go for that, although I’m a little bit biased towards New Jersey and New York (joking). Mike Maccagnan, it’ll take you a while to learn how to say that, you have to have the right accent on the right syllable. We interviewed a lot of general managers. I think Mike has the experience, 20 years as a college evaluator, a professional evaluator. We were very impressed with his intelligence, his differentiation of players and the detailed way he goes about that process. He’s looking for the correct analysis of each player because you have to stack the board. Researching a player is both, you look at the numbers and you look at the intangibles. We felt that Mike had both of those skills well-honed and is ready to make the jump to this position. Todd Bowles was a player, he was a safety for eight years. He’s a natural leader. The thing that really impressed me about Todd when I met him was his intelligence and his ability to articulate his game plan, putting people in the right positions and not just going with one set formula. And also his ability to be above just a defensive coordinator and really be above that and be able to take a 30,000-foot look at offense, defense, special teams and all those areas and how they interact to produce a winning team. I think he’s going to relate to players very well and I think he’s going to relate to the public very well, too. So, let me just start out by giving the mic to Mike Maccagnan.

MIKE MACCAGNAN: Thank you Woody. First I’d like to thank Woody and consultants Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly, along with the other members of the Jets organization that were involved in this process, from Andy (Davis), the intern who picked me up, to Lauren (Reed) who handled the travel, all of the people that were involved in the process, how it all went through the interview process. First and foremost, I thought it was a first-class operation all the way through, which really, to me, made me believe that this is a place I want to be going forward. I’ve also seen Woody first-hand and how much he cares about the Jets organization. It’s very clear to me that he will do whatever it takes to give us the opportunity to be successful. Even though it’s my first week on the job, one of the things I kind of felt just being around the office, that most people in the Jets organization I’ve met not only have been really helpful and supportive and welcoming, but there’s definitely a sense that people in this organization have a commitment and passion to winning and want to do things the right way. That’s very important to me in terms of how I view things. To me, to build a championship organization and franchise, this will definitely be a true team effort. It’s going to take all of us working together to achieve this goal. No matter what the role, everybody has to play in it, whether great of small.

From a personal standpoint, people in my profession work their entire career to get an opportunity like this. This is my life’s passion, my dream. And to actually have this opportunity, basically 50 miles from where I grew up is truly a dream come true. I would be remiss if at this point in time I didn’t take the opportunity to thank some of the people that have helped me along the way, the very important people in my life that helped me get to this point in my career. First, the general managers that I’ve worked with over the years. Dan Rambo from the Ottawa Rough Riders who actually gave me my first opportunity after I was an intern with the Redskins in the World League of American Football. Also, he gave me the opportunity with the Ottawa Rough Riders, I learned very much from him. Both Charley Casserly and Rick Smith who I’ve worked with over the years, I want to thank them for all the time they took during my interaction with them over the years to kind of give me insight into how they ran their organizations which only prepared me better for this opportunity. Next I would like to thank my parents for all their love and support they gave to me while I pursued my dream of having a career in professional football. To my mother, who used to type my reports when I first started scouting for the Washington Redskins because I wasn’t a very good typer at the time. She was my biggest fan. She took great pride in watching every game in the NFL, because I was a college scout at the time and I always pointed out all the players that she had typed up for me. She took great pride in the ones I hit on, and like any true mother, always forgot the ones I missed on. To my father who’s here today, who is someone I’ve always admired and I’ve tried to emulate in my life, how I’ve lived my life, and especially in the way that he treated people, which has always been very important to me. Finally, I’d like to thank the love of my life, my wife Betty who I’ve been married to for 20 years, for all her love and support and all the sacrifices she’s made for me while I’ve spent countless hours either at the office or on the road scouting. To me, she’s been doing the real heavy lifting in our relationship. And like many people who are married to people in this industry, in my profession, you spend so much time apart, really from the ones you love, that’s the true sacrifice we end up making on our end and they also feel for you when you go through the trials and tribulations of how your teams do. But I truly just wanted to tell her how much I love and care for her.

Going forward, I’m truly excited about this opportunity with the Jets, and especially to work with Todd Bowles. As I spend more time with him, I’m just thoroughly convinced he has all the qualities necessary to be an excellent head football coach in the NFL and the leader of this team. On my end, we will pursue every avenue to acquire players, to help Todd and his coaching staff, the right type of players that he needs to be successful. On a final note, I’m looking forward to getting to know and work with each and every member of the Jets organization. Like I said, so far I’ve been thoroughly impressed. And when you talk to a lot of people here, too, the bottom line is they’re all very helpful very support, but they all want to win and that’s the bottom line. I was really quite impressed by that when I got into this organization. I definitely think we have the raw material and tools to be successful. Now, I’d like to turn it over to the next head coach of the New York Jets, Todd Bowles.

TODD BOWLES: Thanks, Mike. Good morning. First off, I’d like to thank Mr. Johnson for giving me this opportunity. This is a dream of a lifetime for me. Coming back home to be a part of the Jets organization, growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, being 30 miles from here, and the opportunity to give me to lead this team going forward to build a championship team, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for that opportunity. Meeting with Mike, just getting to know him as a GM, I know he was a great personnel guy. He’s a great evaluator of talent. That’s what he does. That’s what he is. He’s a masterful operator in terms of people. We hit it off, when we came in about a week ago, the two days we were here we hit it off pretty well. So, going forward, it’s going to be a dream working with this guy. But in the interview process, there are a lot of good candidates out there and there were a lot of teams out there. You’ve got to find the right fit. I wasn’t just looking for a head coaching job. I was looking for a place, a winning organization going forward, the chemistry of the front office (and) the determination of the owner. Mr. Johnson has shown that and he’s shown he’s willing to do whatever it takes for us to be a winning team. So, that enticed me as well and coming back here, my first pro job was here actually, back in 2000 when I was in Hempstead when they were at Hofstra. They’ve come a long way since then as I’ve seen with the building.

Going forward, we’re going to be a tough team. We’re going to be an intelligent team. We’re going to do things the right way. It’s not about just playing great defense, for me being a defensive coordinator, it’s scoring one more point than the other team. So, going forward we’re going to do everything we can and use all our resources. We’re going to try to build a championship team here. That’s my only job.

On how he feels his time as a player helped him prepare to be the head coach…

BOWLES: I think it’s helped in terms of relating to players. Playing the game and then understanding what situation guys are in, on and off the field, helps you relate a little bit more so they can kind of see you as more of a big brother more than a head coach so you can understand some of the things they’re going through. So, me being in that position, I think it’s helped me a lot that way.

On the quarterback situation…

MACCAGNAN: In regards to Geno (Smith), I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves here. Obviously, we’re just kind of putting our coaching staff together. I’m excited about working with Geno and getting to know him a little bit better. But I would say at this point in time going forward, really with Todd and the staff, we need to really sit down and kind of go through this roster to kind of get an idea of what we want to do schematically. I’m kind of looking forward to working with him going forward.

BOWLES: Same here. Obviously, he was a great college quarterback. Going in with us just getting here, we’re going to evaluate with Geno as well as everyone else on the team. When we get a good feeling and get the coaches in the building, we’ll sit down and do it then.

On what type of coach he thinks he will be…

BOWLES: I know I have to grow in this business. Obviously, as a coach, every level you move up, you have to grow. My philosophy is pretty much the same as everyone else’s as far as smart, tough and physical football. But there’s a way of dealing with players and there are different types of coaches. I can yell at guys, I can talk to guys, I can get through to guys in different ways. It’s as far as understand and knowing what you have on the team and relating to those guys is what kind of coach you’re going to be. As long as they know it’s not personal, you can get after them any way you want to get after them. So, you have to understand your team and understand your players. As a coach, I’ll be demanding because it’s a demanding sport and you’ve got to get the best out of your guys. But at the same time, you’ve got to hear them out and understand and know what they feel so you can get a good feel for the person.

On if he will call defensive plays and how much of a role he will play in the offense…

BOWLES: I think the biggest thing for a head coach, in order to lead, you’ve got to listen. I’m going to hire some coaches that know how to coach football and coach their position. Our defensive coordinator will call (the plays), but I’ll have a big hand in the defense as far as understanding scheme and terminology and the way we go forward. Offensively, I’ll have my hand on the print. I’m the head coach of the football team. We have an offensive coordinator that’s going to call plays and run the show, but we have to do what’s best for our team and play complimentary football and it’s my job to make sure we do that.

On how soon fans can expect to be in the postseason…

BOWLES: Well, it is not going to happen overnight, but we have pieces in place and we have to build and we know that. The sooner we can get things started and get our coaches in here and start watching some film. We know we have our work cut out for us, obviously, the Patriots are in the Super Bowl and they’re in our division. We have our work cut out for us. There is no time table on it, we just know we are going to get better.

On if he thinks that being able to see all aspects of the team has been lacking in past regimes…

JOHNSON: Should I have said 10,000 (feet)? (joking) No, this is a people activity. It is all about people. It is not that it was necessarily lacking, but we can always do better, every single day. One of the things we can do better, is consolidating everything and make sure we play as a team, offense, defense, special teams, everyone is on the same page.

On if any of the coaches he worked under had a large impact on his coaching style…

BOWLES: I think I learned a little bit from everybody. It started in college with Bruce Arians. He taught me toughness, he taught me discipline, he taught me perseverance, he taught me always fight. It started with him. When I got to the league, Emmitt Thomas was my defensive back coach and Richie Petitbon was my coordinator. Emmitt was outstanding at fundamentals and technique. He taught me to do things the right way and Petitbon, as far as watching film in and seeing players, he probably, in my opinion, was the best X and O’s guy that I have ever been around. He taught me a great deal about football. Coach Joe Gibbs was so determined about doing things over and over and over again. He taught me determination. Then when I got to (Bill) Parcells, he taught me the overall game. He taught me how to see the overall game, not just my position, not just the defense, but he taught me how to see offense, he taught me how to coach coaches, he taught me about the personnel side. He really taught me a lot of things going forward when we were here in New York, as well as Dallas and Miami. I learned a great deal from him in that respect. There is a lot of guys, (Mike) Zimmer, Mike Nolan, Tony Sparano, there are a ton that I learned a lot of things from. I would be remiss, and I didn’t say it earlier, that I didn’t thank my family, who taught me and sacrificed a lot for me and still do to this day, that is here and the ones that aren’t. They taught me a lot of things about working hard and keeping my head down and moving forward.

On how the process of hiring a general manager and head coach was for him…

JOHNSON: It is always a learning experience whenever you go through the process of interviewing candidates for anything. We learn a lot. It is very important to me. In 15 years, hopefully I have gotten better. I hope I have gotten better. It is learn as you go. It is a people business. You try to get the best people you can to run your organization that represent what we are trying to accomplish here and the way we are trying to do it. I can’t underestimate the importance of these two decisions here.

On the tampering charges against the Jets with the Darrelle Revis situation…

JOHNSON: The league is investigating that. I think the best thing is to just call the league.

On how much input he had on hiring Bowles and what makes him think they can be compatible…

MACCAGNAN: Well in the process, obviously Woody and the consultants Ron Wolf and Charlie Casserly did a very extensive search. Obviously, I was one of the leader GM candidates that they actually interviewed. I had heard really when I first got in really how impressive Todd was in the interview, and I had done my research on Todd. I actually ironically enough had met Todd about 25 years ago when I started off as an intern with the Washington Redskins and Todd, at that point in time, was about a four or five year veteran in the league and our starting safety. I hadn’t really crossed paths with Todd a lot over the years, but everything I heard about him was just exemplary, in terms of the people that had worked with him, how highly everybody thought about him. When I had gotten the job, the next thing was to bring Todd in and kind of see how I felt about him and in doing that it became very clear to me in a very short period of time that everything I had heard about him was validated. We just kind of hit and clicked in terms of our interview process, actually I told Todd this is my first interview as a GM for a head coaching candidate. I kind of opened it up to him and said, "Hey listen, I don’t want to necessarily want to just ask you questions, I want you to tell me what you think. I want you to kind of ask me questions and see if I’m the guy you want to work with." It was a very natural fit. And again, everything I had heard about him from a lot of people that had been with Todd was outstanding. I knew quite quickly in that process, and I knew what those guys had thought about him, that he was their number one guy, and it was just one of those situations that just felt right. I am very excited about going to war here with Todd here for the next few years.

On his perception of this organization over the years…

MACCAGNAN: Yeah, obviously I grew up in New Jersey so I am very familiar with the history of the Jets. I think for me from afar, the Jets have always seemed to have a lot of things in the media. For me, when I got inside the building and actually started interacting with the people, to me this is a first-class organization through and through. I think at the end of the day you really win with people and everybody that I have met here are all very nice and helpful and friendly and they are all very passionate about winning. I was quite impressed with the organization as a whole. I think the parts and pieces, Woody has obviously built an amazing facility here, and we have all of the pieces in place. We just have to go out there and obviously coach and find the right players and hopefully put this whole thing together and build a championship organization.

On the current Jets roster…

MACCAGNAN: I would say this, not to get ahead of ourselves here. Obviously, Todd is still finalizing our coaching staff. Todd and I have to sit down and kind of review the roster ourselves and get an idea of how we see it and how we see it going forward. I wouldn’t necessarily put a timetable on everything, I do think there is a good foundation of players in place. We obviously have to go forward and try to improve the overall talent. Everybody in the NFL has to do that. I do think there is definitely parts and pieces in place for us to turn this thing around. I am not in a position to give it a timeframe or timetable on that right now.

On what kind of offensive team he wants to have and what made Chan Gailey his choice for OC…

BOWLES: I chose Chan because Chan has been an outstanding coordinator for years, pro as well as college football. He can get the most out of the players that he has. He always gets the most out of them. He has done it with a lot of different quarterbacks from Kordell Stewart to Ryan Fitzpatrick and at Georgia Tech and so on and so forth. He knows how to run the football. He understands complimentary football. We understand that if Geno is our guy going forward, we have to get some people around him and do a lot of things better. Chan is outstanding at that. That made it a priority for me to get him. Obviously, I am a defensive guy, I know the offensive side of the football, but I need somebody over there that has done it for a long time and understands the game inside and out with the older players, as well as the younger players. So that made Chan my pick.

On his offensive philosophy…

BOWLES: My philosophy is, obviously you have to throw the football in this league, but you have to run the football to win ball games. We want to have a good balance, and we want to have complimentary football with our defense. We want to play off each other. We want to be tough, we don’t want to be pushed around, we want to be explosive, we want to be all of those things, but we have to start fundamentally. If we can’t get the fundamentals right, we won’t be able to function. We are going to be a tough, hardnosed offense, and we are going to spread the ball around some, but we are going to establish a run game.

On how important improving the cornerback position is…

BOWLES: Corners are big for me, being a former defensive back. Going forward, I have to get in and look at the film and see what the problems were, whether they were schematically or physically. So we will watch the film and do that. The corners in this league are at a premium, especially with the wide outs and tight ends getting bigger. For what we do, it is going to be a premium for us to have decent corners.

On if he has any worries about the media market here…

BOWLES: No, I am just going to be myself. I can only be myself. I will deal with the media, as they talk to me, I will talk to them. I am open, I am honest, and I am upfront. I grew up here, I understand the media. I understand the people around here. Everybody wants to win and everybody has their own agendas. I will handle that accordingly. As long as I focus on football, everything else comes secondary.

On what he thinks his personality is like…

BOWLES: What I think my personality is? (laughter) I think there are a bunch of different sides of Todd.  I am very sarcastic, there is the sarcastic side, and there is the comedy side.  There is the serious side.  Depending on who you ask you will get about 10 different answers.  So, I am kind of like the "male Sybil" (joking).  Right now this is the head coaching side, but I am sure as you get to know me it will come out.

On being the second African American coach in franchise history…

BOWLES: Well first of all, I like to think I was hired because I am a good football coach and not an African American football coach.  That comes first.  After that I am always going to be an African American.  I don’t think I am changing anytime soon (joking).  So I feel great about it and I understand what you are saying, and the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the Rooney Rule, they have made great strides in helping us do the things that we need to do.  We also have to help ourselves and we also have to be good football coaches and good people as well.  So all the way around, from me being a normal football coach, to an African American football coach, to everyone helping me out, I feel great about that.

On what they were looking for from the each other…

BOWLES: Well for me it was the chemistry.  You can’t go into a job not feeling comfortable with the people you are working with.  I have been around front offices where they are in disarray, and I have seen how those things work.  You definitely don’t want that kind of job.  For me, working with Mike, just hitting it off with him early on, we’ve been on the same page as far as the way we see things, understanding players, understand the business, going forward with each of us not having an ego, willing to help each other.  All those things were important to me, coming back and seeing Mike.  That’s what eased my mind a lot about this job.  It was really him.

MACCAGNAN: Very similar from my standpoint.  I think when you guys get to know and be around Todd, you are probably getting a feel for it right now.  He is a very genuine and real person.  For myself, when we were interviewing, kind of start up the normal thing where you ask questions and I kind of realized early on the process, ‘Hey Todd has to get a feel for me.’  So our conversation was more fluid and loose in terms of just our philosophy, talking about how we solve things.  Our experiences.  From that’s standpoint I really was looking for the character of the guy.  Everything I had done in my research about Todd sort of emanated very quickly in our conversations.  So that’s how I came to my conclusion.

On what the circumstances were when Bowles met Maccagnan 25 years ago…

MACCAGNAN: Well my first job out of college was an internship with the Washington Redskins.  That’s how I initially came across Charley Casserly.  Again, I probably checked Todd into training camp, I probably drove carts around.  I didn’t necessarily know Todd in terms of interacting with him on a one-on-one basis.  But I was there with him so our paths initially crossed there.  Then 25 years later our paths crossed again.  Ironically enough, we were driving back from the airport, I grew up in Hightstown in the Peddie School, my dad was a teacher and I was a faculty brat.  I was very in to football my whole life, but as we were driving back from the airport, I asked Todd, ‘Elizabeth High School, do you guys actually have preseason practices at the Peddie School?’  Of course Todd said, "Yeah".  Then I realized it was probably in 1978 or ‘79, because they practice their preseason before us.  I actually went out there and probably watched their practices not realizing that 50 yards away Todd was running around as a junior or senior in high school.  It was just a good fit.  It really was.  Although we never really interacted a lot, it’s kind of ironic our paths have crossed even though we are from two different backgrounds 40 something miles apart.  In terms of where we grew up and what we did.

On taking over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs…

BOWLES: I think anytime you take over a team, or go to a different place there has to be a culture change. Obviously, or there wouldn’t be change.  We have to get to some of the players and we have to teach them our culture.  Not that the other culture was bad, but it didn’t win, so our culture is going to be try to instill different things in them from a winning organization, from a different point of view to make us go forward and get to the playoffs.

On the biggest challenge they will face taking on new jobs…

MACCAGNAN: Well from my end, I have been in professional football for 25 years.  All of which have pretty much been in the front offices.  So, I have a knowledge of various aspects of the business.  But again, from my standpoint, (it) will be surrounding myself with a good team of people that I can rely upon.  To me, at the end of the day, one person can’t do the whole job.  You have to find good people.  You have to create an environment that you work well with them.  From my standpoint with all the new aspects of my job it’s going to be surround myself with really good people who can support me and do their jobs well respectively.

BOWLES: More of the same.  For me it’s making sure we gel as a team.  Offensively, defensively, and special teams and picking the right guys going forward to lead this team and help us get to where we need to be.  That will be challenge every day, that’s a challenge every year.  You just have to accept that and understand there will be changes on the roster every year, so we just have to make sure we have the right guys.

On if he will have an aggressive philosophy with the open cap space as well as a high draft pick…

MACCAGNAN: Well first, obviously we do have a lot of cap space, so that is a very positive aspect going into free agency. I don’t want to get to far ahead, Todd and I, this is going to be a decision we work on together.  Obviously, we will look at all avenues to acquire players.  The pro free agency is a very important part of that. But I don’t want to dictate what our strategy is at this point in time because we are still kind of early in the process. We will work together on that when we go through the pro evaluations.  In terms of the college side, with our draft picks, we will kind of review all options.  I do believe philosophically you have to build through the draft for long term success, but again I wouldn’t necessarily say we are going to move up or move down, we will view all options.  The draft itself is kind of a fluid thing.

On what attracted him to this job…

BOWLES: Well when I got into the interview room, just talking to Mr. Johnson about the process and the things going forward, what they are trying to do and where they are trying to go.  He is committed to winning. I am committed to winning and he is committed to winning.  That is the first thing that grabbed me.  There are maybe five people in the building that I knew back form when they were at Hofstra, over in Hempstead, so there weren’t too many people.  But the building is friendly.  They do an outstanding job here as far as welcoming people and getting to know you, and make sure they introduce themselves, and get you what you need to have. That part was very interesting, but again, Mike was a big deal because I get to work with him every day.  The chemistry and the comradery and the way we see things that was a big deal, as well as Mr. Johnson willing to do what it takes to win. That’s what grabbed me the most coming here.

On how the cap space will dictate what type of offense the team will be…

MACCAGNAN: I would probably answer it saying first thing is first, we really have to sit down with our coaching staff.  Todd and I have to get together and examine and really study our current roster, which we will do.  Once we do that we are going to come forward with a game plan on how to augment the roster through free agency, in terms of what we do from that standpoint.  Then with the college draft, obviously we are going to work through that process with our college scouts to evaluate the players, get it stacked correctly.  Todd will be side by side with me through this whole process in terms of making sure we are all on the same page.  Making sure we are targeting the right type of players that fit for what Todd does.  I would emphasize it is kind of early in the process.  We haven’t even gotten our new staff in the building yet, so this will be something we will address going forward.

On what point in his coaching career did he know he wanted to be a head coach…

MACCAGNAN: I don’t think there was a point in my career.  I think I was in Dallas, it may have been ’06-07, I think it was Wade (Phillips) first year.  Just being around him and watching the things he did every day.  I think it is a progression.  It is something you graduate too.  You just try to be the best coach you can be.  Whether it is a defensive back coach, a coordinator, or a head coach or whatever it may be. And as you get older you evolve, you learn more of the football game.  And 2007, maybe 2007-08, I started to think, "OK, I am starting to learn the game pretty good, if I can get some things down if I am good enough and somebody is lucky enough to see me as a head coach," it was about that time.

On growing up in Elizabeth, NJ and his path to becoming head coach of the Jets…

BOWLES: Growing up in Elizabeth, I started off playing pee wee football, PAL, and we had a lot of good players coming out of Elizabeth High School. When Don Somma took over early, I think in 1980, the first two years, I think they got better after I left (laughter). They won a championship after I left, but they had guys like Rodney Carter and Anthony Rose and Ricky Bates, and they had guys that played good football. I don’t think I was a star player. I was two-way starter. I thought I was better at baseball than football, but that didn’t work out. It was a good thing to get a scholarship to Temple and as I thought I was getting pretty good at Temple, I dislocated six out of seven bones in my wrist going into my senior year and I didn’t get drafted. Actually, Bruce Arians told me, they told me, I’d never play again and I’d get arthritis at about 50 or so. Me being hard headed I went on to play anyways, so the Redskins offered me a free agent contract. Actually, the Philadelphia Inquirer did a story on me every day up until the day I was going to get cut, and I ended up not getting cut (laughter). So, I kind of became a household name back in 86 (and) I think it was Chuck Newman at the time. In my career, I started out, we went to the championship game and lost to the Giants my rookie year. The next year we end up winning the Super Bowl. I couldn’t ask for a better career. I had great coaches throughout my career. Even in San Francisco my one year, I had George Seifert and Ray Rhodes, so those guys were outstanding for me. I don’t think you ever start out, I didn’t start out trying to be a head coach. I started out trying to be a good football coach. I think if you start out trying to be a head coach, you’re not concentrating on the job at hand. And I was a position coach, I graduated to coordinator, I did all the things the right way and that led me to this point. So, the journey’s been fun. It’s part of life. It helps shape who you are and what you do, so as long as I continue to be who I am without losing myself with this job, I’ll be fine.

On his career coming full circle…

BOWLES: Yes, it has come full circle. To start out here, I probably had a little more hair then and I probably I was a little thinner then, but to come full circle and to come back home, it’s a dream come true. It’s an honor and a privilege to be here. I just looking forward to leading this team.

On why he believes these are the right hires to lead the team to a championship level…

JOHNSON: This is a people business and it’s basically judgment. I’ve been at it 15 years now. Hopefully, I’m making better decisions or good decisions because, yeah, you have to win these games and you have to get to the next level. Each of the gentlemen sitting to my left, are in my estimation, the people to do it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in them based on a short time I’ve known them and subsequent to meeting them, I’m very impressed and encouraged that they can put it together. They’re working at it, the kind of language they’re going to use to each other to get what each one of them needs. So, I’m optimistic, but it is a people business. We’ve got a great building here, but we always talk about, it’s really not the building, it’s the people in the building.

On recent Jets head coaches having immediate success, but not being able to sustain the winning…

JOHNSON: And that’s star watching. I’m not sure what you mean by that, but yeah. The lesson is you want to put a program and a culture together that helps you win. And you have to get the players and the coaches synced and it’s something that all 32 clubs do and that’s something we’re working on every day. It’s very important to me, it’s very important to these gentlemen and everybody in this building that we do this. We’re not going to stop or look at things other than ways to improve the team each and every day. So, we’re going to work harder. We’re going to work smarter. We’re going to evaluate ourselves, I’m going to evaluate me, they’re going to self-evaluate to make sure that every day we’re improving and getting closer to our goal.

On how he met Casserly and landed an internship with the Redskins…

MACCAGNAN: The first person I met was actually Scott Cohen, who used to work here. My sister actually, Mary, who’s here, graduated from Dickinson College. I actually went down and saw her graduation. We graduated the same year from college. Anyway, I bumped into Scott and we just started talking football. I didn’t know what Scott did. Scott actually sort of was in charge of the interns at the Redskins. So, I kind of met Scott, he offered me an internship positon. I went back, went to the Redskins, and then in that short period of time, again just interacting with Charley, something I did must have caught his eye. From there, I actually went to the World League just after a few months with the Redskins. I had success with the first team I was wit and at a very young age, got a lot of responsibility. I went to the CFL after a year in the World League for about a year and a half. I interacted with Charley periodically at the Redskins when I was doing my job scouting (for the CFL). But yeah, something I must’ve done at some point in time kind of caught his eye, because when he had an opportunity he brought me back to the Redskins three or four years after I was originally with them as an intern. And then I worked with him through the Redskins and then obviously when he went to the Houston Texans. I was the first guy he hired down there, so he took me down there with him.

On the major reasons the Jets struggled last season…

BOWLES: You don’t look at it as far as judging the guys. You prepare for your interview as far as knowing some of the personnel. You don’t get to know all of the personnel and you don’t get to know the reasons or what type of offense or defense they ran or the intricacies of whose fault it was. You just know they didn’t win. That’s the bottom line. There’s got to be a different pattern or chemistry to figure out why they didn’t win and that’s why I’m here. So going forward, you don’t know what situations were done. As far as coaches watching the defense, me being in the NFC West, I didn’t really get to see the Jets a lot this year. I know some of the guys from looking at ESPN or looking at different channels from highlights. So going forward, we’ll just have to sit down with coaches and really watch what happened and see whose fault it was and then try to get better from there with the players.

On chasing the Patriots and Bill Belichick’s rings…

BOWLES: I’m going to work on getting my own rings (joking). No, they’re the cream of the crop of the division, that’s why they’re in the Super Bowl. They’re somewhere that we’re striving to get to and that’s what we’re going to work towards.

On whether Casserly and Wolf will have a role with the team going forward…

JOHNSON: It’s officially done at this point, but I’m not precluding a role in the future of some kind. They’re officially done. Charley is back to work and Ron’s going to be in the Hall of Fame, hopefully.

On whether he has a comment on the investigation into the Patriots deflated footballs…

JOHNSON: No. I have nothing on that. Absolutely nothing.

On the most important thing that he’s learned from working with the Texans that he can transfer to being the general manager of the Jets…

MACCAGNAN: One of the things at the Texans I always felt was, as an organization, we were always focused all through the process. It doesn’t matter what level, what place, they kind of put forth a first-class environment with the fans. I think from my standpoint, the thing I realized, or would take from that organization, was the relationship between the head coach and the general manager always had to be a team. We’re not always going to see things the same way, but we’re always kind of working through that process as a team to kind of go forward with the correct decisions in the best interest of the Texans. I’ve been kind of blessed with the fact that I’ve worked in organization where they had very good relationships with the head coach and the GM and that’s something I think is intrinsically just so important in this process. Because there are so many things we have to do and we have to work together on them.