1) Defense, Offense, Special Teams
One of the biggest criticisms aimed at Rex Ryan was his inability to move from being a defensive coach, to being a head coach. Todd Bowles has also spent his entire career on the defensive side of the ball and he'll need to take more of a overseeing role going forward. However it comes down to trust and hiring the right people. "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". This will be a big test for Todd, but if he can manage it, he's one step closer.
We are a 4 win team, there is no shying away from that hard truth. As a result, we have a lack of talent on this current franchise. However we do have a solid foundation on both sides of the ball, a foundation that we need to build on. One of the key messages throughout the conference related to the evaluation period being a work in progress and no pre-determined decisions were being made before watching the film and talking to the players. Maccagnan appreciates this. "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."
3) Offensive Philosophy
Can ground and pound still win in this league? Seattle run the ball well and the Patriots have too at times. However you can't just rely on that, and you absolutely have to be able to throw the ball in order to win consistently. You need to have a plan A, B and C in order to guarantee you success. Todd Bowles was asked about his philosophy on the offensive side of the ball "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"
4) Sweet Partnership
At any introductory press conference, there is a lot of good natured, mutual respect and admiration. What else are they going to say? However it was interesting to see how many times the GM/HC references the decision making in terms of a team effort. We're going to be sitting down to evaluate the roster, we will be watching film, we will be coming up with the best plan to attack free agency and the draft. It's all roses right now, and both men obviously understand that their success is tied to the other. "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"
5) Respect, Aspiration, Commitment
Finally I have to say that both men came across very well in their introductory press conference. There was a respect to every answer. When asked about the Patriots Bowles was complimentary without making any headline statements. He wants to work on getting his own rings rather than focusing on the Patriots. A commitment to winning was mentioned throughout and the focus and dedication of everyone throughout the organization. You won't get many news clippings from either man, but I'll take a winning football team over page hit controversy. "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"