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Todd Bowles: The Advice He Is Getting

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Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Bowles came to the Jets from the Arizona Cardinals, where he served as defensive coordinator. Dan Bickley wrote a profile on Bowles from the Arizona perspective. In the piece, he notes that Bowles has received advice on the adjustment to being a head coach from coaches he worked under such as Bruce Arians and Bill Parcells.

Bowles is dealing with many more issues, like conducting his very first training camp. But he sounds confident and calm, ready for the moment. He’s heard the same advice from those he values most, from Arians to Bill Parcells:

There will be five things that surprise a head coach every day on the job. And the biggest failure is to become someone else, to let the job change you.

"I can never be Bruce," Bowles said. "I can coach a million years and never be Bruce. And I’m not trying to be. You have to have your core beliefs as a coach, and learn the game as it goes. Because it changes every five years. And you go from there."

There might be some growing pains for Bowles. A lot of the job entails new tasks such as managing the game, dealing with the press, and supervising the entire coaching staff. There will certainly be unexpected things and new experiences to deal with.

I think the second piece of advice is really important. I think one of the reasons Eric Mangini did not succeed as a head coach was that he tried too hard to be a Bill Belichick clone. It manifested itself in many ways from the similarities in defensive schemes to his media relations. Mangini was probably hired by the Jets too young, and he hadn't had the time to develop his own philosophies. He was left to merely copy his mentor.

I think most successful leaders study the people they worked under. They take a look at some of the things that worked and those that didn't. Then they find a way to mesh the things that did with their own style and philosophy. Bowles has worked under some very successful head coaches and some unsuccessful coaches. His career has given him a chance to examine very different styles. Now he has a chance to do things his way.