Former Jets head coach Todd Bowles weighed in on the Jets-Rodgers situation at NFL meetings last month
With Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets all but a done deal, the possible player-manager dynamic has caused fans to question some of the moves from Joe Douglas and the Jets. After all, the team is risking its future for a one or two-year window.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward situation. And it’s something we saw play out with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not long ago.
The Bucs’ current head coach (and former Jets HC), Todd Bowles, was the defensive coordinator when Brady arrived in Tampa. When speaking at the NFL’s league meetings last month, Bowles gave his take on the Rodgers-Jets situation, drawing comparisons from his time working with Brady.
“For us, it was a process,” Bowles said. “When Tom came in, Bruce was such a great offensive coordinator, him and Byron, they had a plan, we have our system. But you also have to listen to see what he’s comfortable with, as well. I can’t speak for anybody else but it was a good collaboration with our guys once we got him. It’s a lot of give and take there. You want to run your system but you want to help him be successful, so you want to bring some things to the table that he does well also.”
The Jets should have no problem getting their quarterback and OC on the same page. The team hired former Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett to replace Mike LaFleur. Hackett coached Aaron Rodgers from 2019-21, where the duo saw incredible success, including three 13-win seasons and Rodgers winning back-to-back MVP awards.
The Jets have also done their best to accommodate Rodgers thus far. The Jets signed former Packers WR Allen Lazard and made an effort to pursue Rodgers’ friend Odell Beckham Jr. before he signed with the Ravens for more money.
Some Jets fans have expressed concern over these moves. But if there’s any consolation, they mirror what was done by Tampa Bay for Brady.
The Bucs added Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown – among others – to accommodate Brady. Despite that, Bowles insists that these roster decisions were made by the organization, and not by Brady.
“You run the team how you run the team,” said Bowles. “You can’t tailor the team towards a quarterback. You can get a guy here or there or you can listen and look to see if it fits. But the coach and the GM run the team.”
While that sounds good, it’s hard to believe these moves were made with a team-building premise, especially when you consider how Antonio Brown left the Bucs – in the middle of a game the team was losing, and against the Jets, no less.
— Miller (@mmmmillah) January 2, 2022
If there’s any solace to take from the Bucs-Brady experiment, however, it’s that the team did walk away with a Lombardi when it was all said and done. And perhaps an Aaron Rodgers-led Jets team can break Namath’s curse and hoist a Lombardi themselves.
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