Bowles/Maccagnan at the Combine: 11 Takeaways

Posted Feb 18, 2015

Key Responses from the Jets' Head Coach and GM During Today's News Conferences in Indianapolis

Jets head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan both spoke this afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium at the start of the NFL Combine schedule. What came through from both is a veteran confidence at the podium and a sense that while they won't be going on a strict schedule for returning the Green & White to championship football, they know that in the NFL, the clock is always ticking.

"I don't like timetables. I think that always sets a bad precedent," Maccagnan said. "But I do think there are some good players on this team. Our basic task is to make sure we increase the talent overall on the team, whether it's through pro free agency or the draft."

"We've got to get them to play together, we've got to have accountability, we've got to jell as a team," said Bowles of his challenges. "They've got to let the coaches coach and we've got to understand what our players can and can't do. And the faster we can get that done, hopefully the faster we can turn this thing around."

Here are 11 more takeaways from Todd's and Mike's remarks in Indy:


On the biggest needs he wants to address this offseason in his first year as the Jets head coach...

"We want to have accountability first and foremost when we get the guys in. We want to get better at the corner issues. We want to solidify and have less turnovers at the quarterback position. We want to get bigger plays down the field. We want to be tougher up front on both sides of the ball. Going in, that's what we're going to try to do."

On his initial assessment of QB Geno Smith...

"Watching film, Geno has a good arm, he's a good athlete and he can throw the ball and make all the throws. Without seeing the intangibles and not being able to talk to him personally, you're not allowed to see what he knows, where his strengths are, so as we go forward, when we get him in there, we've got to sit him down and get to see what he can do and what he can't do, what he's good at, what he's not good at, what kind of intangibles he has going forward."

On why he liked Kacy Rodgers for his defensive coordinator...

"I've been with Kacy for seven years in Dallas and Miami. I've watched him grow. We kind of saw things the same way defensively, schematically we see things eye to eye. He's an outstanding coach. He gets after guys, he understands the game, having played it. He can relate to guys on and off the field. I thought he was the perfect choice to complement what I did in Arizona."

On what he likes about Chan Gailey as his offensive coordinator...

"Chan's been a good coach in college as well as in pro football. He's played in a lot of different offensive schemes. He can get the most out of his players. Everybody respects him. He can get it yelling, he can get it talking to a person, he's very sharp in understanding what he has. He's well-balanced offensively running the ball and passing the ball. I thought it'd be a great choice for us."

On what the rivalry with the Patriots, the Super Bowl champions, means to him...

"I don't think it means anything to us right now. Right now we're trying to become the New York Jets, and we're trying to become a winning ballclub, so we're going to concentrate on us. You can't beat the Patriots in February, and just beating the Patriots is not going to cut it if you lose to everybody else. So we've got to have a growth process on learning how to win while we're winning and trying to win and beat more than just the Patriots."


On the likelihood the Jets will draft a quarterback in the first round...

"I would say it would be like any other position in the draft. There's always a possibility of that, but I don't want to put odds on it. But I think really, when you're in the draft, we'll look at either moving up or moving back in the draft or sitting where we're sitting. The No. 6 pick is a nice pick to be at. But at the end of the day, I don't think we're going to lock ourselves into looking at one position and thinking that's the one we have to go out and get. I think that's where a lot of teams tend to be a little undisciplined sometimes and they make mistakes because they force picks. So the real thing for us is to evaluate this draft class going forward, figure out how we have them ranked, and then eventually at the No. 6 pick whoever the best player's available, that's probably the player we're going to try to take. In theory, that's our approach."

On Dee Milliner's rehab and the state of the corner position...

"I know Dee's still in the injury rehabilitation process. Right now we're projecting him to be back later on in the spring or the early summer. ... We're going to target literally every position and try to maximize the players at that position, make it highly competitive. When you factor in a player coming off an injury, it's a bit of an unknown. You could have a negative outcome, but also you could have a very positive outcome. So to me it's maybe a bit of a wild card. ... If we address that position and he comes back strongly, it just makes that position even stronger. And I will say this with cornerbacks — and I don't think this is anything any other GM wouldn't say — you can never have enough good ones."

On David Harris possibly becoming an unrestricted free agent...

"We think David Harris is a very good football player, I think he's had an excellent career with the Jets. ... Now it's free agency, so we still have to have a meeting between us and the agent and the player over where that value is, but I would say David is a player we'd very much like to get back in the mix."

On signing DE Muhammad Wilkerson to a long-term deal...

"I don't want to put a timetable on that. I think that's something that's on our list of things to do. Obviously, Todd and I have come on board, we haven't worked with Muhammad previously. I would definitely say Muhammad is a player we like, and we'll just see how this process unfolds."

On if Percy Harvin will return to the Jets...

"That's a process that we're working through. We want to talk to his agent. We do think Percy's a very good player, but that is still a process that we're working through right now."

On how active will he and the Jets be during the undrafted free agency period...

"We will be very active in free agency. Now whether that's with the high-dollar guys that tend to be the first-week or first-few-day guys, I think we'll be potentially in that market. But we'll also be in middle- and the lower-tier market, too. Now again, I don't want to set any timeframes on it and if we don't bring in a certain player on day one, then hey we're not active in free agency. But the big thing for us: We have a lot of cap space, and our thing is going to be basically maximize the return on that cap space. However that plays itself out over time, that's what we're in the process of working through."


READ: Quarterbacks: The Jets, The Combine & Beyond

READ: Offensive Line: The Jets, the Combine & Beyond

WATCH: Maccagnan: Combine 'Like Christmas for Scouts'

WATCH: Combine Preview: Storylines in Indy

VIEW: Jets Land in Indy

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.
Please read the Terms of Use for our commenting policy.