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January 12, 2021

Report: Eagles to interview Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles for vacant HC job

The Philadelphia Eagles have requested to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for their vacant head coaching job, according to a report from Sal Paolantonio of ESPN (via Adam Schefter, because Sal Pal isn't on Twitter):

Bowles played safety in the NFL for eight years, from 1986-1993. 

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As a coach, he was with the Eagles for one season, and even served as their defensive coordinator to close out the disastrous 2012 season after the team fired Juan Castillo. His coaching history (via Wikipedia): 

• Morehouse College (1997): Defensive coordinator & secondary coach
• Grambling State (1998–1999): Defensive coordinator & secondary coach 
• New York Jets (2000): Secondary coach
• Cleveland Browns (2001–2003): Secondary–nickel package coach
• Cleveland Browns (2004): Secondary coach
• Dallas Cowboys (2005–2007): Secondary coach
• Miami Dolphins (2008–2011): Assistant head coach & secondary coach
• Miami Dolphins (2011): Interim head coach & secondary coach
• Philadelphia Eagles (2012): Secondary coach
• Philadelphia Eagles (2012): Interim defensive coordinator & secondary coach
• Arizona Cardinals (2013–2014): Defensive coordinator
• New York Jets (2015–2018): Head coach
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019–present): Defensive coordinator

Bowles got a head coaching gig with the Jets, which lasted four years, and did not go well. The Jets actually went 10-6 under Bowles in 2015 with Fitzpatrick at quarterback in his first season there. However, he ultimately compiled a 24-40 record with the Jets, winning just 14 games over his last three years. In fairness, in addition to Fitzpatrick, his quarterbacks were Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and rookie year Sam Darnold.

As a defensive coordinator, Bowles has gotten good results:

 YearPoints Yards Takeaways DVOA 
 2013 (Cardinals)10 
 2014 (Cardinals)24 14 19 
2019 (Buccaneers 29 15 
 2020 (Buccaneers)

MORE CANDIDATES: Titans OC Arthur Smith | 49ers DC Robert Saleh | Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley

RELATED: What is Lurie looking for in Eagles' next head coach?

However, his Jets defenses weren't as effective when he was their head coach, with the exception of the 2015 season:

 YearPoints Yards Takeaways DVOA 
 2015 (Jets)9436
 2016 (Jets) 28 1128  23
 2017 (Jets) 2225 20  22
 2018 (Jets) 2925 16  22

In 2020, the Buccaneers had the best run defense in the NFL. They were No. 1 in opposing rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing TDs, and yards per rush. In that sense, his "stop the run first" style of defense is similar to the approach we have seen over the years from Jim Schwartz.

As we noted when we profiled Robert Saleh, the Eagles are unlikely to hire a defensive-minded coach, but we'll see.

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MORE: WTS: Lurie (and Roseman) to blame for Eagles mess, not Pederson | Shander: Pederson was Eagles' latest scapegoat, but won't be the last

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