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Jets make hiring of Todd Bowles official

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles watches his

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles watches his players warm up before an NFL game against the St. Louis Rams in Glendale, Ariz. Credit: AP / Ross D. Franklin

The Jets officially announced Todd Bowles as coach Wednesday. The expected news completed a flurry of activity in Florham Park that began with Tuesday's hiring of general manager Mike Maccagnan.

"It's an honor and privilege to coach the Jets,'' Bowles, the Cardinals' former defensive coordinator, said in a statement released by the team. "I want to thank Mr. [Woody] Johnson and Mike Maccagnan for this opportunity. I can't help but be humbled by the chance to coach this team.

"I am going to do everything I can to build a consistent winner.''

That's exactly what the Jets need after a 4-12 season, their fourth in a row without a playoff appearance.

Bowles is expected to hire Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator and bring in Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers as defensive coordinator.

Gailey, 63, has not coached in the NFL since he was fired as Bills coach after the 2012 season, but his reputation for being a pass-happy coach who likes to stretch the field is well documented. Gailey was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos (1989-90), Steelers (1996-97), Dolphins (2000-01) and Chiefs (2008).

Bowles' history with Rodgers, 45, dates to 2005-07, when both were on the Cowboys' staff. They also worked together with the Dolphins from 2008-11.

"I am proud to welcome Todd Bowles as the head coach of the New York Jets,'' Johnson said. "From entering the league as an undrafted free agent in Washington to becoming a very successful coordinator in Arizona, Todd has earned everything he has achieved. He is a hard-working and dedicated leader who has garnered the respect of players and coaches.

"I am confident that Todd and Mike Maccagnan are the right combination to lead this team.''

Maccagnan is expected to make significant changes to the scouting department, and longtime Jets executive Terry Bradway and director of college scouting Jeff Bauer may not be retained.

Bowles had been scheduled to fly to Atlanta yesterday morning for a second interview with the Falcons. But after interviewing Tuesday with the Jets for several hours -- and dining with Maccagnan, Johnson and advisers Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf -- Bowles decided the Jets were the right fit. Both sides reached an agreement late Tuesday, sources said.

"Todd is a natural leader and excellent communicator with a great work ethic, who has demonstrated a consistent ability to win by utilizing all of his players,'' Maccagnan said.

" . . . When we first met, it was immediately clear how sincere and very real he is. While he appreciates the need for discipline, players love playing for him and I believe he has outstanding qualities to help make the Jets a competitive, winning team.''

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who also coached Bowles at Temple during the 1980s, congratulated his friend.

"I couldn't be more happy for Todd,'' Arians said. "The Jets got themselves a tremendous coach and an even better person. We're sorry as hell to lose him, but we all knew this day was coming, especially with the job he did here the last two years.

"Todd and I go back more than 30 years. He was one of my captains at Temple and it was obvious then how special he was.

"His passion for the game and intelligence are as high as anyone I've ever been around. Todd's been ready for this for a long time, and I'm ecstatic for him to finally get the opportunity.''

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