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Todd Bowles: Low-key guy, but with a temper

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles speaks

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles speaks to the media after practice at training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Florham Park, N.J. Credit: AP / Frank Franklin II

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Todd Bowles is letting the world in on a little secret. He's got a temper. And a foul mouth, too.

"I cuss quite a bit,'' the Jets coach told Newsday, just before he headed inside to watch film after Wednesday's practice.

"Trust me. It comes out,'' he added with a laugh. "Ask Cromartie, he'll tell you.''

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie is the only current Jet who has a history with Bowles. They were together last season when Bowles coordinated the Cardinals' defense. They're together again -- with Bowles as the first-time head coach of a franchise that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2010.

But this is a different time. And a different coach.

Bowles is without a doubt the anti-Rex Ryan, but it's not an act or a calculated PR strategy devised by the Jets' front office. Hyperbole isn't Bowles' thing, and neither is putting on a show for the sake of the cameras.

"I do have another side to my personality,'' Bowles said, smiling. "You just haven't seen it yet.

"I'm a rah-rah guy. I say what's on my mind and I get across what I need to say. If I have something to say, believe me -- whether it's out here or in the meetings -- my point is very well-received. It gets across.

"Now, if somebody blatantly does something [wrong] after I taught them, told them, re-taught them on the board, in the classroom, the whole nine yards . . . Then I'll probably just go off the handle.''

He has been mild-mannered in front of the cameras, and often his interview demeanor can be described with one word.

"Comatose? Ouch,'' Bowles said playfully as he feigned being stabbed in the chest.

Ryan provided six years' worth of back-page headlines and bulletin-board material. Bowles can't even bring himself to get excited about what he sees on the field. "For me, it's camp,'' he said, shrugging.

Bowles is seeking steady guys he can "grow to trust. But if you stand out one day and the next day disappear, that does nothing for me. So I hold my comments and wait until I see some growth in that person.''

He also explained his lack of emotion over the highly anticipated Darrelle Revis-Brandon Marshall matchups in practice.

"As a coach, I don't have the mindset to just say, 'Oh, this is the matchup I've been waiting for,' '' he said. "I'm trying to help Dee [Milliner] with his technique, [Dexter] McDougle with his technique, and go from there. So I try to move around so I can't get focused on those two guys.''

Bowles' dry delivery is no act. It's just a part of who he is. He also knows many of his players have grown accustomed to having a loud, likable and emotional coach leading the charge.

And, frankly, he doesn't care.

"I'm not coming in here to win a personality contest,'' he said. "It's football, and if I know what I'm doing and they're listening to me, they'll go along. If I don't know what I'm doing and look like I'm lying to them, they'll figure it out. Players know.

"There are some guys I can yell at, there are some guys I can talk to and there's some guys I can say one word to and they get it,'' he added. " . . . And because everybody hasn't seen it yet, doesn't mean it's not there. Nor do I have to bring it out just to show anybody. It just comes out naturally. And when it comes out -- it comes out.''


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