Todd Bowles: Would Love To End Season With A Win

Posted Dec 30, 2011

Dolphins coach Todd Bowles talks about Jason Taylor’s last game, the challenge of facing the Jets and what this head coaching experience has been like for him in this exclusive column for

Q. Tell us what this head coaching experience has been like for you?

TB: It’s been good. I’m still coaching football. There are a lot of things off the field that you deal with that are different. But it’s been a good experience for me. The guys responded well to me and that’s been pleasing.

Q. What did you learn about being a head coach that you really didn’t know before?

TB: You knew it before, you just didn’t actually live it. Coach Parcells used to say there will be a lot of things that are out of your control. That’s true. I’m just coaching, that’s all.

Q. What are you enjoying the most?

TB: Just being around the guys, coaching them, helping them succeed. Just being around football, that’s the big thing.

Q. Did it further underline your belief that you would like to be a head coach in this league?

TB: I’m a football coach, I like to coach on a regular basis whether it be as a position coach, a coordinator or the head coach. In this case it’s the head coach. I’m more than capable of handling this, but that’s not a decision that’s up to me. You just want to be a great football coach, whether you are a head coach or a position coach.

Q. Has the interaction with the game officials been interesting to you?

TB: I yelled at them a lot when I was a position coach, but as a head coach you have to be calmer. The officials have been helpful to me.

Q. What would it mean to knock the Jets out of the playoffs?

TB: For us, it would mean ending the season on a winning note. It has been a long year for everybody. We’ve had some tough losses. Beating the Jets the last game of the season, you’d love to send everyone out on a good note and someone like Jason Taylor playing his last game that would be really special for him, I know.

Q. You mentioned Jason Taylor. Might you play him more this game because it’s his last one?

TB: It’s a team game. We will play him like we normally do. We’ll do everything we can to help this team win.

Q. Who would you compare Jason Taylor to?

TB: He has created his own identity. It’s impossible to compare him to anyone. He’s one of those guys who could have played in any era. There are not many people like that. He could have played in the 60’s, in the 70’s and on. The game changes, but he’s a football player and he could have adjusted to any time and any way the game is played. There aren’t many people who could play in today’s game and yesterday’s game and Jason is one of those special people.

Q. When you look at this Jets team, what types of things do you see?

TB: Tough. They are built a lot like us. They are smart. It will be an AFC East brawl.

Q. What do you think this game will come down to?

TB: Turnovers. The first game against them, they got a 100-yard interception return. We are two pretty equal teams and when that happens something like turnovers proves to be the difference.

Q. How would you describe the way Reggie Bush has been turning it on late in the season?

TB: Reggie is in a great groove. The more touches he got, the hotter he got. In the second half of the year, he’s been about as good as anyone. Hopefully the best is yet to come with Reggie. When Reggie is healthy, Reggie is dangerous.

Q. As a former safety, how would you assess the abilities of Yeremiah Bell?

TB: Yeremiah is probably one of the toughest guys I’ve ever coached. His knowledge of the game has grown so much. You don’t see the knowledge as much as you do the hitting. But he’s a coach on the field and he has a great skill set. I have the utmost respect for him. He’s just a warrior. I guess he has had to fight all of his life and he’s carried it over to the football field. I played with a guy named Alvin Walton. He was as tough as nails. He would hit anything that moves. Yeremiah is the same kind of player.

Q. What specifically did the Dolphins do in the first half of the New England game to slow down Tom Brady?

TB: We controlled the ball. We kept him off the field. When he got on the field, we got him off the field on third down. So it was a combination of a lot of things.

Q. It’s been a long season. A lot has happened to the Dolphins. Will it be difficult to get this team in the right frame of mind to play well in this final game against the Jets?

TB: We’ve been in the right frame of mind all year. Everybody understands it is the last game. We’re going to come out fighting and we’re going to come out prepared to play.

Q. Any New Year’s resolutions for Todd Bowles?

TB: Win the game on Sunday.

Q. Finally, is there a message you’d like to give to Dolphins fans as this season ends?

TB: I just want to thank them for all the support they have given us. We’re going to turn this thing around next year and I just hope the fans continue to support us the same way.
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