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Falcons HC search: Five things to know about Todd Bowles

An in-depth look at what the Falcons could be getting in Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles


The Atlanta Falcons are conducting a thorough search to find their next head coach.

Team president and CEO Rich McKay is primarily overseeing the search and will consult trusted advisors before he and Falcons owner Arthur Blank reach a decision. It's unclear exactly how long this process will take, but there are already some candidates who have been linked to the Falcons.

As Atlanta continues to go about its search, we'll compile some of the more notable facts and information about each candidate reportedly in the running for the Falcons' opening.

Todd Bowles

Current title: Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator

Key NFL roles

Bowles is in his second season as the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator, and he's been lauded for the work he's done with the unit. Bowles transformed Tampa Bay's defense from one of the league's worst run defense in 2018 to the very best run defense in 2019; he also helped the secondary have a strong second half turnaround. Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Bowles served as head coach of the New York Jets from 2015-18. His run with the team also featured an imposing defense, especially against the run. Bowles began to gain national recognition for his work as defensive coordinator in Arizona from 2013-14, when he was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the AP and PFWA in 2014.


10 notable players coached

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • LB Devin White
  • LB Lavonte David
  • LB Shaq Barrett
  • DT Ndamukong Suh

New York Jets

  • S Jamal Adams
  • DE Leonard Williams
  • CB Darrelle Revis

Arizona Cardinals

  • CB Patrick Peterson
  • DE John Abraham
  • DE Calais Campbell

Overall team and unit success while in prominent role

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DC (2019-20)

2020 team record: 11-5

  • Yards per game allowed: 327.1 (NFL rank: 6)
  • Points per game allowed: 22.2 (8)
  • Sacks: 48 (4)
  • Takeaways: 25 (5)
  • Defensive Pro Bowlers: 1 (LB Jason Pierre-Paul)

2019 team record: 7-9

  • Yards per game allowed: 343.9 (15)
  • Points per game allowed: 28.1 (29)
  • Sacks: 47 (7)
  • Takeaways: 28 (5)
  • Offensive Pro Bowlers: 1 (LB Shaq Barrett)

New York Jets HC (2015-18)

2018 team record: 4-12

  • Team DVOA: -17 percent (26)
  • Offensive DVOA: -20.2 percent (29)
  • Defensive DVOA: 4.9 percent (22)
  • Team Pro Bowlers: 3 (S Jamal Adams, K Jason Myers, KR Andre Roberts)

2017 team record: 5-11

  • Team DVOA: -19.2 percent (27)
  • Offensive DVOA: -10.7 percent (25)
  • Defensive DVOA: 5.6 percent (22)
  • Team Pro Bowlers: 0

2016 team record: 5-11

  • Team DVOA: -34.5 percent (32)
  • Offensive DVOA: -22.3 percent (21)
  • Defensive DVOA: 5.4 percent (23)
  • Team Pro Bowlers: 1 (DE Leonard Williams)

2015 team record: 10-6

  • Team DVOA: 11.7 percent (9)
  • Offensive DVOA: 1.6 percent (14)
  • Defensive DVOA: -13 percent (6)
  • Team Pro Bowlers: 5 (DE Muhammed Wilkerson, CB Darrelle Revis, WR Brandon Marshall, C Nick Mangold, RB Chris Ivory)

Arizona Cardinals DC (2013-14)

2014 team record: 11-5 (lost wild card)

  • Yards per game allowed: 368.2 (24)
  • Points per game allowed: 18.7 (5)
  • Sacks: 35 (24)
  • Takeaways: 25 (14)
  • Defensive Pro Bowlers: 3 (DE Calais Campbell, CB Patrick Peterson, CB Antonio Cromartie)

2013 team record: 10-6

  • Yards per game allowed: 317.4 (6)
  • Points per game allowed: 20.3 (7)
  • Sacks: 47 (6)
  • Takeaways: 30 (6)
  • Defensive Pro Bowlers: 2 (DE John Abraham, CB Patrick Peterson)

Notable coaches worked under

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Bruce Arians – head coach

Arizona Cardinals

  • Bruce Arians – head coach

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Andy Reid – head coach
  • Juan Castillo – defensive coordinator

Miami Dolphins

  • Tony Sparano – head coach
  • Mike Nolan – defensive coordinator
  • Paul Pasqualoni – defensive coordinator

Dallas Cowboys

  • Wade Phillips – head coach
  • Bill Parcells – head coach
  • Mike Zimmer – defensive coordinator

Telling quote

"You learn as you go, especially as a first-time head coach, about the structure of how you want to do things and how you want to get things done. And get an opportunity again if everything's right I know I'll do some things differently.

"There's so much more to it than running a football team on and off the field. And you have some ideas and some things you would tweak that you probably wouldn't know otherwise, and you could only get that from experience. I can't really put a finger on everything. But there are things you learn as a coach that would flow a lot easier going into next time around." – Todd Bowles to Jonathan Jones on the lessons he’s learned.


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Click below for a collection of names being reported as candidates for the Atlanta Falcons' open head coach position

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