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Todd Bowles on Arians: 'I'd lose my left arm for him'

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PHOENIX -- It was just last evening that I was enjoying a local brew here at the Biltmore Hotel with fellow Around The NFL writer Conor Orr.

Into the room marched Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, sitting down at a nearby table with team general manager Steve Keim.

Over the next 30 minutes, one league figure after the next made their way to Arians, shaking hands and stopping to chat. It was crystal clear how well-regarded he is among his peers, especially when it comes to New York Jets coach Todd Bowles.

"That guy, I can't say enough about him. I'd lose my left arm for him," Bowles said Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, per the team's official website.

Bowles and Arians have known each other for decades, dating back to the 1980s, when Arians coached Bowles at Temple. The duo went on to work together as fellow assistants with the Cleveland Browns before joining forces in Arizona. The creativity Bowles showed as defensive coordinator of the Cardinals put him in excellent position to land the gig with Gang Green.

"He kind of groomed me from a young man to a middle-aged man to now an older man as far as seeing me grow," Bowles said. "He helped me be the best at almost everything."

Arians has been on fire of late, winning Coach of the Year in two of the past three seasons. Bowles will be hard-pressed to achieve that in the crucible of New York, but like his mentor, you can't find anyone at the league meetings who doesn't speak kindly of the new Jets figurehead. We just chatted with a gaggle of team beat writers who said they were impressed with the knowledge and honesty Bowles exhibited during Tuesday's AFC coaches breakfast. He's off to a good start.

It will be fascinating to see who else sprouts from the Arians coaching tree in years to come.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the inaugural Veteran Combine and discusses which star players were helped (and hurt) by free agency. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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