New general manager Mike Maccagnan conceded that he was "excited to work with Geno," but stayed away from details about the team's plans under center.
Both men have inherited a squad with plenty of questions on the offensive side of the ball. The hiring of play-caller Chan Gailey will certainly impact how the team proceeds at the NFL's most important position.
Said Bowles: "We understand that if Geno's our guy going forward, we have to get some people around him and do a lot of things better, and Chan is outstanding at that."
Smith, though, finds himself without the in-house support of fired general manager John Idzik, who hand-picked the passer in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Could Bowles and Maccagnan be ready to move on? The Jets won't find the future under center in a weak free-agent market, but NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah already has Oregon's Marcus Mariota mocked to Gang Green with the No. 6 overall pick.
Unless the new regime believes that Smith possesses a deep well of untapped potential, look for the Jets to surround him with stiff competition as this freshly gathered regime re-engineers New York's roster.
- Bowles scored points with his deadpan humor over Bill Belichick's rings, saying: "I'm going to work on getting my own rings."
- On the hiring of Gailey: "Chan's been an outstanding coordinator for years," Bowles said. "Pro as well as college football. He can get the most out of the least players that he has. He always gets the most out of them. He's done it with a lot of different quarterbacks ... and he knows how to run the football. He understands complimentary football."
- With roughly $40 million in cap space, we fully expect the Jets to import a rash of new secondary talent. Bowles made it clear the back end of the defense will see upgrades:
"Corners are big for me, being a former defensive back," Bowles said. "Going forward, I'll have to get in and look at the film and see what the problems were, whether they were schematically or physically ... but corners in this league are at a premium. ... For what we do, it's going to be premium for us to have decent corners."
- Both Bowles and Maccagnan come across soft-spoken -- almost anti-Rex Ryan -- personas, but we like the match. Despite barely knowing each other, they give off the vibe of two old friends sharing a lovely cup of tea together. They repeatedly praised each other and raved about their ability to work together. The have yet to be dipped into the fire, but Charley Casserly and his cadre of consultants appear to have found a match.
Said Johnson: "I've got a lot of confidence in them based on the short time I know them. Subsequent to meeting them, I'm very impressed and encouraged that they can put it together -- the kind of language they're going to use to each other to get what each one of them needs. So I'm optimistic. But it's a people business. ... It's really not the building, it's the people."
- Bowles called coaching the Jets an "opportunity of a lifetime," and didn't mince words on the franchise's four-year playoff drought:
"Anytime you take over a team, or go to a different place, there's got to be a culture change, obviously, or there wouldn't be a change," Bowles said. "We have to get to some of the players and we got to teach them our culture."