By Harry Allison

There are many reasons the Jets are favored over the Eagles this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

And one of them is New York head man Todd Bowles.

Bowles spent one season with the Eagles, a year that the Jets coach will carry throughout his career.

Bowles, who played at Temple, was hired by coach Andy Reid as the Eagles’ defensive backs coach in 2012 and took over as the defensive coordinator halfway through the season when Juan Castillo was fired. The Eagles went 4-12 that year and Reid was also let go.

But more than the wins and losses, it was the way Reid dealt with the death of his son Garrett to a drug overdose during training camp that has stuck with Bowles.

”It was probably one of the biggest learning experiences I went through from a leadership standpoint,” said Bowles, who became Arizona’s defensive coordinator after that season.

”Watching coach Reid stand up there and address the team every day with the tragedy that happened to him and the way the team was going, and not bat an eye, just made everything status quo and go on as usual showed true leadership.”

As Bowles prepared his Jets (2-0) to take on the Eagles (0-2), now coached by Chip Kelly, he remembered how Reid never made his personal struggles a focal point.

He also credited owner Jeffrey Lurie and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, then the general manager, for how they handled their business.

”That taught me a great deal about respect,” Bowles said, ”about leadership and about humility.”

So, it makes sense that Bowles has remained even-keeled throughout his first several months on the job in New York.

Meanwhile, Eagles fans are concerned with their team’s early season struggles. The offense has not been the expected quick-strike, up-tempo nightmare for opponents yet, Sam Bradford has been mediocre at quarterback and running back DeMarco Murray has been a non-factor.

Still, Kelly – like Bowles – refuses to echo the anxiety of the fan base, which is in near-panic mode.

”We’re always concerned about everything here, whether we start 0-2 or 2-0,” he said. ”We don’t approach things any differently. We have to come back and go to work. You don’t pat yourself on the back when you’re 2-0 and you don’t change everything if you’re 0-2.”



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