The Miami Dolphins fired head coach Tony Sparano earlier this week, promoting assistant head coach Todd Bowles to the interim head coach position for the remaining three games of the season. Bowles met with the media yesterday for the first time. Here is the transcripts of his press conference, as provided by the team.
(On how he moves forward from now after being named the head coach under these circumstances)- "I don't think you can get a head job on a 14-2 team so the circumstances are different. Me and Coach (Tony) Sparano are extremely tight. Moving forward we have a tough team. We've been in every ball game as far as that is concerned. We need to make sure we finish that way. There are no playoffs to look forward to but we have three AFC East division rivals. We're going to come out and play hard, play smart and try to win the last three."
(On what it was like when he got the news that he would be taking over the head coaching job from his friend)- "He called me in. I didn't hear it from anybody but him first. He told me the news and I was shocked initially. Me and Coach Sparano go way back even from the Dallas days. About six or seven years we've been together. We both know this is a high performance business and we understand the risk going in. We'll still continue to be very good friends. I'll try to finish what he started."(On how he addressed the team today knowing that some were disappointed by the news)- "As we all were. We've told them to send out their condolences and talk to Coach Sparano. He's done a lot for everybody including myself. It's a business. It's like players leave, coaches leave and we got to continue on that way. We take body blows and we'll move on."(On what he can show in this league)- "We have three games left. It's not really about me. It's just trying to keep the team afloat and making sure everybody plays hard and try to win three ball games. I'm a coach; I understand the conversations and the businesses very well. Whatever happens to me after that happens."(On what today was like for him running practice for the first time)- "Normally I know most of these guys from a defensive standpoint and the offensive skill people. But addressing the guys today felt in front of a big room it's not really a big deal. We speak in front of the defensive room all the time. Addressing the situation and then getting them ready to go out to practice. I think the guys are positive. The captains responded. I thought everything went good."(On his message about the last three games)- "Just that we've been a mentally tough team, we've been a resilient team and we're going to try to finish that way. Everybody is auditioning as they do every year whether the coach stays or goes. Everybody is professional, everybody has a job to do and we're going to continue to do it that way."(On his coaching philosophy and what he expects out of the players)- "I expect them to play hard. I expect them to be tough. This late in the season it's 13 weeks you're not going to instill a different coaching philosophy but three weeks left in the season. We have a pretty good thing going in. Just going to play smarter, play together and try to play cohesive football and try to win a ball game."(On how important it is to separate himself in these games as a head coach)- "I don't think it's about separating myself. I just think it's just about winning football games. Believe me this is not about me. I don't stand up here... I'm not trying to be Don Shula. I'm trying to win football games. We have guys in place to win football games. I just have to make sure I manage the game smartly."(On
Jared Odrick saying he is sarcastic in a detail oriented way)- "I'm extremely sarcastic in a joking kind of way sometimes in a professional kind of way. But I get my point across. We have a great understanding as far as what I expect from them and what they expect from me. I expect everybody to do their job and sometimes you needle people here and there as we do on the field all the time. I think they just take it that way."(On his personality compared to Tony Sparano)- "I think the message is the same. The approach may be different. Just hearing it from a new voice I think is the main thing. I think the coaching will be pretty much the same coming from me coming from a defensive side of the ball as opposed to coming from him with an offensive mind and being an offensive line. I'm more of a defensive back/defensive coach on that side of the ball. But the message is the same. We got to win."(On the Bruce Springsteen Christmas song at practice)- "No it wasn't mine. We have offensive and defensive guys pick songs each week. Today was the offensive side. That was Jake Long's Bruce Springsteen song. That may change next week (laughing)."(On Matt Mooreand if he had a minor concussion)- "No, he has a head and neck injury He's taking tests right now. When he gets back and the training room gets back to me, we'll evaluate that later and I can better tell you at that time."(On who took the majority snaps at practice today)- "J.P. Losman took some and (Pat) Devlin took some."(On new coach and possibly new quarterback and how it raises the degree of difficulty)- "I don't think it raises the degree of difficulty. If you look around the league there is a lot of injured quarterbacks right now. People have to step in. J.P. (Losman) has been around for awhile. He understands what we're asking him to do and understands the game. We'll just try to make sure that (we give him) the game plan that he can work with."(On being soft spoken)- "You don't have to change anything. When you have a head coach you have one voice. Assistants just normally have their loom and their positions. I can speak louder when need be and I have. It's not really a big change for me. When you're a defensive back coach you deal with the wide receivers most of the time as well as the linebackers and (defensive) line. Some of the guys you know but they don't really get a chance to see your personality. These next three weeks they'll see it."(On also described as hard-nosed and straight forward)- "I'm probably more fundamental and technique sound. I'm hard on my guys at a position. Now that I have everybody I'll be hard on them. They know what they expect from me. I know what to expect from them. You see guys work and you have a trust in them. They have a trust in me. At this point in the year we're not fooling anybody so we'll continue to go out and do what we've been doing."(On Coach Sparano not being in his office)- "It's a little strange. It's a little weird but it comes with the job. Big office, big shoes, big chair to fill."(On if Tony Sparano Jr. is still on the staff)- "Yes he is."(On if he was surprised that he was named interim coach with former head coach like Mike Nolan on the staff)- "We have a few people on the staff that were capable of the job including Mike Nolan, Karl Dorrell, Brian Daboll as well as a couple assistants that haven't been named. It could have gone to anybody. I'm just thankful to have this opportunity. Coach Sparano trusted me and Jeff Ireland trusted me and Mr. Ross trusted me."