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Todd Bowles has a "soft spot" in his heart for the Washington Redskins.
Bowles is in his first season as an NFL head coach with the New York Jets, but some 30 years ago, he was fresh off a college career at Temple, eager find any way into the league as a player.
He would get a call from the Redskins in 1986, and for seven seasons, Bowles would make a living wearing the burgundy and gold.
"That's the team that gave me my upstart," Bowles said on Wednesday during a conference call. "A lot of guys are gone from there, but I have a lot of friends down there. So, I'll always be grateful and thankful for the opportunity Coach [Joe] Gibbs and those guys gave me."
Bowles' best moment in Washington, D.C., came during Super Bowl XXII when he was part of a team that crushed the Denver Broncos by a final score of 42-10.
"The offensive line was great with [Jeff] Bostic and those guys," Bowles recalled of the game. "We had a lot of receivers and when the running backs went down and Timmy [Smith] had to play, the whole was so big I thought a lot of people could've ran through them. Timmy was the benefactor of those things, and, defensively, all I can remember is Dexter [Manley], Alvin Walton and Monte Coleman coming off the edge not giving [John] Elway much time to throw. That made our job as a [defensive] backs much easier."
Bowles would enter the coaching ranks in 1997 with Morehouse College, working as a defensive coordinator under head coach Doug Williams. Yes, that Doug Williams.
He would continue to work with Williams at Grambling State University during the 1998 and 1999 seasons before moving up to the NFL ranks.
During that three-year span coaching with his former Redskins teammate, Bowles learned what it takes to be a coach.
"As a head coach, [Bill] Parcells and Doug Williams tell you that there are five things that you have to prepare for every day, that you don't know are going to happen, whether it's off the field issues, which we've had our share of obviously in the spring and in the summer," Bowles said. "Those things you don't prepare for. You just try to deal with them on a case-to-case basis and not get too caught up in them and move forward."