By the end of the 2012 season, Todd Bowles had all but worn out his welcome in the City of Brotherly Love.
After taking over as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator on an interim basis mid-season, the team dropped nine of their last 10 games and allowed an average of 32.9 points per game.
When Chip Kelly took over as Eagles’ new head coach, Bowles was not asked to return and frankly no one really batted an eye at the decision.
But what a difference a year can make.
Now serving as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator, Bowles’ 2013 performance — Cardinals ranked No. 1 in rush defense, No. 7 in total defense and No. 8 in points allowed — has earned him recognition that would have seemed almost impossible just a season ago.
As MMQB.com detailed in its daily newsletter, after 14 straight white head coaches and general manager were hired last year, the NFL enlisted the help of an eight-person panel made up of former GMs and coaches — including Bill Polian, Tony Dungy, Ron Wolf and John Madden — to create a list of notable coaching and GM candidates for future hires, with an emphasis on minorities.
While the Career Development Advisory Panel’s final list has not yet been revealed, according to MMQB.com, Bowles, Lovie Smith, Jim Caldwell, Mel Tucker and former Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton are among the committee’s top candidates.
The 50-year-old defensive coordinator played nine seasons in the NFL with Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers before becoming a coach in 1996. Bowles’ lone head coaching experience came back in 2011, when he served on an interim basis for the Miami Dolphins. He went 2-1 in the team’s final three games.