Bowens best season was in 2004. He became a regular starter for the first time in his NFL career. He recorded single-season bests of 52 total tackles, seven sacks, six passes defensed and two forced fumbles. His sack total ranked second on the squad as did his 25 QB hurries.
If he could have a similar season the Jets this year, their brass would be ecstatic. Last year, Bryan Thomas led the Jets with 8.5 sacks, and Victor Hobson contributed six. If Bowens could add six or seven sacks, this would give the Jets type of pass rushing element they need from the outside linebacker positions in their 3-4.
Bowens is likely best suited for the role of a rotation OLB, spelling Thomas and Hobson. It's hard to tell what kind of player he would be in pass coverage because he hasn't done it much. But he's always been a good player moving forward going back to his days in college, first at Michigan, and then at Western Illinois.
In 1996, he set the Michigan single-season record for sacks with 12 as he garnered second-team All-Big 10 honors.
The Jets have a lot of people very familiar with Bowens, who hold him in very high regard. His position coach at Michigan was Jim Hermann, who is now the Jets linebacker's coach. The Jets new defensive line coach, Dan Quinn, held the same position with the Dolphins the last couple of seasons. Jets assistant defensive line coach, Bryan Cox, is also a graduate of Western Illinois.
What all these people love about Bowens is his motor, intelligence and attitude. He is definitely a "Tangini" kind of player. Bowens plays hard at all times, and as one Dolphins observer put it, "he runs downfield on kickoff coverage like a madman."
And the media and fans are going to love him also. "He is a great guy," said Alex Marvez, the Dolphins beat writer for Sun-Sentinel.
The Jets valued Bowen's total package so much, they might have overpaid a little bit to get him. He signed a three-year deal for $6.1 million, with an addition $2 million in incentives. To some this seemed like a lot for a backup linebacker and special team's player.
But Mike Tannenbaum wanted to make sure he didn't re-sign with the Dolphins, so he was willing to overpay a little. Also, the Jets were competing with New England and Carolina for his services.
So to Mr. T, the money is well spent.
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