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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Todd Bowles has strong response to question about facing Mike Tomlin

Todd Bowles on the sideline

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Bowles’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to visit Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, which will be a matchup between two black head coaches. But Bowles doesn’t see it that way.

Bowles was asked Wednesday about his relationship with Tomlin considering both are black.

“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin. We don’t look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other. I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well, and I don’t think it’s a big deal as far as us coaching against each other. It’s normal … we coach ball, and we don’t look at color,” Bowles said.

Another reporter followed up and said that two black coaches going against each other is important because “representation matters” when aspiring players and coaches see “you guys.”

Bowles turned around the question and suggested the reporter’s focus on race was the problem.

“When you say ‘see you guys’ and ‘look like them and grow up like them’ means that were oddballs to begin with. I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody will as well,” Bowles said.

Bowles is 58 and has been coaching in the NFL since 2000, which followed a playing career. He had a four-year stint as the Jets’ head coach from 2015-2018. This is his second stint as a head coach in the NFL, and it comes after he spent the last three seasons as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator.

Tomlin, 50, has been the Steelers’ head coach since 2007 and won the Super Bowl in his second season on the job.

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