TEMPE, Ariz. -- In his two interviews this offseason, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles impressed the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns, according to John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
Wooten said Bowles interviewed with the Browns on Friday in Cleveland and with the Vikings on Sunday in Arizona. In Wooten's conversations with Bowles and both teams, both sides said the talks were positive, but Bowles seems to have hit it off better with the Vikings than he did with the Browns.
"Both [the Vikings and Bowles] have said to us, very poignantly, that it was a completely outstanding interview," Wooten said. "And, if you allow me to quote the Vikings, [they said] 'He simply blew us away.'"
The Browns told Wooten that Bowles was well prepared for his interviews. He presented himself "extremely well," was "strong and likeable" and "showed great leadership skills." From what both teams told Wooten, they're looking for two vastly different styles of coaches. Neither team has moved forward with second interviews.
Bowles took an already stout Cards defense and improved it in 2013. The Cardinals finished the season with the top-ranked defense against the run and sixth best overall.
Bowles had a brief experience as a head coach when he was named the Miami Dolphins' interim for three games in 2011, going 2-1. The coach Wooten has seen this season isn't the same one he saw when Bowles was in South Florida. And that could help the 50-year-old Bowles land a head job, Wooten said.
"I think he has a great chance of getting a job this year," Wooten said. "I think that the last couple of years he has grown. I listen to him talk. He sounds way different than the guy who interviewed for the Miami Dolphins job two years ago.
"I think the experience this year has really, really blossomed him out. I think he's an excellent leader of men because I think he's just so open and honest."