-- FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets coach Todd Bowles was greeted Wednesday at his introductory news conference with the same question that confronted his predecessors, Rex Ryan and Eric Mangini.
How does he feel about chasing the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick, who are now contending for their fourth Super Bowl ring?
"I'm going to work on getting my own rings," Bowles promised.
It was hardly a Ryan-like boast, but welcome to a new Jets era. The volume will be a lot lower than it was under Ryan, who famously vowed never to kiss Belichick's rings.
Bowles and new general manager Mike Maccagnan, who also met the media for the first time, will bring an understated approach to running the organization. Their low-key personalities were apparent in a 49-minute session in which they came across as likable, hardworking football guys with no egos.
"These gentlemen, in my estimation, are the people [who can deliver a championship]," said owner Woody Johnson, seated alongside Bowles and Maccagnan.
Neither man provided any definitive statements on the state of the team, although Bowles admitted that a return to the playoffs "isn't going to happen overnight."
Johnson said one of the things that attracted him to Bowles, the former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator, was his plan to operate as a CEO-type coach, not focusing on his area of expertise. That's how Ryan did it, concentrating solely on the defense.
Bowles has the ability "to take a 30,000-foot look at offense, defense and special teams, all those areas and how they interact," Johnson said.
Bowles said he's not planning to call the defensive plays. He will leave that to his coordinator, mostly likely former Miami Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers. Bowles said he will have a hand in the offense, but his playcaller will be newly hired coordinator Chan Gailey. He didn't define the Jets' offensive style, claiming they're still evaluating the roster.
The biggest question is the quarterback situation, specifically the organization's commitment to Geno Smith, whose record as a starter is only 11-18. Bowles and Maccagnan were noncommittal on Smith, offering no insight into their plans at quarterback.
Bowles said Smith was "a great college quarterback" at West Virginia. Unfortunately for the Jets, they don't play a Big 12 schedule.
One of the goals, Bowles said, is to change the culture among the players. He wants to bring a winning attitude.
"We have to teach them our culture," he said. "Not that the other culture was bad, but it didn't win. Our culture will be to try to instill different things in them from a winning organization's point of view to make us go forward and make the playoffs."
Bowles and Maccagnan inherit a team that finished 4-12, missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Johnson decided to clean house, firing Ryan and GM John Idzik after the season.
This marks only the second time under Johnson's ownership that he will have new people in the coach and GM positions. It happened in 2001, when Johnson hired coach Herm Edwards and GM Terry Bradway to replace Al Groh and Bill Parcells, respectively.
Bowles and Maccagnan have no background with each other. In fact, they didn't meet until Jan. 13, when Maccagnan picked up Bowles at the airport when he arrived for his second interview. They met privately for 2½ hours. A short time later, the Jets offered the job to Bowles.
"It was a very natural fit," Maccagnan said. "It just felt right. I'm very excited about going to war with Todd over the next few years."
Maccagnan arrived from the Houston Texans, where he worked most recently as the director of college scouting. He recalled his start in the NFL as a college scout, saying he was such a poor typist that his mother had to type his reports.
Neither Maccagnan nor Bowles has experience in his current position. They grew up 40 miles apart in New Jersey, Maccagnan in Hightstown, Bowles in Elizabeth. Both men called it a dream come true to return home.
The common thread between Maccagnan and Bowles is former Texans and Washington Redskins GM Charley Casserly, who was hired by the Jets as a consultant during the concurrent searches. Casserly gave Maccagnan his entry into the NFL, hiring him as a Redskins scout in 1994. Bowles played for the Redskins during the Casserly era.