FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets coach Todd Bowles receives a text message after every game from Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, one of his mentors. Most of them are nuggets of coaching advice. Even from a distance, Parcells has the unique ability to read a situation. What he read last Sunday about the Jets resulted in the following text to Bowles:
"Everybody is talking playoffs. Just coach the team and worry about the next game."
After maintaining their postseason hopes with an emotional victory over the New York Giants, the Jets (7-5) find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation -- a classic trap game. The Tennessee Titans (3-9) are coming to town, so there's always the possibility of a letdown.
Bowles' challenge this week is to make sure his team plays with the same intensity it showed during the final 17 minutes against the Giants. That, in essence, was Parcells' message.
"I got that text right after the game," Bowles said Wednesday. "I understand what he's saying. To a point, you buy it, but you have to be consistent with your team. You have to do the same things you've been doing. You don't look at it as a trap game. You look at it as the next game."
Suffice it to say Bowles won't hang mouse traps from the ceiling in the locker room, as Parcells did a couple of times in his coaching career. Every coach has his own style. Bowles isn't a gadget kind of guy, which explains his every-week-is-the-same approach.
Nevertheless, he appreciated Parcells' "words of wisdom," as he described the texts. During the Jets' 1-4 slump, his text from Parcells went something like: "Nobody remembers midseason losses. It's how you finish."
The Jets have won two straight, so they have a chance to finish well, maybe claim their first playoff berth since 2010. In the meantime, the texts will continue.
"He's not the only one, but it means a lot," Bowles said of Parcells. "Coach [Bruce] Arians reaches out as well. He does a good job talking to me, just keeping me grounded."