FLORHAM PARK, N.J.- Sometimes it's words of encouragement. Other times it's advice. Sayings, phrases, quotes-- all with the intention of keeping Todd Bowles' head up.
After each game, be that a win or loss, when the Jets head coach checks his phone, there's a message or two there waiting for him. Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, who Bowles worked under during his time with the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, never fails to send a text to his disciple.
"After loses, he has words of wisdom," Bowles said Wednesday of his mentor. "After wins, he wants to press and keep going."
In his first year coaching the Jets, Bowles has been all ears when those with a bit more experience offer advice. He said he talks frequently with Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, too, but with Parcells, it's an every-game thing. The exchange between the two never lasts too long. Bowles will respond, letting Parcells know he received the message, but that's it.
There's no conversing during the week, or any questions about game plans or strategies. Just two texts each Sunday. One from Parcells after the game. One from Bowles once he sees it.
"I always listen," Bowles said. "For me, personally."
When the Jets were in their slump just a few weeks ago, dropping four of five games, Parcells reached out and told Bowles, "no one remembers mid-season losses, it's how you finish," which stuck with the coach. This past Sunday, after the Jets victory over the Giants and before the team turned their attention to the 3-9 Titans, Parcells made sure Bowles knew that while everyone was talking playoffs, he needed to "just coach" his team, and "worry about the next game."
"I understand what he's saying," Bowles team. "To a point, you buy it. To a point, you have to be consistent with your team. Same things you've been doing. We don't look at any game as a trap game. We look at it as the 'next' game. We gotta take care of us."
Whether the Jets pull out a victory of Tennessee on Sunday, or drop, Bowles knows when he takes out his cell they'll be a text there waiting for him.
"It means a lot," Bowles said. "Keeps me grounded."