Moments after the Jets announced extensions for general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles, a stoic Bowles addressed the media at his customary Friday news conference.
"For me, it's just business as usual," he said. "We're trying to win a game on Sunday and we'll get ready for next year."
But once the Jets players heard about business as usual, they expressed their happiness with CEO Christopher Johnson's decisions and where the Jets are headed in the future.
"I know this organization is going in the right direction," said TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. "For all the hard work that they've put in, both of them with Mike putting the roster together and Todd the way he's coached with all the great coaches we have here, it's a testament to them. And we're going to keep adding pieces and we're going to be a force to reckon with. I'm very, very excited for them and I'm very happy for them."
Claimed off of waviers from Tampa in 2016, Seferian-Jenkins has tallied career highs in 2017 with 50 receptions for 357 yards and three touchdowns. Another player having a career year for the Jets is ILB Demario Davis, who was acquired in a summer swap with the Browns in exchange for Calvin Pryor.
"It's very big, having your coach and your GM in place," said Davis, who leads the team with 154 tackles and has added a personal-best five sacks. "That gives us some stability for the future and now they can continue to build on the things they've put in place already."
Maccgnan's first draft pick as the team's GM was Leonard Williams. The No. 6 overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft sound sounded a bit like Philadelphia 76ers big man Joe Embiid today when the talented defensive lineman said he trusted the process and expressed his love for Bowles. The third-year head coach changed up his approach last spring with a youthful roster, fostering team-building and chemistry through a number of activities inside and outside the building.
"With the competition stuff, It was really like a team-bonding exercise where we're not only bonding, we're competing with each other as well," Williams said of Bowles. "I think that's really, really important for any type of team. We're really united and it shows. Even at the end of the season when people don't think we're playing for anything, we believe we're playing for each other. It's unity."
Acquired in a trade with the Seahawks just nine days before the season opener, WR Jermaine Kearse talked about Bowles' championship pedigree and his ability to communicate.
"He relates to the players really well, he's played the game. He's won a Super Bowl, so he knows what it takes," said Kearse, who has a ring himself and played in two Super Bowls. "He's been in those shoes and the conversations we have out there. He's a smart dude."
Second-year outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, a third-round pick in 2016, did not want to have a reset so early in his professional career.
"I'm definitely relieved and definitely excited about that because having stability in a program is what I think leads to success. You don't have to worry about is this coach going to be here next year and moving around pieces. Then you're going to have start all over," he said. "I definitely believe in Coach, I definitely believe in the path that we're taking and I'm definitely looking forward to staying with him a little longer."
The short-term for Bowles is this weekend's date with the Patriots. But the organization has financial flexibility in addition to three picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft and the Green & White will start adding to the foundation in the not too distant future.
"We'll add some pieces. Obviously the future is trying to get to win the Super Bowl and get to the playoffs," Bowles said. "But we'll add some pieces. We made some strides this year — not enough strides and we didn't win enough games. But going forward we'll make the proper adjustments and go from there."
Injury ReportRT Brandon Shell (concussion) was ruled out of Sunday's contest while TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ribs/ankle) is listed as doubtful. RB Matt **Forté (knee), DE Kony Ealy (knee) and RB Akeem Judd (ankle) are all questionable. DL Muhammad Wilkerson will make the trip to New England, but Bowles declined to say whether he will suit up. Wilkerson has not played the past two games.