Neil Best Newsday columnist Neil Best

Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, then returned in 1985. His SportsWatch column debuted in 2005.

This is going to take some getting used to for those of us who spent six years of our lives listening to a certain previous Jets coach -- players, fans and journalists alike.

You might recall Rex Ryan, who vowed to take his team on a post-Super Bowl visit to the White House a mere eight months before coaching his first game in 2009.

Then there is Todd Bowles, who after a huge, prime-time, statement-making road upset of the Colts Monday night seemed no more excited than if he had just come from watching a scouting combine workout in Indy in February.

How about the big victory and the 2-0 start, coach?

"It was a good win, but it's only win number two," he said after the game. "Again, we're not where we want to be, but we're on the way, and the trick is to win while you're doing it. We were fortunate enough to win two games."

Of course, most coaches would have gone down that path under the circumstances, even if Rex would have been urging fans to make Bay Area hotel reservations early for Super Bowl 50.

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But in Bowles' case, the disingenuousness that usually comes with coach-speak seems to be absent. His stoicism is no act.

After playing through a knee sprain that a week earlier had everyone fearing he was lost for the season, cornerback Antonio Cromartie was asked about Bowles' postgame message.

"There really wasn't no message," he said. "Just get ready for Philly."

The questioner then correctly noted, "That's pretty boring."

Said Cro: "Call it boring, but that's how we do it. One week at a time."

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Again, nothing revolutionary in that sentiment -- except for the fact it came out of the mouth of one of Rex's guys.

(Which reminds me, check out this headline on a column in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle after Ryan's Bills lost to the Patriots Sunday: "Bills lead NFL in bluster, penalties and delusion." Hmm. That sounds familiar.)

Said Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison: "It feels great any time you can get a win. But one week at a time, man. Coach Bowles has done an excellent job of not looking ahead, just on to the next week."

On a conference call Tuesday, Bowles was asked whether he has to temper the enthusiasm of his players, lest they get ahead of themselves.

"No, you don't temper enthusiasm," he said. "They know how long the season is . . . I'm not going to temper them from being excited."

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OK, so call it keeping things in perspective rather than putting a damper on them. Bowles did mention Tuesday that all the Jets have guaranteed themselves is a record no worse than 2-14.

None of the above is meant to diss Ryan, who was great fun to have around and won plenty of big games in green.

But Jets fans should be comforted by the fact the guy now in charge seems nicely equipped to handle suddenly high expectations in Gotham.

And this only is the start. Reporters poked and prodded Tuesday with the inevitable questions about whether Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the quarterback when Geno Smith is healthy -- which will be soon -- and he didn't flinch.

"Ryan's the starter," he said.

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Bowles might be coaching the only NFL playoff contender in town by the time attention turns fully to football after the Mets and Yankees leave autumn's back pages.

So far there has been no hint he will not be able to handle it. Still, the guy has yet to lose his first regular-season game here. We shall see.

That is looking ahead, though. Something you and I are allowed to do but Bowles' Jets are not.