FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — True to form, Todd Bowles isn’t getting caught up in the moment.
“I’ll be excited if we win Sunday — for an hour,” the Jets coach said jokingly Wednesday, in reference to their critical matchup with the Bills in Buffalo.
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A victory in their season finale would secure their first playoff spot in five years. But it’s far too early for him to think about the postseason.
“It’s just close. It doesn’t count,” Bowles said, adding that his team will need to learn from the Ravens’ upset win over the Steelers — a victory that pushed the Jets ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC playoff race for the final wild-card spot.
So will Bowles use the Steelers’ defeat as a teaching point for his players?
“Shouldn’t have to,” he said. “Everybody has seen it.”
Rex Ryan conceded he was hurt by the criticisms of Bills players. “I’ve never been looked at as a problem. So yeah I guess that would be . . . yeah that bothers me, no doubt about it,” the ex-Jets coach said on a conference call. “I haven’t said anything publicly until now about it. But sure, that would bother me. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna change who I am or how I go about my business, I can promise you that.”
While the Jets’ team chemistry is the highest it’s ever been, the Bills (7-8) are still searching for their level of comfort with their first-year coach after going 9-7 last year under Doug Marrone. “It’s going to take time for us to jell,” said defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. “It’s going to take time for us to get to know each other, for Rex to get to know us, for players and our personalities. . . . He has a good scheme, but we all need to be put in the scheme in the way to the best of our abilities. And that takes time. It’s his first year with us and it’s our first year with him and we’ll fill in the defense the way he wants us to.”
T Breno Giacomini and RB Bilal Powell (ankles), LB Erin Henderson (illness) and RB Chris Ivory (knee) did not practice; QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (left thumb/right elbow/back), LB Calvin Pace (abdomen) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (toe) were limited. . . . Asked about RB LeSean McCoy’s status for Sunday, Ryan said: Not too good.”