Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Jets Q&A: Opener special for Todd Bowles' family, friends

Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York

Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac

What was Sunday's game like for Todd Bowles' family and friends?

Doreen Bowles needed this.

The New Jersey native -- and older sister of the Jets' coach -- had been waiting for months to talk a little trash. And Sunday's 31-10 win over the Browns gave her that opportunity.

"That's all it takes for me,'' she said, smiling, during an interview with Newsday inside the Coaches Club at MetLife Stadium. "I'm a Jets fan. I'm gonna talk junk!''

About 20 family members and friends still were gathered around tables inside the Coaches Club after the Jets' season opener, Bowles' first victory as a head coach.

But Todd Bowles' wife insisted that her husband showed no pregame jitters. That's just not his style.

"Cool as a cucumber, honey,'' said Taneka Bowles, who was accompanied by their three sons as well as her mother and father. "Always even-keeled. That's just him.''

His older sister, a Jets fan for 25 years, agreed. "He's always level,'' she said. "Always been that way from birth.''

The "roller-coaster ride'' that she and the family have been on since his hire has been not only exciting but "humbling,'' she said.

"We grew up in Elizabeth, we were raised by our mom, and my mom has since passed away,'' said Doreen Bowles, who lives in Woodbridge, New Jersey. "And to see my brother, the baby boy, accomplish what he has accomplished is humbling because it lets you know you're blessed.''

Anthony Rose, one of Todd Bowles' best friends, said their hometown is buzzing now that Todd Bowles is back in town.

"My phone is almost dead,'' Rose said of all the text messages he's received. "People are just happy and excited in Elizabeth.''

For the Bowles clan, a win Sunday was a must. But truth be told, they already felt like the victors.

"I was happy because I knew he had won either way,'' Taneka Bowles said. "We won just by being here, honey. We won by just getting the opportunity for him to have this team right here. So I was all right.

"But did I still want the win? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,'' she said, laughing. "But we won in February when we got here.''

Why was Zac Stacy inactive?

For the first game of the season, Bowles decided to make only two running backs active -- Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. That left Zac Stacy, whom the Jets traded for in May, on the outs. But Bowles thought activating Stacy would be "overkill'' with fullback Tommy Bohanan available as "an emergency'' back.

Other inactives included CB Dexter McDougle, QB Geno Smith, WR Devin Smith, G Jarvis Harrison, OT Ben Ijalana and NT Deon Simon.

Any special guests in attendance?

Sure. There was NBA star Dwyane Wade, Browns great Jim Brown and actors Ray Romano and Bobby Cannavale, but the real star of the afternoon was Fireman Ed. The unofficial leader of the "J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!'' chant returned to MetLife Stadium for the first time since declaring during the 2012 season that he was done.

New York Sports