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Bill Parcells on Jets situation from head coach's perspective: 'Your team has to have hope'

The New York Jets don't have to look far for lessons on how to deal with a starting quarterback going down with injury in Week 1.

Bill Parcells knows exactly what Robert Saleh is dealing with after Aaron Rodgers' season ended after four snaps. In 1999 -- Parcells' third and final season with the Jets -- Vinny Testaverde ripped his Achilles in Week 1, dashing any preseason excitement in New York.

Parcells spoke to the New York Post's Brian Costello about where Gang Green goes from here.

"I think a coach's challenge is your team has to have hope," Parcells said. "You have to have hope. If the nucleus they built up there, if that was good enough to win, I think you'll see a highly competitive team."

It was fitting that Testaverde was an honorary captain Monday night. Much like the 1999 club, most believe, even after the dramatic Week 1 win, the Jets' postseason hopes will wither on the vine with Rodgers gone.

Parcells said it's on Saleh and his staff to move forward and cover for a loss after revolving their entire offseason around Rodgers. The world continues to spin, and the Rodgers' excuse' will only last so long.

"People, the media and fans, are going to say, 'Oh you lost your quarterback, there goes the season,'" Parcells told Costello. "What I will tell you [is] sports are very current. Three weeks from now they're not going to be talking about Aaron Rodgers. They're going to be talking about who dropped a pass or who fumbled the ball or who missed a tackle or who gave up a big pass play as the reason why the Jets lost."

In '99, the Jets started 1-6 while starting Rick Mirer after Testaverde's injury. The club then rallied around Ray Lucas and got to 8-8. Parcells believes his club would have made the playoffs if he'd turned to Lucas sooner.

"It was just my mistake," he said.

That's the balance Saleh will have to deal with handing the reins to Zach Wilson. Will he ride the young signal-caller through the ups and downs? Or will there come a point when he has to pull the plug and find a veteran option who can play more consistently?

The Jets have a playoff roster if they get steady quarterback play.

"You are charged with winning games under any circumstances that exist and that's what you have to try to do," Parcells said. "I said, 'They're not canceling the games.' They're not canceling them. You're coaching them. It's your job to get your team ready to play to the best of their ability. It's a player's job to prepare and play to the best of their ability. If they do that, then they should have a chance to win."

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