NEW YORK (WFAN) — After more than a week of silence following their last game of the 2012 season, the Jets held their year-end press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan held court in front of reporters. Statements were made and questions were answered, and both men attempted to turn the Jets’ disastrous season into a platform for how the organization is headed in the right direction.
“I’m approaching this day like it’s the first day — period,” Ryan said. “Like my first day as a head coach. This is a new chance for me. This is a beginning, certainly not an end.”
Many had their issues with the substance of what was said in the press conference, and WFAN host Mike Francesa was one of them.
“If you are a Jets fan, and you huddled around the radio today, or you huddled around a TV today, or wherever you may have listened to the Jets’ press conference today, here’s what I think you probably came away with: You’re in trouble,” Francesa said. “I thought it was a little historic … This is the first time I can ever remember a coach ever coach (for) four years and then get up there and ask for a do-over. That is what Rex Ryan did today.
“He got up there and said, ‘Hey, I feel like it’s day one! Forget the last four years. I got Mr T. (Mike Tannenbaum) to take the hit for that. I feel like I just got here! I feel like it’s day one!’ Wait, how is it day one? You’ve been here for four years!”
Ryan went 9-7 and 11-5 in his first two seasons, taking the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Games. In 2011, Gang Green went 8-8 before finishing 6-10 this year. New York missed the playoffs both seasons.
“Wouldn’t everybody like, when they have completely destroyed something, to walk in in year five and say, ‘Hey, it’s day one?!'” Francesa said. “‘…Forget the fact that I lost the last three games of 2011. Forget the fact that I went 6-10 and embarrassed the franchise on numerous occasions in 2012. It’s a do-over! I’m starting over! I need to interject me into this team because I’ve never done that!’
“…So maybe Rex is going to quarterback next year. Maybe Rex is going to be the offensive coordinator, because he wants to interject him!”
Ryan said that the Jets are “not going to be bullied,” and added that the Jets would return as “a dangerous football team.”
Johnson said that he never considered terminating his head coach, saying, “I think Rex Ryan is perfect for the New York Jets. He is 100 percent this team.”
Johnson also called Ryan hard-working, smart and sophisticated.
“Let’s be honest: When Woody starts talking business I try not to laugh,” Francesa said. “But when you are a fourth-generation Johnson & Johnson heir, let’s not talk business, OK? Please? And I’m not trying to say that Woody hasn’t maybe done some things with his life, but he started on third base, folks. OK? He started with billions. It’s not too tough.
“I don’t think of Woody as somebody who built an empire, so when he starts talking about what he knows about business … please. What we do know is that he’s lost when it comes to football.”
With Tannenbaum no longer the team’s general manager, Johnson is actively searching for a new man to fill the vacancy. Johnson has hired a search firm to help with the process, but Ryan will have input on the decision.
“Now we find out that this is how it’s going to work, Jets fans: The coach, who just wrecked the franchise, gets to pick the general manager!” Francesa said with a chuckle. “He’s picked the players for the last four years! Now he gets to pick the general manager! What general manager is going to come in here? He not only gets to pick his own coach, (but) the coach who’s here, who just went 6-10, gets to pick you!
“(Rex) doesn’t even know what to do with (the offense), no less take hold of it. The only chance he has is to hope that they can hire an offensive coordinator who can tell him, ‘Listen, I’ll call you when I need you.'”
What did you think of Mike’s rant? Was he on point with his sentiments? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…