Mike Tannenbaum On Woody Johnson: ‘All He Cared About Was Winning’
NEW YORK (WFAN) — Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum sat down with WFAN co-hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Wednesday morning and reflected a bit on what has transpired with Gang Green over the past few weeks.
The 43-year-old admitted that he was a bit surprised about being fired by team owner Woody Johnson, but was realistic in light of the Jets’ disappointing season.
“I was a little bit (surprised),” Tannenbaum said in regard to getting the axe. “But when you’re 6-10, especially in our market, that’s gonna happen … Woody’s been great, and we’ve spoken since then. We had a long relationship and he’s been great to me.”
Tannenbaum joined the Jets’ organization in 1997 and was named the general manager in 2006. Following two seasons in which New York missed the playoffs, Johnson relieved him of his duties.
Johnson has a reputation for craving headlines and media attention, but Tannenbaum let the owner off the hook on Tuesday when he told WFAN host Mike Francesa that acquiring Tim Tebow was his decision. Many speculated that Johnson only wanted Tebow to garner headlines, sell merchandise and increase attendance figures.
Tannenbaum defended his former owner again on Wednesday, telling Boomer & Carton that Johnson’s main focus is building a winning football team.
“I think the brand is promoted by winning,” Tannenbaum said. “…All (Johnson) cared about was winning. You guys have been to our facility, (and) it’s the best facility of any team in any sport in the country. And that’s really what he cares about.
“…Since (Johnson) has owned the team, the Jets have had the fewest players on IR. We always used to say that there was a salary cap, but not a cap on player resources. We put a lot of time into wellness, and that goes to winning. We have a long track record to show that.”
Tannenbaum also took the high road and spoke highly of John Idzik, who was hired to replace him as general manager. Tannenbaum believes in Idzik, and he assured Jets fans that they are in good hands with the former Seahawks executive.
“He is a good man,” Tannenbaum said in regard to Idzik. “I spoke to him and I think he’ll do real well … There’s a really good plan in place. John is a smart guy (and) I’m sure he’ll tweak (the roster) and change it. But there is a good plan in place — not only for this year, but for years to come. They have some decisions to make, but there is a good plan in place.”
Super Bowl XLVII will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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