FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jets owner Woody Johnson expressed his frustration and got defensive on Thursday.
Johnson said that he expects the New York Jets to turn things around — and fast.
A 3-6 start has the owner just as disappointed as the fans, who were expecting a lot more this season from Rex Ryan’s team.
“The record says what’s going on,” Johnson said during practice. “We’re a 3-6 team. Are we happy? Are they happy? Are the players happy? I know the fans aren’t happy. The answer is no. We’re not happy. We’re not happy with 3-6.
“I didn’t sign up for a 3-6 season. We haven’t had one of these in a while. I’m not happy about it, yet I am optimistic that some of these things can be corrected.”
Johnson would not comment on the immediate futures of coach Ryan or general manager Mike Tannenbaum, saying it’s his policy not to address those things during the season. But he made it clear that things need to get better for his team, which is heading to St. Louis on a three-game losing streak.
The Jets are coming off a lackluster 28-7 loss at Seattle last Sunday that left Johnson frustrated.
“In a lot of pain this week, again,” Johnson said. “To lose in this game, it’s a miserable experience and it’s tough — tough to lose any game, particularly as many games as we’ve lost this year.”
There has been some speculation by fans and media that Johnson was solely behind the Tim Tebow deal in March, hoping to boost sales of tickets and personal seat licenses. Johnson turned a bit testy when asked about that.
“This, I really want to clear up,” Johnson said. “You guys have been accusing me, this phony story of me being more concerned with PSLs or cash or something else. My job — 1, 2 and 3 — is to win games. That’s why I got into this to begin with. It’s to win games. It’s not to sell PSLs or to sell hot dogs.”
Johnson also took issue with a newspaper report that quoted anonymous players and members of the organization who criticized Tebow’s abilities, saying that their statements are “just something out of thin air, essentially.” The report had players sticking up for Mark Sanchez as the starter, with one calling Tebow “terrible” as a quarterback.
“Anonymous guys have no credibility,” Johnson said. “Anonymous guys don’t speak for the organization.”
Johnson would not say whether he regretted making the trade with Denver to bring in Tebow, preferring to not comment on individual players. But he did discuss Sanchez, who is mired in a slump that has had many calling for Tebow to replace him.
“Mark is a player on the team,” Johnson said. “We’re going to evaluate him as we do the other players. He’ll be evaluated just like anybody else.”
It was a curiously lukewarm assessment by Johnson, who later was more supportive when he was asked if he still views Sanchez as the franchise quarterback.
“He is our franchise quarterback,” he said. “I don’t ‘view’ him that way — that’s what he is.”
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