Woody Johnson says Jets should be patient; won't discuss Rex's contract
PHILADELPHIA – Woody Johnson thinks that John Idzik will bring a new energy into the building and that the front office, regardless of their opinions on possible team decisions, will emerge more united than before.
He is also confident that the trading of Darrelle Revis, parting of ways with Bart Scott, Sione Po'uha, LaRon Landry and Mike DeVito will also help matters.
That being said, these things take time.
"That's absolutely perfect, be patient, be patient, have trust that we're doing the right thing for your team, we're trying to do the right thing for your team," Johnson said at the NFL career development symposium here in Philadelphia today. "That's why John was brought in and the other coaching changes were made; to make us more competitive."
He began to say that the process would take time, instead adjusting his words: "You gotta have some faith that these decisions will pan out, the Draft is going to work. I'm very confident the Draft we had was a good one, we stuck to what we believed in and the way we set things up."
Whether or not the patience extends to Rex Ryan, though, Johnson wouldn't say. When asked if the team would consider extending his contract mid-season if the plan begins to develop, Johnson had this:
"I would never talk about contracts or anything like that," Johnson said.
"We normally don't discuss contracts or extensions or anything like that."
He added: "(All the offseason moves) are independent, I love Revis, Revis was a great player for the Jets, we just didn't feel like we were going to be able to make the deal work with him,"
"Everybody is on the same page, we're trying to make the team better each and every day. We've made some dramatic changes and it's going to take a little bit of time for these changes to take hold, I think they will take hold.
I'm not going to predict exactly when, but they will take hold."
Mehta: Woody Johnson to Jets rookie QB Geno Smith: "Welcome to the competition."
PHILADELPHIA – Jets owner Woody Johnson has a simple message for new quarterback Geno Smith:
“Welcome to the competition,” said Johnson, who participated in the NFL’s Career Development Symposium on Tuesday. "It’s going to be fun.”
Less than two weeks after the Jets selected Smith in the second round, Johnson made it clear that he’s happy to have the polarizing signal caller on his team. Smith has endured his fair share of criticism in the wake of slipping out of the first round.
“He was the highest rated player (left) on our board,” Johnson said. “I’m extremely happy to have him…. Great body of work. He was a gifted athlete from Day One. I guess they identified him very, very early when he was a little kid as being something special.”
Johnson, who had a 15-minute face-to-face meeting with Smith at the Combine, didn’t appear overly concerned about recent reports about Smith’s character.
“We went by our evaluations,” Johnson said. “We evaluate all those traits: skills and communication, leadership… We evaluate them. He got a very high score with us. He was the next guy on our board and we drafted him.”
The Jets selected Smith with the 39th overall pick, but Johnson admitted that the team considered him in the first round “if we had dropped down.” Gang Green selected Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson with their two first-round selections.
Although Johnson praised Smith, he stopped short of calling him a franchise quarterback.
“I’ll let the competition go,” Johnson said. “We’ll just see how it goes. I don’t want to pre-judge it because they’ve got to go in there and compete every day. We’ll see what it looks like on the field.”
Johnson didn’t shed any light on Mark Sanchez’s immediate future. He didn’t definitively say that Sanchez would be on the roster when training camp starts.
“I expect him to compete,” Johnson said. “He’s under contract.”
Johnson didn't appear to have any regrets about trading for Tim Tebow, who was cut two days after the draft in an anticipated move.
“It was something that didn’t work,” Johnson said. “It didn’t work for us. That doesn’t mean it won’t work somewhere else.”
Will Tebow find a new team?
“That’s not up to me,” Johnson said. “He has done some amazing things… depends on the next general manager and coach.”
Johnson didn’t delve into whether Tebow could have remained with the Jets if he agreed to a position change.
“You got to listen to what he wants to do,” Johnson said. “Everybody’s looking at him now, I imagine. I hope the best for him. I think he’s a great young man. I have a lot of respect for him.”
The decision to trade for Tebow is one of the biggest miscalculations in recent years, but Johnson doesn't sound like a guy that wanted a do-over.
“There’s nothing bad about trying to make yourself better,” Johnson said. “The fit obviously wasn’t perfect or he’d still be here… A lot of decisions in football are not helpful. And you have to move on from those decisions… If you make a decision that doesn’t work—I’m not saying it’s a bad decision – if you make a decision that doesn’t help the team, you move on.”
Johnson’s message for Jets fans?
“Be patient and have trust we’re doing the right thing for your team,” he said. “We’re trying to get better every day. That’s why John (Idzik) was brought in. That’s why the coaches changes were brought in… to make us better and more competitive. But you got to have a little bit of faith… that these decisions are going to pan out. The draft is going to work. I’m very confident that the draft we had was a good one. It was well thought out.”
When a reporter joked that the Patriots should look out, Johnson laughed and said, “Absolutely. You’re right.”