Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWhen you are the head of a billion dollar organization, it doesn’t always help to be swayed by just what has transpired in the last week or three. This might be the case with Woody Johnson, who spoke on ESPN NY before the kickoff of the Jets 37-27 win over the Raiders. The troops might be beleaguered, but in his interview, Johnson didn’t use vocabulary that would indicate he’s waiting for the season to end so that he can make a coaching change.
Brian Costello wrote about Johnson’s positive comments for today’s NY Post.
“I’m pretty happy with the way things are going,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the decision on whether to keep Ryan will not be based solely on the team’s record.
“It’s really the direction of the team and how we think the learning curve is going and whether the young people are absorbing it, and whether it’s a formula that can help you win,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s coming forward to speak on radio seems to coincide with at least one exhortation for the GM to speak with the media. Maybe Idzik would have been interviewed by ESPN NY’s home team himself on Sunday, but having just done so a month ago and dealing with the death of his father this week might have precipitated Woody stepping into the void.
The NY Daily News’ Manish Mehta read between the lines of Johnson’s comments, and agrees with Costello’s assessment. While the season might have been tumultuous, Johnson indicated that he’s more concerned with the trajectory of this team come season’s end than much else.
Although Johnson wasn’t specifically asked about Ryan, the owner suggested that the offseason may not be as tough as some believe it will be (with the obvious implication that a coaching change is on the horizon). The boss offered Ryan more than a glimmer of hope by suggesting that patience could prevail over impulse.
“We make those decisions after the season,” Johnson said when asked about potentially sticky choices that may have to be made in a few weeks. “It’s really about the direction we think the learning curve is going and whether the young people are absorbing, and whether it’s a formula that can help you win. … It’s a complicated thing. At the end of the day, you want to give players the opportunity to win, which is what I think we’re doing.”
While the Dolphins game was tough to look at for many reasons, one of the biggest problems was how the rookies performed on the whole. Allowances must be given to the fact that the Raiders are a much less competitive team, but the rookies played much better collectively Sunday. Geno Smith had a successful day in the air and had more scores than picks. Dee Milliner was in on a number of key breakups and Brian Winters was effectively hid, at least for one game. Second year players Quinton Coples had his third sack of the season and Antonio Allen had a crucial punt-block and score.
The next three games will be hard. It is a tall order for the Jets to beat the 9-4 Panthers on the road before taking on the rather frisky Browns and Dolphins. Wins are going to be helpful to Rex, but according to Woody won’t be the only factor.
Can the team avoid getting blown out? Will the Jets play competitive football in if they don’t win? Can the young players show more improvement and be put in spots to be successful?
With the cap room and draft picks the Jets have coming to them in 2014, the cavalry is on its way. The question will be whether Ryan is recalled first by his commander in chief.