Woody Johnson calls 2014 ‘tremendously frustrating’
The New York Jets owner detailed the mistakes by the Jets that led to the firings of Rex Ryan and John Idzik on Monday.
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson detailed the mistakes made by the franchise that led to the firings of head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik in a press conference on Monday.
“We’re not winning so I thought this was something I had to do,” Johnson said. “I made my final decision today, but it became pretty apparent during the year that we weren’t getting better. You are what your record says you are.”
With a win in Week 17, the Jets avoided finishing with the worst record for the franchise since 1996, instead finishing 4-12 after earning a 37-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the season finale. Less than 24 hours later both Ryan and Idzik were fired by Johnson, who called the 2014 season “tremendously frustrating” for he and fans to watch.
In particular, Johnson noted situations like the team’s decision to throw deep in the final two minutes of the first half of a Week 2 game against the Green Bay Packers. A pass from Geno Smith was intercepted near the goalline, affording Aaron Rodgers the opportunity to lead the Packers on a 97-yard touchdown drive. “It was those kind of mysteries that were hard for me to follow and I know for our fans it was hard,” Johnson said.
While Johnson cited fans on multiple occasions during the presser, he said that their input wasn’t taken into consideration for his decisions to fire Ryan and Idzik. “I work for the fans, but I don’t listen to the fans. The fans that are the most vocal may not represent the fans,” he said.
Aside from his talk about Smith’s interception against the Packers, Johnson was otherwise supportive of the second-year quarterback on Monday, who finished the season with a perfect passer rating against the Dolphins in Week 17.
“He’s a young quarterback, who in the last five games played much, much better,” Johnson said. “In the last five games he played well … He’ll make better decisions as he goes on. I’ve got confidence in the kid, I really do.”
Instead, Johnson believes the team could have better positioned itself by spending more money in the offseason. When asked about former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, he said he’d love for the New England Patriots cornerback to return to New York and that if he knew he could have had the Pro Bowl cornerback for the price that the Patriots paid, he would have made that move in the offseason.
Now, Johnson will begin the search for two new people to lead the Jets and he’ll do so with the help of Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly as advisers. The two former NFL executives, in conjunction with Johnson, have already created a list of candidates that were contacted on Monday.
“This is very, very critical right now,” Johnson said. “We have to make good decisions. We have to structure things properly and know what we’re looking for in a head coach and a general manager.”
The Jets have missed the postseason in four consecutive seasons after back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship in 2009 and 2010.