Clearly fed up with another year of missing out on the post-season, Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke with Gary Myers of the New York Daily News and addressed the future of the franchise in a more candid manner than he has at any other point this season. During the interview, Johnson also talked about how difficult this season has been for him. “This is the hardest year I’ve had in terms of losses.” When speaking about the frustration felt by Jets fans, Johnson said “I go out and see fans every week. I know they are loyal Jets fans. But it’s hard every week to be disappointed with the thing you love, which is your team, is frustrating. They love their team, but they don’t like seeing it go through this kind of agony.”
When questioned by Myers about the possibility of firing a coach for whom he has so much admiration in Rex Ryan, Johnson replied “It’s not a question of fondness, I’ve always thought he was a very good coach, he’s an excellent coach, excellent teacher, the fans are going to want to see something different. They’re not going to let us get along and I don’t want to do exactly the same thing.” So in one breath, Johnson acknowledges holding Rex in high regard, but also makes it clear that he knows changes have to be made. Ryan of course wasn’t the only topic of conversation as the heat is being turned up on second-year General Manager John Idzik.
Johnson, commented further and said that there had to be changes to “the way we coach, or the way we approach it. It might be with different people.” Myers then asked Johnson if everyone’s job was in jeopardy, to which Johnson replied “This is a results-oriented business. You try to put a package together to help you right the ship, we evaluate everybody. Everybody in football is evaluated. It’s going to happen at the end of the year, that’s the way we normally do it. That’s the way most teams do it.”
So Johnson said what so many had hoped he was thinking. The current regime is a collective failure and changes have to be made. Curiously absent from Johnson’s comments was any form of praise for Idzik when the owner clearly made a point of reminding fans just how much he likes Ryan. Failing to give a vote of confidence to a GM in his second season cannot be good news for Idzik, and despite openly praising Rex, the need for change was the most important part of his answer. So, with just three games remaining on the schedule, Johnson has finally given Jets fans an ever so small glimpse in to what he’s thinking as “Black Monday” looms just seventeen days away.