New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said the team’s 2012 season has been a “miserable experience” and refused to say whether changes on the field or in the front office would follow.
“I know the fans aren’t happy,” Johnson told reporters yesterday after practice in Florham Park, New Jersey. “We’re not happy. I didn’t sign up for a 3-6 season. We haven’t had one of these in a while.”
Johnson wouldn’t discuss the job security of coach Rex Ryan or General Manager Mike Tannenbaum beyond this season, saying he never makes “any midseason statements” about personnel issues. He supported Mark Sanchez, who has the third-worst quarterback rating of any starter in the National Football League this year.
“He is our franchise quarterback,” Johnson said. “That’s what he is.”
Unidentified Jets players were quoted as criticizing backup quarterback Tim Tebow in a New York Daily News story two days ago. Ryan labeled the comments “cowardly” and said he had addressed the matter with the team.
“Anybody that’s anonymous has no credibility,” Johnson said. He added that it was the decision of the Jets’ coaches and front office to trade for Tebow.
Johnson also said he wanted to put to rest any notion that he’s more concerned about making moves to sell personal seat licenses than winning games.
“My job 1, 2 and 3 is to win games, that’s why I got into football to begin with,” Johnson said. “It’s not to sell PSLs or anything else. My job is to win games. That’s what my passion is. That’s what I want to do.”
Johnson said he remains optimistic even though the Jets are tied for last place in the American Football Conference’s East Division heading into this week’s game in St. Louis against the Rams.
Since the NFL’s current playoff format was instituted in 1990, only three teams have recovered from 3-6 starts to make the postseason, most recently the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars finished 9-7 that season and reached the AFC Championship game.