Jets owner Woody Johnson addressed the media on Thursday, four days after the Jets ended their 2022 season and one day after news broke that offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur would not return to the team for a third season.
It sounds like Johnson was busy in the lead up to his press conference and imposed his views on the direction of the team.
#Jets owner Woody Johnson has been adamant with HC Robert Saleh that the the offensive staff’s upheaval is necessary - including OC Mike LaFleur, OL coach John Benton and the likely firing of QBs coach Robert Calabrese, sources tell @theScore.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) January 12, 2023
Speaking on Thursday, Johnson denied that he played a role in changes on the coaching staff and then contradicted himself in the span of one sentence.
Johnson on whether he had input on LaFleur decision: "No. In terms of input, I was not on the decision-making tree. I could present my information. I had private conversations with the coach and general manager and with Mike, too."— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) January 12, 2023
Woody also offered his analysis on the quarterback position.
Woody Johnson says he's "absolutely" open to Joe Douglas exploring paying big bucks for a veteran quarterback.— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) January 12, 2023
"That's kind of the missing piece. Our defense was an unbelievable story that you saw this year, from last place to close to the top." #Jets
He then showed he has the pulse of the fanbase.
Asked Woody Johnson about what he'd say to #Jets fans who are tired of hearing how close they are:— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) January 12, 2023
"I don’t think our fans are tired of it. They can see with their own eyes what happened this year."
Said he talks to fans in the parking lot before games: "They're optimistic"..
During Woody’s ownership there have been cycles where he has been involved with the team and cycles where he has deferred the people he hired.
Unfortunately for the Jets bad things have happened when the people he’s hired have been running things. However, worse things have happened when Woody has meddled in football matters. The team creates ill advised incentives when Woody has too much of a say.
We can hope this foray into the coaching staff is a one time deal, but past history has shown us that Woody doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and even when he reaches the correct decision it tends to be by accident. Once he decides to interject himself, he tends to not show restraint or pick his spots wisely, We could be in for a wild ride if the owner has decided the team needs more of his input over the next year.