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Jets Owner and Head Coach Quotes

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1495 Sports is proud to bring the following quotes from Owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan.

Opening statement:


“Thank you all for being here today and you are valued reporters to the New York Jets. This has been a very tough year for all of us. I want to make, whether it’s an apology, I read all of your statements regarding the delay. The coach is not responsible for this. I wanted him to wait until I had a chance to think a little bit more about the season and Mike Tannenbaum and the changes that we’re making. I probably should have gotten back to you earlier. I think the fans wanted to know and the fans deserve to know. Your comments regarding the delay are valid and I take them for what they are, so I appreciate that. I should have gotten back (to you) earlier and I agree with that. I met Mike the first day that I became involved with the New York Jets. I have a lot of respect for Mike. Mike was a very hard worker here and very diligent, but I felt we had to go in a different direction to improve this team and get us to where we want to be. I’m never going to say anything negative about Mike, because quite frankly the positives outweigh the negatives in all respects. I did feel it was time to make a change and I made that change. The same day, I talked to Rex Ryan, our head coach, and told him how much I valued his contribution to the team. I think everything I said in that statement that I released last week came from me. I believe it. I fervently believe that he has a rare ability. I’m sorry Rex, you can’t listen to this, (joking) as a leader, his specific skill on defense and how he is able to do that. Also, on offense and special teams because he has had to fight against those, so he’s learned a lot and he has great instinct. We’re going to move forward and make some changes. Rex will talk about what the changes are and what the process is along the way. We’re looking for a new GM, as you’ve written about. Korn/Ferry was hired because we felt that we wanted to really expand the search as much as we could and really try to take a professional process and approach to it. Jed Hughes is doing that and he’s excellent. He’s done a lot of searches in the NFL and we feel that he will help us organize this process in a way that will yield a candidate that will help us. We’re in the process of interviewing (candidates). I’m not going to get into the specifics of the process and who we’ve interviewed, but, suffice to say, we’ve got a lot of talented people that we’re talking to. We’re excited about that and we’re learning a lot by talking to those individuals about the team, their look at the team and what we’re going to do moving forward to make it better. I’d like to turn it over to the head coach.”


“Thank you Woody. I think first off, with Mike Tannenbaum leaving the organization, personally I’d like to thank him for everything that he put into this, all of the blood, sweat and tears he poured into it for the four years that I was with Mike. We made a ton of decisions together and they were always Jets decisions. Not all of them were right obviously, but I know the intent was. I certainly appreciate him for everything that he did and how much help he was to me for the four years that we were together. With that being said, I think we’ll be friends for a lifetime. That’s how I feel about him. With all of that being said, I’m going to tell you this, I’m approaching this day like it’s the first day, period, my first day as a head coach. Obviously, now I have four years of experience, but that’s how I’m looking at it, (as) the same challenge that I took four years ago. I’ve been given a great opportunity by Mr. Johnson to move forward. This is it. This is a new chance for me and that’s how I’m approaching it. This is a beginning. It’s certainly not an end. That’s not how I’m looking at it. This is a beginning. Mr. Johnson talked about some of the changes we’ve made. Right now, currently, we’re looking for two coordinators. Ben Kotwica is going to replace Mike Westhoff as our special teams coordinator. Obviously, (those are) some huge shoes to fill. Mike Westhoff was a legendary special teams coach and it was a privilege for me to coach with Mike for four seasons.  If you want to know how big those shoes are, just ask Westy. (joking). I love Mike. He’s basically trained Ben Kotwica for this opportunity. On defense, Mike Pettine is going to have several opportunities as a defensive coordinator. Today I know he interviews (with) the Buffalo Bills. I’m hoping he doesn’t take that job. I’m hoping he goes somewhere else. (joking) Mike and I have been together for over 10 years and he’s a tremendous coach. We had the conversations and right now, Mike thinks it’s best that he goes to a different team as a defensive coordinator and I wish him all the best, unless he goes to Buffalo. (joking) I love Mike and I respect him. Last night, after thinking about it for a long time, I decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator spot, by letting Tony Sparano go. I appreciate the effort that Tony (gave) here. He did a lot of good things. When you look at it, obviously from a personnel standpoint, this was not the team that we thought we were going to have throughout the season. Obviously, you look a little different when you have Santonio Homles outside, Dustin Keller as your tight end, Stephen Hill as a developing guy, all of those types of things. Unfortunately, that never happened. When we had the injury to Santonio, it really hurt our team, but I understand the circumstances that Tony was being dealt. At the end of the day, I wanted to move this team in a different direction offensively. I’m not saying that Tony didn’t do a good job, because he did a tremendous job and he’s a tremendous coach. I think where I’ve come up short, in my opinion for four years, I think through this experience that I don’t think I’ve done as good a job of implementing who I am throughout this team. I want a team, and there are several individuals on offense and defense that understand it and play that way, but I want a physical, aggressive attack-style football team whether it’s offense (or) defense and all that, unpredictable in all three phases. That’s what I want. I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job of getting that through to the entire football team. I certainly think it’s gotten through to (the) defense more than it’s gotten through to the other (groups) and special teams. I don’t think it’s necessarily gotten through from schematic things or anything offensively. I think that’s what I want. When we search for a new offensive coordinator, I want somebody with that same type of belief that I have and that same passion and energy and that same attack mentality and unpredictability on offense, I think, that I would have, as a defensive guy or whatever, but as a head coach, this is what I want. My first year when I came in here I talked about having an all-weather offense, not a ground and pound. The ground-and-pound mentality only came after the team that we knew we had, the type of players we had in place. That year of the ground-and-pound mentality fit our football team. I want to be more of an attack-style team whether it’s running the pistol or running different types of offenses. That’s what I’m looking to do. I want to be as hard as we are to attack defensively, I want to be the same way on offense. I think that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what I’m looking for. I can’t wait to get that process started. With that being said, everything that I’m looking for, if it lines up accordingly, I’m going to lean obviously on the general manager and get his input into decisions that we’re going to make going forward. Obviously, I think we have a lot of strong candidates internally, especially on defense, to be our defensive coordinator. The ink is not dry so I’m not announcing them today. That will be later. I have a feeling that internally we’re going to run the New York Jets defense, period. I want to lean on the new general manager and get his thoughts (on that), as well as going forward. I think that’s what you do. That’s certainly what I did with Mike Tannenbaum and those are some of the things that I’m looking forward to doing with our new general manager as well.”

On whether he views 2013 as a pivotal season knowing that there will be a new GM and his contract has two years left:


“Like I said, I don’t look at it that way. I look at it as, I have an opportunity and I’m excited about the opportunity in front of me. And like I say, this is a beginning for me and that’s how I approach it, that’s how I’m looking at it and that’s how I’m going to attack it. I’m going to attack it with that same energy and passion that I did from day one. I don’t look at it that way. I look at it as I’m no different than 31 others. I take that back. I think, in many ways, I’m in much better shape than some guys are. I have the best facilities in the National Football League. I have an organization committed to the wellness of their players like no other organization in this league. I have an owner that’s committed to winning, which has a passion for winning, that loves this football team and I get an opportunity. I have a group of core players that I think can be outstanding. And so those are the things that I’m focused on. I’m not focused on what we don’t have, all this kind of stuff. I’m focused on all the things that we do have that are so positive.”

On why he has not been able to imprint what he wants on offense after four years:


 “That’s a great question. I think I just have failed in that area. And for whatever reason, it’s hard to see that but, I think it’s clear that that’s where I’ve come up short. When I talk about an all-weather offense, I wanted to be able to run the football in terrible weather, I wanted to be able to throw it and all that type of stuff, but when I mentioned the ground-and-pound, I think that carried over for years and years, but that was more based on really what was best for our team and the best way for our team to win at that time. That’s kind of where I look at it as we do want to be unpredictable. Quite honestly, we’re so unpredictable we don’t know who the offensive coordinator is right now. (joking)”

On how he plans to make his imprint going forward:


“When I look at it, this has to be part of it. This is what the New York Jets fans signed up for and what Mr. Johnson signed up for when he hired me. And that’s why it’s like, this has to get done, it’s not a question will it get done. It has to get done. I’ve failed to this point, but I have confidence in myself and this organization that we will succeed.”

On what he is looking for in a general manager:


 “We’re looking at somebody that can guide us to the next level of success and really change the dynamic in a way that yields more consistent success on the field. In terms of specific characteristics, I can’t get into that yet. All I can say is that the people we’re talking to, the candidates we’re talking to, are exceptionally good and each one of them bring something different, as well as internal candidates. So I’m very encouraged by what I’m seeing so far.”

On whether he’s bothered that the public perception is that the Jets are a circus:


“I feel very confident in the process that we have here and the people we have in the building and our commitment to winning and our commitment to putting the best product on the field that is humanly possible. There’s no shortage of effort. There’s no shortage of brainpower and so I feel good. I feel very, very good about the direction of the New York Jets and where we’re going to go from this point forward. And that’s as positive as I can be. I’m very confident that we’re going to accomplish our objective and that’s all. That’s all we’re working for.”

On whether they have enough talent to go to the Super Bowl next year:


 “Obviously, there are a lot of things that we have to improve on. I think we just have to take little positive steps. That obviously starts with the hiring of the general manager (and) the hiring of two new coordinators, those types of things. We’ll address all of that going forward. I will say this, certainly having (the Super Bowl) in our stadium, there isn’t a coach in this world that doesn’t want to get there and you’re looking at one of them.”

On what he would say to fans about the season:


“I’d give them the same (explanation) I’d give members of my own family, who are also fans, and the people I talk to in the parking lot. I have ultimate confidence in this organization to be able to put a consistently winning team on the field. We failed this year and I talked to (the media) about it. We’re not happy and we’re making changes to correct that. I feel confident that these changes will have a meaningful impact both on personnel and coaching. If you surround yourself with smart people, and people who are smart in a particular area, we’re talking football here, you’re going to get a good product. You’re committed, you work hard and you focus on what you’re trying to do and how you’re trying to improve in each area. I brought (New York Jets President) Neil Glat over (here), as an example. Neil brings a lot to the table. I think this organization, I’m confident that it’s going to go forward and give the fans what they want. They’re going to have a great product. They’re going to be proud of their team and they’re going to see a very well-run organization that makes very good decisions. Not all of them are going to be correct, but most of them.”

On getting the team back on track:


 “Nobody is going to try harder to do that. I can guarantee that. There are some things we can do with the (salary) cap. There are some obvious things to get us down into a pretty good position, so I think the flexibility for the general manager is great. You can have my assurance for the fans. (Media will) be talking to the fans, that as Mike (Tannenbaum) used to say, ‘No stone will be left unturned.’ We are going to commit ourselves 100 percent to finding answers and to putting this team on the right track.”

On the fans’ frustration:


“I can understand the frustrations. As a fan, we’re 6-10. I think the big thing is, as a fan, you want to identify with everything about the organization. When Mr. Johnson brought me in here to be the head coach, I told him what my vision for the team was and I think that in some aspects I lived up to it, but as far as a collective thing, and winning consistently, it hasn’t been there. To me, I would tell the fans that number one, we’re going to have a team (and) we’re not going to get bullied. Fans don’t like for their team to be embarrassed. We were embarrassed at times last year. That’s not going to happen. We might not win every game. Obviously, we won’t. No team does. But you have to stand for something, and the thing that we’re going to stand for is we’re going to be the team that you don’t want to play, that we are a dangerous football team, we’re going to attack you from the minute that whistle blows (and) we’re going to attack you on offense, defense and special teams. That’s what I have to give the fans. That’s my job (and) my responsibility. Understand it, that’s exactly what we’re going to give them this season and beyond.”

On whether he is concerned that the Jets brand has been tarnished:


 “No, I’m not. We want to protect the brand because it’s really the fans’ brand. We’re always trying to be a better organization, and when we fail, we try to look back on why we failed and we’re remedying those. We’re doing a lot of major things this year to put ourselves on a different footing long term. Coach Ryan talked about long term. We can’t build for the first game next year. We have to build for sustainable success. Coach Ryan is committed to making those decisions in that light. That’s (the way) we’re going to run it and we have nothing to be ashamed of. We are working very hard here and we fell a little short this year. That’s sports. That’s what happens. We don’t accept it. We don’t accept wanting to be a 6-10 team. We’re going to try to get better, but our fans will stick with us because our fans love their team and we work for the fans. It’s a great relationship. They’re frustrated. I understand that. I’m frustrated and we’re doing everything we can to improve that.”

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