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New Jets boss already making impact -- even in the team cafeteria

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New Jets boss already making impact -- even in the team cafeteria

 

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets unveiled their new boss Wednesday, trotting out Christopher Johnson to the media. This was his first moment in the spotlight, his first chance to discuss his role and vision for the franchise -- and, perhaps most importantly, his first opportunity to assuage a fan base that has lost confidence in his older brother, Woody Johnson, the owner-turned-ambassador.

It wasn't a large-scale, Tebow-esque news conference, only a small, no-cameras-allowed gathering in a conference room at One Jets Drive, but Johnson still impressed. He was realistic about the present state of the team and hopeful about the future. He exuded confidence, indicating that he will be his own man, not a puppet for his older brother. He joked that he wants to make the Super Bowl one day and leave two tickets for Woody at will call because "every little brother wants to show up his big brother."

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Christopher Johnson, left, with GM Mike Maccagnan, has stepped in for his older brother, Jets owner Woody Johnson, who is overseas serving as a U.S. ambassador. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Brilliant. Where has this guy been hiding?

Johnson struck the right chords in a 20-minute session with reporters, yet it was something he did behind the scenes that resonated the most with the men he employs. Johnson visited the team cafeteria and sat down for lunch with the players. On this day, he ate with running backs Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. Other players noticed, including tackle Kelvin Beachum, whose first NFL owner -- the late Dan Rooney -- did that on a daily basis with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"That stuff goes a long way," Beachum said. "I know this is a business, and these owners run $2 billion corporations, but it's still a people business. It's cool when an owner does that. That's big for me because it shows they care."

Johnson looks like his older brother and sounds like him at times, but their personalities and approaches are different. Christopher won't be an every-day-at-the-office owner like John Mara and Robert Kraft, but he's planning to be around as much as possible. Woody was so involved in the 2016 presidential campaign -- first for Jeb Bush, then for Donald Trump -- that it took him away from his football team for nearly two years. He attended games and kept in touch with his top football people, but his absence was noticed in the locker room.

Now it's Christopher Johnson's show. Big Brother is watching, but he isn't meddling, according to Christopher.

After 17 years in a background role -- rarely seen and never heard -- Christopher Johnson said he is in charge of the Jets and will make all the decisions. There will be some big ones in the coming months, namely regarding the futures of general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles. Johnson said he won't be dialing his big bro in London for input on those or any other issues confronting the franchise.

"We are not discussing football," Johnson said of his brother, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. "He's out of it."

It was important for Johnson to convey authority because the last thing the Jets need is the perception that Woody is calling the shots from Winfield House, the London mansion that will be his home. A two-headed owner, coupled with a two-headed power structure in football ops (Maccagnan and Bowles), would be too many heads for a team that figures to get its tail kicked.

If Christopher truly is in charge -- he's the chairman and CEO -- that's good news for the Jets. It's time for a fresh perspective. Let's be honest: One of the reasons the Jets are where they are is because of Woody, who has presided over 17 years of mediocrity. When he handed the team to Christopher, he told him, "It's your team. Don't mess it up."

Too late, it already is. Christopher's job is to clean it up. The plan is for Woody to resume control when his overseas gig is up.

It's certainly fair to wonder about Christopher's qualifications -- he didn't play football or grow up in football -- but I can tell you this: He isn't a "neophyte" (his word) when it comes to the Jets. A minority owner since Woody bought the team in 2000, Christopher has been involved in a behind-the-scenes capacity, serving as a sounding board for his brother. The first big decision on his watch was the Sheldon Richardson trade. So far, that looks like a win for the Jets.

Johnson said he won't judge Maccagnan and Bowles on the win-loss record, claiming that the GM and coach will be evaluated on how the team progresses through the season. He sounded a bit Pollyanna-ish when he said the answer "will be obvious." Decisions such as that usually aren't black and white. His praise for Maccagnan and Bowles seemed a bit over the top, considering they've lost 14 of their past 19 games, but he wanted to show support.

For the most part, the new boss said all the right things and avoided the usual PR spin. It was straight talk, and it was a breath of fresh air, right down to his appeal to the fan base: "My biggest challenge is to earn the trust of the fans, to have them know I care about this team deeply, and I'm going to do everything I can to make it a great team again."

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Thanks for the articel...

In a very real sense I am happy that Woody feels that he can trust his brother, the article shows that Woody loves his brother enough to let him be the "guy" and in truth, for me, that says something very nice about Woody Johnson...... :) 

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Christopher Johnson has complete control of Jets, including Todd Bowles, Mike Maccagnan

Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports)

Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports)

FLORHAM PARK -- The Jets, for the time being, are Christopher Johnson's team. Not Woody's. That became abundantly clear when he met the media for the first time Wednesday morning.

He'll call the shots without consulting his older brother. That goes for minor decisions, and the major ones -- including whether or not to bring back head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan in 2018. 

"Woody is not involved in that at all," Christopher said.

This Jets season looks headed in an ugly direction. After an offseason roster purge claimed veterans like a plague, the Jets are left with a young, unproven group. They'll take -- and through two weeks they have -- their lumps. They'll compete, but it's hard to see them winning many games.

If the Jets finish this year with fewer than five wins, the Bowles-Maccagnan reign will have gotten worse each year since their hires in 2015. Most coaches and GMs don't survive that. But the Jets, Johnson says, aren't basing this year on wins and losses.

"My brother said, back during the spring, don't judge the team on wins and losses, but progression" Johnson said. "I agree with that. I think it's going to be obvious to all if we're progressing. There are so many young guys who, just because they aren't bold-faced names, doesn't mean they aren't really talented.

"This is a team on the rise. There are some growing pains right now, but we've got a plan. I'm going to do everything I can to support the people in this building ... I'm hoping the fans, who I care deeply about -- I've been a fan since I was a little kid and bleed green like they do -- appreciate what we're doing to get back to greatness."

Johnson said his brother consulted him before hiring Bowles and Maccagnan. He was on board with the decision then, and still believes the two are the right men for the job. He praised Maccagnan for his skill as a "talent evaluator," and said he has seen "nothing to dissuade him from that" thus far. As for Bowles, Johnson loves the way he interacts with the players. He said he has a "connection" with them that strikes all the right chords.:blink:

The mixture should help "this team be great again," Johnson said. As for when? He doesn't have any idea. There's no timetable for when the Jets can reach their ultimate goal of a Super Bowl, or even the playoffs. It's going to take time, and Johnson adjusting his own ways.

 

Johnson: Jets aren't tanking

 

"I'm not a patient man," Johnson said. "I'm like any fan. I've been a fan of this team all my life. You can look long term, but I want to see this team progressing every game. I'm not happy with losses. I'm not happy with mistakes. But I'm excited about the progression."

Woody Johnson, through most of his 17-year run as owner, has been rather involved. Almost to a fault. He had a reputation as meddling, which led to poor decisions which hurt, not helped, the Jets.

It's surprising to hear he is stepping away completely, but Christopher says that's because he now has another full-time job which requires his complete attention. Until he returns, he won't have any say in the day-to-day control.

"He's out of it," Christopher said of his brother. "He said, 'I'm stepping away from football.'"

Johnson does an idea of how he can get him back, though. If he's able to lead the Jets to a Super Bowl, he'll leave Woody two tickets at will-call.

"Every little brother wants to show up his big brother," he joked.

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9 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

Quoted to find easily later. Keywords: TomShane faceplantpwnlater, TomShanewrongagain, OneTimeIhopeTomShaneright, TomShaneIsSecretlyaPatsfan

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10 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

If it really is his team now, then he's going to want to make a bold move to make his mark. I agree with you. 

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34 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

Today I heard on the radio that Johnson is "very impressed with Todd Bowles".  That's a quote. I so hope you are right.

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

This. Give Gruden whatever he wants to come coach/GM, and let him make the top pick next year. I know CJ praised both of them because it's the politically correct thing to do, but Todd Bowles is Kotite version 2.0 and Macc is only a marginal improvement over Idzik.

Kotite.jpg.e955fb8ff42fc8e7c5db4ea3d6fc794b.jpg

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11 hours ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

Has to be. He "likes" Maccs drafts and Bowles connection with players? This dude is either daffy  or has a hell of a poker face. I'm hoping for the latter. 

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12 hours ago, Gas2No99 said:

 

Johnson said he won't judge Maccagnan and Bowles on the win-loss record, claiming that the GM and coach will be evaluated on how the team progresses through the season. He sounded a bit Pollyanna-ish when he said the answer "will be obvious."

Well, there it is.  They are getting fired.

12 hours ago, pointman said:

Fire Bowles or lose me forever.

No worries, see above.

12 hours ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

That might be the one thing I would like less than "staying the course."  XTC Y Banana 2.4 turbo indeed.

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Of the thousands of pictures I've seen of Woody standing watching practice, talking to GM's or coaches, I can't recall ever seeing a picture of his brother standing with him at the facility.

I'm not buying for a second that Chris Johnson is not consulting Woody on major decisions.  

Word is when they decided to have this coming out party Chris went to the stadium thinking the Jets headquarters was there.  A Giants intern had to drive him to Florham Park.

The good news is progress is being made.  In the picture with the article Macc is explaining to him that  footballs are not full of feathers.  It's a process :)

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12 hours ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

Gruden only comes if we have the #1 pick and can choose his QB. The $80 mil in cap space will only help grease the wheels for his 5 yr/ $30 mil contract.

 

I wonder who Gruden likes best from the 4 top rated QB's that are looking to declare for the draft?

 

Bring it!!!

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13 hours ago, T0mShane said:

He's going to fire the living hell out of everyone in the building and pay Gruden. Bookmark this post, haters.

If he does, i'll take a 1 year sabbatical from this place, but if he doesn't, you do and take that sidekick of yours with you .

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This could be a complete "fluff" piece/favor to the Jets in hope of getting a better story later but it baffles me that this is something Woody never did and is now being lauded.  Like sitting in the cafeteria having lunch with the players is something Woody should be doing on a fairly regular basis.

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15 hours ago, Gas2No99 said:

It's surprising to hear he is stepping away completely, but Christopher says that's because [Woody] now has another full-time job which requires his complete attention.

What I want to know is - what exactly does the US Ambassador to Britain do?  Christopher makes it sound like Woody is going to be working 100 hour weeks, I guess eating tea and crumpets 24 hours a day?

 

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chris johnson isn't just woody's bro, he's also a minority owner so has a stake in the team.  here's to hoping he can do enough to improve the team. he has stated he's not looking at only wins and losses when he judges the team.  right now i'd say the poor defensive showings on top of bowles rep as a defense guru are going to be his undoing.

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