FLORHAM PARK, NJ – When New York Jets Owner/Chairman Woody Johnson was named United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, his brother Christopher became the NFL team’s acting owner.
“He really has a full-time job over there,” said Christopher Johnson. “We are not discussing football. He’s out of it. Ambassador is his full-time job. It’s a huge job.”
The brothers talk all the time, but not about the Jets.
“I’m in touch with him constantly, but none of it is about football, other than he said he heard from somebody that I was doing a good job,” Christopher Johnson said.
Many think that Jets coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan are on the hotseat this season, coming off a 5-11 campaign. After this season, will Christopher Johnson consult with his brother about whether to fire them?
“Woody isn’t involved in that at all,” Christopher Johnson said.
Why did Woody Johnson step away from NFL ownership at the age of 70 to become an ambassador?
“My brother has tried to serve his community over the years,” Christopher Johnson said. “That’s been a big part of his life is raising money for medical research and working [for] his community. This is his chance to serve the country, which he cares for very deeply, and he has an extraordinary job. I’m really, immensely proud of my brother. The U.K. is our most important ally, and this is probably the most interesting time in the U.K. – U.S. relationship since World War II, so it’s an immense job. I couldn’t be more proud of him and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he would say to me it’s your team, don’t mess it up.”
Christopher Johnson takes over a team that is considered one of the NFL’s worst, and has been accused by many reporters and fans of “tanking” this season to get a high 2018 draft pick to select a potential franchise quarterback. Christopher Johnson shot down the tanking narrative.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Christopher Johnson said. “I want to win every game. Every player in that locker room wants to win and what you’re seeing I think are growing pains. These are young guys. There are some older guys on the team. Some of them, they’re doing an extraordinary job, but I think you’re going to see this team get better and better and better. That’s what I am looking for and we are definitely not tanking.”
It certainly looks like the Jets’ run defense has been tanking this season, the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raider ran all over them in the Jets’ first two games, both losses.
“That’s one thing I’m really looking forward to seeing fixed,” Christopher Johnson said about the Jets’ porous run defense.
Bowles and Maccagnan better get that repaired if they want to keep their jobs in 2018. The owner has spoken.