Woody Johnson on New York Jets Expectations: 'The Eye of The Beholder'

Despite major changes to the roster, and perceived anger, the owner of the New York Jets scaled back expectations on the 2024 season.
Florham Park, NJ May 31, 2023 -- Head coach Robert Sales and owner Woody Johnson during the Jets
Florham Park, NJ May 31, 2023 -- Head coach Robert Sales and owner Woody Johnson during the Jets / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA
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Over a month ago, an irate New York Jets owner Woody Johnson clarified that another missed postseason for his organization would mean major changes would be coming for the franchise.

Now, the long-time fan of the Jets is scaling back expectations a little bit.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL's annual league meetings, Johnson made it clear that while the goal was to win, and end a 13-year playoff drought, placing expectations on the season isn't something he's interested in.

Florham Park, NJ May 31, 2023 -- Head coach Robert Sales and owner Woody Johnson during the Jets
Florham Park, NJ May 31, 2023 -- Head coach Robert Sales and owner Woody Johnson during the Jets / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA

"It’s in the eye of the beholder," Johnson said when discussing what a successful 2024 season would look like. "You want to feel like you’re getting the most out of all the players. You’re winning, or close to winning every single game."

Johnson later pointed to the team's 7-10 record last season in which they lost three games by not scoring over 20 points as a sign the team is close - at least with competent offensive play.

"I think we’ll have more than a modicum of offense," Johnson explained. "We have a good receiver in Mike Williams. We’ve got Garrett Wilson, he’s probably the best receiver in the league. Great running back. We’re going to have a good line. We’ll have a quarterback that’s going to be on his feet. All you have to do with Aaron is tell the receiver to count to 10, put your hands out here (demonstrates with his hands) look around and the ball will be in your hands. That’s what happens."

Make no mistake, though. Despite his more laid back approach in Orlando, Johnson is still focused on the end result being to win, and do something few Jets teams have done since the turn of the century.

"I like to win games, like a lot of other owners," Johnson stated. "Losing games is not why we're in it. We're in it to win games."

Johnson touted the Jets "impressive offseason" to start the day, and feels a big reason for the organization's success in 2024 is due to the amount of talent added to the current roster. New York agreed to free agent deals with All-Pro players like Tyron Smith, and Pro Bowl talents like Mike Williams. Should the Jets be able to put it all together, the end result could be exactly what the owner is looking for.

Of course, with the front office providing the players, it's now up to the coaching staff to put a cohesive team together. In previous reports, Johnson's rage at the lack of success was put on everyone, but the coaching staff more than others. Head coach Robert Saleh knows the added pressure put on his staff and himself this season but also knows that the owner has his back.

"I don't think anybody's confidence is shook. We are confident we will achieve the things we need to achieve," Saleh stated. "His words are always welcomed and his frustrations are shared by everyone."

Expectations are once again high for the Jets entering the new league year. With little room for error, the improvements made during the offseason, in Johnson's mind, will be enough to turn the tide in their recent woes, and finally end a playoff drought that began over a decade ago.


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Nick Faria

NICK FARIA

Nick covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated/FN. He was previously on the New York Jets' beat for AM New York with prior experience reporting on the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Eagles. The New York City resident is also an Adjunct Professor at LIU Brooklyn.