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Woody Johnson implied Mark Sanchez’s injury was his own fault

Mark SanchezMark Sanchez is not starting for the New York Jets against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. If you want to believe his shoulder injury is the reason for that, that’s your prerogative. The truth of the matter is the Jets’ brass is ready to move on from the Sanchez era, and Geno Smith brings a fresh face and a small ray of optimism if nothing else.

Sanchez’s shoulder injury itself has been met with some controversy. Rex Ryan made the decision to put him into the final preseason game after Smith threw three interceptions, and many feel that was a dumb idea. But Jets owner Woody Johnson believes Sanchez needs to take some accountability for getting injured.

“I don’t have any regrets,” Johnson said, via the NY Daily News. “He’s an experienced guy. I wish he hadn’t gotten hurt, but you got to protect yourself, too.”

Sanchez had three defensive players in his face (video below) when he tried to make a play, so I don’t see how he could have protected himself better. Completely giving up on the play wasn’t an option, especially since he was trying to prove that he still deserves to be the team’s starter. Ryan, who was once Sanchez’s biggest supporter, would not say he disagreed with Johnson.

“It’s 100% injury rate in the league,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it happened. But these things do happen. And we’ve moved on.”

Johnson later backtracked and claimed his initial quote was misunderstood.

“I may have said or I’ve been accused of saying that Sanchez’s injury was his fault,” he said. “That was not my intent at all. Of course, it wasn’t his fault. He was trying to make a play.”

At this point, I don’t even know who is defending who. By saying the injury was Sanchez’s fault, I guess you could argue that Johnson is defending Rex’s decision to put him in. The bottom line is the Jets desperately want Smith to prove he is a capable starter. The more quarterback changes we see, the more animated press conferences we will get from Rex. That’s a good thing for us, but it’s bad for the team as well as Ryan’s future in New York.

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Woody Johnson was once nearly paralyzed for life after drunkenly falling off bridge

Woody JohnsonNew York Jets owner and the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, Woody Johnson, once was nearly paralyzed for life after a drunken fall during his wilder college days, according to a new book.

Per the New York Post, a new book due out next month called “Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty,” discusses the story of the Johnson family, including their scandals and how they amassed their wealth.

While in college at the University of Arizona, Johnson apparently was a party guy. His college girlfriend recalled a story for the book about a disastrous 1968 night when they were driving to a party in Phoenix.

“Oh, my God, who knows what we had, but yes, we were drinking alcohol,” Johnson’s then-girlfriend Diane Vonderahem recalls in the book, per the Post. “We pulled off one of the off-ramps because we all had to go to the bathroom, and it was pitch-black outside.”

According to the former girlfriend, Johnson stepped back and fell off an 18-foot drop. He ended up breaking his back and was virtually paralyzed, according to what Vonderahem told the book. Johnson apparently was told he would never walk again. He underwent surgery and was intensive care for a few months but, with intense rehab, he was able to make a full recovery.

The old man may look straight-laced when you see him on Sundays, but apparently Johnson was just as wild as you or I were in college. Thankfully he was able to make a full recovery after such a scary incident.

Thanks to LBS reader David for the tip

Darrelle Revis wonders if Jets owner Woody Johnson wants to pay him or not

The New York Jets may have already explored the possibility of trading Darrelle Revis this offseason, but only the team knows whether they intend to hang onto their franchise corner or turn him into draft picks. Revis said he would like to remain in New York, but he has acknowledged that whether or not he stays is ultimately not his decision.

During an interview with Andrea Kremer of the NFL Network Monday night, the four-time Pro Bowler said he has spoken to head coach Rex Ryan since the rumors surfaced. Basically, Revis feels that Rex wants to keep him and that team owner Woody Johnson is the driving force behind the speculation.

“It starts from the top, it starts with Woody Johnson,” Revis said when asked about his relationship with Ryan, via ESPNNewYork.com.

Kremer then asked Revis if he feels as though Johnson does not want to pay him what it will take to keep him with the Jets long term.

“That might be a situation,” he said. “That might be something. That might be an option. If I do get traded, I’m not going to sit here and pout and cry, but I told them numerous times that I want to be there so it’s up to them and management of what they want to do.

“I don’t know if they’re doing that because they think I’m not going to get back to 100 percent. I’m a Jet until they tell me I’m not a Jet.”

The NFL is a business, and Johnson is the one controlling the funds for this particular company. If he decides to trade Revis this offseason to help better prepare the team for the future, that’s his prerogative. However, Revis has been the anchor of New York’s defense since Ryan took over. If Johnson trades the star corner, he may also be signaling the end of the Rex Ryan era.

Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Darrelle Revis ‘speechless’ over trade rumors; Woody Johnson won’t deny it

Like the rest of us, Darrelle Revis has caught wind of the reports that the New York Jets are exploring the possibility of trading him this offseason. On Thursday afternoon, the three-time All-Pro took to Twitter to share a brief thought about the rumors:

Revis has had his share of ups and downs with regard to his contract since the Jets drafted him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has already held out once, and he flirted with the idea of doing it again prior to the 2012 season. If the Jets feels that they need more draft picks in order to contend, Revis is the one player that would yield the biggest return.

What’s also interesting to note is that Jets owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik, who was introduced to the New York media on Thursday, were given a chance to deny the rumors. Neither one took advantage of the opportunity.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Johnsons said of the report, without clarifying if it was true or not.

Idzik gave a similar response when asked about Revis.

“I think it’s way premature to say anything specific,” he said. “I think it would be presumptuous to say anything on that.”

Idzik gave essentially the same answer when asked about any other potential roster moves regarding players like Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow. The “sources” that gave the information about the Jets wanting to trade Revis are in all likelihood former GM candidates who didn’t get the job, so there’s no guarantee their information is good. That being said, it wouldn’t exactly be shocking if New York traded its star corner should a good offer come along.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Woody Johnson: Priority is Jets winning, not just selling tickets

The New York Jets insisted they intended to make Tim Tebow a major part of their offense this season after the acquired the quarterback via trade, but through nine games we have not seen it. New York is a disappointing 3-6, and their locker room is seemingly in disarray and getting worse by the day. You could easily make the argument that the Tebow trade was a PR stunt that has backfired badly, but Jets owner Woody Johnson does not want to hear that.

“This, I really want to clean up,” Johnson told the NY Post on Thursday. “You guys have been accusing me — this phony story — about me being more concerned with PSLs or cash or something else. My job 1, 2 and 3 is to win games. That’s why I got into football to begin with. It’s to win games. It’s not to sell PSLs or anything else. My job is to win games. That’s what my passion is. That’s what I want to do. That’s why I’m spending all this time in this organization. It’s not to sell PSLs or to sell hot dogs. It’s to win games. That’s my job. I take it very seriously.”

Johnson went on to say that no one in the organization is happy with a 3-6 record, including Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum. The Jets owner also agreed with Ryan that the anonymous Tebow bashers acted cowardly, but like Bart Scott he said he feels the negative publicity could bring the team closer together.

Shortly after the Jets traded for Tebow last winter, Johnson was quick to point out that the team had not seen a significant spike in merchandise sales. We hope that has since changed for the sake of the franchise, because other than merchandise sales I don’t see what Tebow has been able to bring to the table to this point.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Jets owner could push for Tim Tebow to start if Mark Sanchez struggles

When the Jets acquired Tim Tebow this past offseason, most people (including this Hall of Famer) thought it would become a major distraction. Very few felt it helped New York from a football standpoint, and through the first four weeks of the season we can see why. The Wildcat has done nothing for the Jets and Tebow has played only 15 snaps at quarterback. Mark Sanchez, who many thought would be motivated by having Tebow behind him, has a passer rating of 69.6 and has looked awful since turning in a solid performance against the Bills in Week 1.

Coming off a game where he completed 13-of-29 passes for 103 yards, one interception and no touchdowns in the Jets’ shutout loss to the Niners, the “start Tim Tebow” talk has already begun. According to ESPNNewYork.com, Jets owner Woody Johnson would not rule out benching Sanchez during his recent interview with Bloomberg TV.

Johnson said the prospect of Tebow starting is “a question that will be asked more frequently if this progresses because this is unacceptable playing.” His first reference to Sanchez wasn’t by name; he called him “this quarterback.”

Oh, Johnson gave the obligatory “he can get the job done” line, but Johnson didn’t sound nearly as confident in Sanchez as he did that sunny day in March, when the Grand Tebow Plan was only a blueprint, not reality.

Rich Cimini is referring to when Johnson emphatically stated that “Mark Sanchez is our starting quarterback” back in March when the Tebow trade was completed. A recent report from ESPN’s Ed Werder also indicated that Tebow has been unhappy with his role, which would seem consistent with another report that said he may ask for a trade in 2013 if things don’t change.

Tebow supposedly chose to be traded to the Jets over the Jaguars because he thought he had a chance to beat out Sanchez for the starting job. With Santonio Holmes sidelined and Sanchez struggling, it’s hard to believe he won’t be given that chance if New York’s offense continues to prove it can’t get the job done.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Jets owner Woody Johnson: Mitt Romney winning election more important than winning season (Video)

Woody Johnson is a big Mitt Romney supporter. He is also the owner of an NFL franchise that hasn’t won a championship since Super Bowl 3 in 1969, so he is currently not the most popular person among Jets fans. He will likely be even less popular after admitting during a recent interview with Bloomberg TV that Romney winning the upcoming presidential election is more important than Rex Ryan and company enjoying a successful season.

“Well, I think you always have to put country first,” Johnson said when asked which is more important. “So I think it’s very, very important — not only for us but in particular our kids and grandkids — that this election come off with Mitt Romney and (vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan) as president and vice president.”

While there will be countless Jets fans who blast Johnson for not caring about the team because of this, that was an extremely difficult question to answer. First of all, he was having a political discussion. His audience at the time clearly wasn’t football fans. Secondly, if he answered by saying the Jets are more important people would be blasting him for being out of touch with reality and caring more about a game than our country.

Johnson has said some questionable things about his team in the past, but this shouldn’t be considered one of them. The answer he gave was appropriate for the forum.

H/T Pro Football Talk