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Johnson Cites ‘Painful’ Losses, Remains Optimistic

Posted Nov 15, 2012

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke with reporters today about his team, expressing disappointment in the record, frustration with some storylines, and optimism for the rest of this season.

"I think the way I feel about the season is 3-6. That's basically the way we feel about it," Johnson told beat reporters in an informal 10-minute outdoors news conference at the Jets' practice ahead of Sunday's game at St. Louis. "Parcells used to say you are what your record says you are, and I believe that, too, so we're 3-6 right now. But I'm going into this game optimistic that we're going to win it, as I've been all season, and for the last 13 seasons, really.

"I'm in a lot of pain this week, again, for losing this game," he said of the 28-7 loss at Seattle. "It's a miserable experience for us, for the team, for me, I know for our fans, people in the media as well. This is a tough, tough thing, to lose any game, particularly as many games as we've lost this year. Very, very tough, painful."

But Johnson spoke positively about the prospects for the last seven games, primarily because he sees the Jets' problems in terms of the self-inflicted wounds that head coach Rex Ryan and the players frequently cite.

"We've been in almost every game. Maybe there are a couple that we didn't really get off to a good start, but we've been in a lot of games, and it's just been kind of careless errors," he said. "Yet I am optimistic that some of these things can be corrected, some of the mistakes we've made are easy to correct, and so we hope we can do it this week."

Johnson deflected all talk of evaluating individuals one game after the season's halfway point. About quarterback Mark Sanchez, the owner said, "He is our franchise quarterback," but also said, "Mark is a player on the team and we're going to evaluate him as we do the other players. He'll be evaluated just like anybody else."

Pressed on head coach Rex Ryan's and general manager Mike Tannenbaum's performances, he declined to give a midseason report card, but he did describe the mood of not just his two football leaders but everyone else at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.

"The record says what's going on. We're a 3-6 team," Johnson said. "Are we happy? Are they happy? Are the players happy? I know the fans aren't happy. The answer's no, we're not happy. We're not happy with 3-6. I didn't sign up for a 3-6 season, We haven't had one of these in a while. I'm not happy about it."

As for the ongoing Tim Tebow story, he had no regrets for the March trade with Denver to bring the QB to New Jersey — "We think every player we bring in has something to add to the team and help us win games, and that's why we brought him in."

But Johnson also used a Tebow question to chide Jets and NFL media about regular speculation on the motives of the trade.

"This I really want to clear up," he said. "You guys have been accusing me of 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 where my passion is, that's what I want to do, that's why I'm spending all this time in this organization."

Johnson ended his news event on a stern but positive note for the rest of 2012:

"We're going forward. We've got seven games to go and we're going to try to win those games, and I'm optimistic, one game at a time, that we can be OK."

We'll have audio and video of Johnson's news conference on the site later today.

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