Not unlike any Jets fan, CEO Christopher Johnson is not happy with his team’s 2-7 record after nine games.
“This team isn’t where we’d thought it would be,” Johnson told reporters Wednesday while the Green & White practiced. “It’s exceedingly frustrating.”
Johnson believes better days are head. After hiring both head coach Adam Gase in January and general manager Joe Douglas in June, the Jets opened the season at home and had a 16-point lead over the Buffalo Bills in the third quarter. But Pro Bowl inside linebacker C.J. Mosley suffered a groin injury and the Bills fought back for a victory. Two days later, Sam Darnold was diagnosed with mono and missed the team’s next three games. Injuries have remained a constant issue for a Jets team that has used 66 players to date, the second-highest number in the league. They have lost a total of 53 games from 14 different starters due to injury with five starters placed on injured reserve.
“I brought in Joe earlier this year (he hasn’t been here very long) to help build the team with Adam,” said Johnson. “There is a lot of work to do, there is a great deal of work to do. Everyone understands that and we’re just getting started. But I feel really good about this team moving forward.”
Last Sunday, the Green & White began their season’s second half with a 34-27 victory over the Giants. Gase, in his first year with the Jets after three seasons leading the Dolphins in Miami, has posted a career 22-8 record in one-score games.
“There has never been a moment of finger-pointing. There has never been a moment when somebody cast blame on somebody else and I think that speaks very highly of the character of this team and the effort of the coaches,” Johnson said. “With that, I want to assure you there will be no changes in coaches. Adam has the trust of this team, he has the trust of Sam, he has Joe’s trust, he has my trust. He’s a good man, he’s a good coach.”
In six games this season, Darnold has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,307 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. Teammates have said Darnold is beginning to assert more command of the offense and he is coming off a clean contest against the Giants, hitting on 63.2% of his passes and totaling two touchdowns.
“Seeing him work with Sam, just as a small portion of this question, gives me a lot of confidence,” Johnson said of Gase. “And seeing him work with Joe is a whole new dynamic in this building it’s a really positive dynamic. They have the same vision for this team going forward. “
Johnson also said it would be “disastrous” for his team to continue to change offensive systems for a young quarterback. Also asked about his young defensive star today, safety Jamal Adams, Johnson praised his talents while stressing that Douglas will have the ultimate say on the roster.
“I’d love to have him on the team for the rest of his career. I would truly love that,” Johnson said of the 24-year-old Adams. “Whether he is or not, that’s up to Jamal, number one, but it’s also up to Joe. When I hired Joe, I told him he had control of the 53 and I told him I would have a very light touch when it came to influencing that.”
Despite his disappointment over the Jets’ record, Johnson reiterated his belief in the organization’s long-term direction and shifted his focus to this weekend’s matchup against the 1-8 Redskins.
“You are what your record says you are and that’s not very impressive,” he said. “But looking forward, I think this is going to be a good team. I have so much faith in Adam and Joe to put together a great future for us. Right now, it’s all about Washington.”