With his team on the verge of reaching the postseason for the sixth time in 10 years, Jets owner Woody Johnson is pleased with the direction of his franchise.
"The one thing about the New York Jets I'm very proud of is we are extremely open. As I said right from the beginning with you guys, we through you talk to our fans," he told the media today. "We're going to make mistakes — we're not perfect. But we are pretty good at trying to make remedies and trying to cure and try to correct what we're doing. We try to get better every year and we're going to work on things like our culture. We're going to work on trying to make ourselves an organization that doesn't preferably have any incidents. We know we're going to have some."
Following the lead of his head coach, Johnson called Rex Ryan's current situation a "private matter" and he left it at that.
"My reaction is I don't really want to talk about that in terms of I'm going to respect Rex," he said. "He wanted to characterize it as a personal matter and that's the way it is."
The suspension of strength coach Sal Alosi became a public matter after the head strength coach's ordering of a sideline wall and his tripping of Dolphins special-teamer Nolan Carroll in Week 14.
"Indefinitely is a pretty long time," said Johnson of the suspension. "We're focused on the season. We're focused on the Chicago Bears at this point. And in football, that's about as far as you can go."
Johnson said he called Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to apologize for the sideline behavior he doesn't condone. Then he also placed a call to Pats owner Bob Kraft after special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff suggested the Patriots had players stand tight on punts during their games.
"Our job is not to insult another team particularly from a coach or an owner standpoint — coaches, players, anyone," said Johnson. "That's not what we're here to do."
The Jets, a team with the national spotlight on them since HBO's "Hard Knocks" aired in August, have had a number of well-publicized off-the-field incidents in 2010.
"You wish some of these things hadn't happened, but I'm very proud of the organization. The organization responded very responsibly in every case," Johnson said. "I think we have the culture that I'm looking for, which is starting to develop and is developed to a point where people in this building are able to handle it and be resilient and focus on what our real job is and that's playing football."
Insisting the Jets are a disciplined team, the Jets owner dismisses the notion that the well-liked Ryan fosters a loosey goosey environment. The Green & White own a 10-4 mark and can stamp their playoff return with a win Sunday in Chicago.
"It's very exciting. We have to get the job done and that's what we're preparing for right now," Johnson said. "And even through this, I think the team is very, very focused. Maybe even more focused."