After a season in which the New York Jets struggled to win, owner Woody Johnson decided it was time to make a change. With the offense in shambles and failing to score touchdowns, Johnson fired first-year offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who failed to utilize his players to the best of their abilities. He also dismissed general manager Mike Tannenbaum of his duties for failing to deliver the necessary players for a winning product.
"I felt we had to go in a different direction to improve this team and get us to where we want to be," said Johnson. "I'm never going to say anything negative about Mike, because quite frankly the positives outweigh the negatives in all respects. I did feel it was time to make a change and I made that change."
Head coach Rex Ryan avoided the fate of these two men, admitting in an interview on ESPN Radio that he was unsure whether Johnson would move forward without him. After flying home from Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, Johnson and Ryan held a press conference to state their vision of the future.
Johnson stated that he backed Rex Ryan for his defensive prowess and for the obstacles he has faced with limited offensive weapons. Ryan will have an expanded role on many fronts, including the personnel Johnson will hire as well as the players that the Jets will seek in the offseason. "The relationship with the head coach and the owner is critical," noted Johnson. "The relationship with the head coach and the GM is also critical and that's why Rex is part of this and he'll get to know the general manager."
After showing their support for each other, Johnson and Ryan addressed the on-field changes as well. When asked about the future of Tim Tebow, neither man would make a definitive comment, saying that it would be up to the new offensive coordinator's vision of the offense. The same answer was given in regards to Mark Sanchez, who may be benched after signing his lucrative extension earlier this season.
"I feel very, very good about the direction of the New York Jets and where we're going to go from this point forward," said Johnson. "I'm very confident that we're going to accomplish our objective and that's all. That's all we're working for."