Woody Johnson was helping with the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the NFL’s new pop-up store in midtown Manhattan this morning. And in that role he was also available for reporters, who had yet to hear from the Jets owner on several topics of interest to the fans.
One of the big issues was the sudden word of a rumored Jets return to “Hard Knocks” this summer, two years after the team’s first appearance on the annual NFL Films/HBO miniseries. Would they? Could they? Mr. J played it down the middle.
He didn’t deny. “I’ve heard that,” he said of those reports. “We have yet to receive a formal invitation. When we do, we’ll take a look at it.”
But he didn’t confirm: “All those concerns, the positives, the negatives, we’d have to look at, just sit around and say yea or nay. This is not a perfect science. We would use our best judgment at that point.”
One reason the Jets would be of interest to “Hard Knocks” would be the trade for their new backup QB. Johnson also spoke for the first time of the arrival of Tim Tebow last week.
“We never knew Tim would be available,” he said. “In looking at Tim, he brings a versatility and a capability at backup quarterback that we think is unique and will be very productive for us.”
As for how Tebow’s role develops, Woody said, “that’s kind of up to the coaches and Tim. How he does with it, the kind of reps he’s going to get as the second-string quarterback, I’m sure he’ll try to improve any way he can. His passing, that only helps the team, makes him more of a threat.”
Johnson said he’s not worried about the relationship between Mark Sanchez and Tebow, saying he thinks the Jets’ starter is “going to handle it great.” And he dismissed a popular storyline that a “circus atmosphere” on the team this season is inevitable.
“It’ll be a football atmosphere for sure,” he said. “I really don’t think that’s going to be the case. Our goal is to win games and get to the Super Bowl, that’s our goal. We strongly feel this move and other moves we’re going to be making, that we’ve already made and will be making, are going to put us on the track to do that. We also go to Cortland this year, which is a huge part of who Rex is and the way he builds teams.”
That’s Cortland, as in SUNY Cortland, site of the Jets’ first two training camps under head coach Rex Ryan before last year’s labor situation kept the team at home in North Jersey last year. Whether the NFL Films cameras will be patrolling the campus along with the Green & White, we can’t say yet. But the owner’s holding court in New York City today was a timely reminder that three months after the NFL Draft, and after “The NFL Shop at Draft” closes its doors, four months from today, the heat once again will be on Johnson’s Green & White.
Eric Allen talked with TE Dustin Keller at today’s event. He’ll file a report as well as a video on his chat with DK on Tuesday.
Tags: Mark Sanchez, NFL pop-up store, Rex Ryan, SUNY Cortland, Tim Tebow, training camp, Woody Johnson
Posted in Randy Lange | 103 Comments »