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Wooden Says So Long to Jets Before Charging West

Posted by Randy Lange on May 8, 2013 – 4:02 pm

Parting is such sweet sorrow, not just in Shakespeare but in football. But today’s going-away celebration was necessary for JoJo Wooden to take the next step in his desired career path.

“I was not looking forward to it at all,” Wooden, the Jets’ assistant director of player personnel, said of the small party thrown by the team’s football and business sides at the Atlantic Health Training Center as congratulations for JoJo moving 3,000 miles away to become the Chargers’ director of player personnel.

“Leaving is really, really hard, you know?” he said, still feeling the emotion of the moment. “It’s about the people.”

Wooden knew a lot of folks and wore lots of hats during his 16 seasons in the Jets’ front office. He began on the pro personnel side as an assistant, a pro scout, a senior pro scout for the AFC, assistant director of pro scouting and then director of pro scouting before getting his most recent title and adding college duties to his résumé in 2006.

“I’ve had the chance to be involved in both, and maybe the last three years or so it’s been a lot more college than pro, but I still had my hand in both,” he said this afternoon in his now in-transition office. “This is an opportunity to become the director of player personnel, overseeing both the college and pro departments, so that’s going to be exciting.

“It’s a great step. My ultimate goal, I want to be a general manager, and I think this was the next logical move for me.”

San Diego and new GM Tom Telesco were in need of a new director after Jimmy Raye, son of the well-traveled former Jets assistant coach, departed the job to saddle up with the Colts.

The Chargers offered Wooden a great opportunity, and it had to be great for him and his wife, Sarah, and two daughters to undo their ties with the Northeast. He was born and raised in Connecticut and was a two-year starter at OLB for Syracuse University.

“I’m excited, the family’s excited. They’re on board, which is big,” JoJo said. “It’s a new chapter in our life and we’re looking forward to it.”

But in keeping with his status as a Jets employee for one more day, he used the first person plural to talk about the state of the Green & White. Asked about his highlights during his Jets tenure, he offered a nod toward the Jets’ AFC Championship Game appearances in 2009 and ’10.

“Those are the biggest things, just the wins. Pittsburgh and Indianapolis … it’s hard just to get yourself in that position as an organization, and to be fortunate enough to do it two years in a row was good.”

And the team he’s leaving behind?

“I love the direction the team’s heading in now with John [Idzik] and Coach Ryan,” he said. “I feel very good about the draft, the guys we acquired. You like the direction this place is heading … and so now you’re sad that you’re jumping off ship.”

But there are plenty of tall ships in San Diego, plus the start of a new program under first-year head coach Mike McCoy. It’s tough to see Wooden head west, but it’s great to see this young man and great guy get to take that next career step. Here’s a proverbial NFL toast, JoJo: Best of luck in all you do against 30 of the NFL’s 31 other teams.

No. 1, Part II

We asked several questions Tuesday, after uniform No. 1 became free with the waiving of WR Thomas Mayo, about that non-crooked number in Jets uni history. Here are the answers:

■ Who was the last Jets player to wear No. 1 during training camp? Last year WR Raymond Webber was “the one.” The year before, P Chris Bryan wore it. Neither made it to the regular season wearing the number.

■ Who was the last Jet to wear No. 1 in a regular-season game? That was K Mike Nugent’s number from the time he was drafted in 2005 through his free agency departure following the ’08 season.

■ Who was the last non-kicker to wear No. 1 in a RS game? The only non-kicker to wear the Big Green One was RB Mike Adamle, who played for the Jets in 1973-74.

As for who if anyone will inherit the one this season, we don’t have any rookie uniform number information yet. But we will post the winning numbers as soon as we are cleared to do so this week.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “Wooden Says So Long to Jets Before Charging West”

  1. By Mike Jet Vet on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    I know Jo Jo is a good football man, just not as a Jet Football man, I wish him and his family all the best. That said, this couldn’t have come soon enough, Player personal hasn’t been a strong suit of the Jets these last 16 years sorry JO JO, still hope you succeed in your next venture.

  2. By GaryC on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    JetfanTom,this guy the jets got in camp Hazelton,before he transferred to Cincinnati he played at USC with Sanchez,I wonder if he put in a good word to the staff about bringing him in.

  3. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom Up for the Downstroke on this Roster on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Leaving is hard but losing is harder, JoJo. You were in a key personnel position for some of this team’s worst yrs ever for personnel, so I’m not exactly heartbroken to see you go. Meanwhile,scjoe, the news that we’re talking to Lloyd, Edwards, and Barden should brighten your day. I’d offer deals to them in exactly that order.

  4. By IRA on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Just a guess but I think Geno takes the number 1 he can’t have 12 so why not drop the 2 and wear 1.
    Looking forward to see who they sign after this weekend. And remember after June 1st there will be some veteran players who get let go and I would think the Jets will be looking out for a TE and possibly another safety.

  5. By MIKE on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    As much as we all want a QB change I am not sure it is coming. The right thing to do would be to have Garrard mentor Geno for at least 8 or 9 games maybe, even the whole season depending on where they are in the standings.

    I think this team is better than most people think and are actually better than last years club only because Holmes and Revis missed most of last season with injury.

  6. By MIKE on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    QB-Upgrade, can’t get much worse than Sanchez. The one glimmer of hope came when McElroy played.
    RB major upgrade. Greene needs a great o line to get yards, these guys can make plays.
    TE Worse. Keller out, no real threats to replace him.
    WR Upgrade Holmes is back, Hill will be better, Kerley is solid
    Tackle Improvement. More depth begind T postiion.
    Guard, Even. Never want to see Ducasse play again but much more depth this year.
    Center Even, Doesn’t get much better than Mangold

  7. By MIKE on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    DE Upgrade, think Richardson will be a stud. Lead his college team in tackles. Just like Rudy Rudigers did, he will be a difference maker.
    DT Worse, I don’t see a legit NT on this roster unless Kenrick Ellis wakes up.
    OLB Even, I think they will have better pass rushers but might struggle against the run.
    MLB, Even, Harris needs to be better, Davis can prob cover TE’s and RB’s better than Bart but not sure if Davis can play the run as good.
    S Worse, Landry was great and Bell was solid. They haven’t been replaced yet. I can see that as an area of weakness.
    CB Improvement, Revis didn’t play most of last season and Milliner is an upgrade over Wilson.

  8. By IRA on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Cribbs would be an ok signing can’t see him do much more then being a returns guy. I always thought Lloyd would go back to the Pats. I think Lloyd would be a a good signing and would give them better insurance for Holmes than Edwards would and Barden couldn’t do much with the Giants so i think it would be a waste to sign him. If they do sign Cribbs like reports say McKnights spot would be iffy at best. Too bad because McKnight has lots of ability they just don’t know how to use him. He should be a good option on 3rd down especially if they split him out wide more often. I doubt McKnight makes the team this year.

  9. By RONBO on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Mike, Great job on your team assessment vs. last year.A couple of thoughts if I may; I agree with most of your thoughts with only two possible exceptions; T.E. Keller was basically AOL last season. He played in only 6 games and wasn’t much of a factor.The 2nd one is certianly debateable but Landy at S was extremely over-rate in my mind. Yeah he made some great hits but he also committed a ton of costly penalty’s and blew alot of coverages which resulted in big plays or T.D’s. But over all you did a great job bro. IRA you made this point about several posisitions last season and I agree it applies again this year to several spots on this team including S & T.E. Like you I’m not convinced the starters are on our current roster?

  10. By Frank on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Gary C look at my draft day posts. I wanted Arthur Brown not Geno Smith. If MM doesn’t design his O around Smith this will be a bigger failure than I am already predicting.
    Ira I agree on the TE I think we will be able to find a veteran after June or maybe in training camp.
    I am still peeved at not drafting Jones who WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY BETTER THAN COPLES AT OLB which I still think is a stupid idea.
    I would much rather have McKnight than Cribbs that is a signing out of the Tannebaum days. No more over the hill guys please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    ESPN’s Ron Jaworski said Geno Smith was the only quarterback he had with a first-round grade in the draft. “I think he’s going to be a terrific NFL quarterback,” Jaworski said. “When I went to Morgantown and watched his workout I was blown away.” Smith has gotten nothing but negative press since the draft, much of it from his fired agents. This positive review from one of the game’s premier quarterback analysts gives Jets fans a little something to hang their hats on.

  12. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Updating a previous item, free agent KR/WR Josh Cribbs visited the Jets on Wednesday and left without a contract.
    Per beat writer Manish Mehta the two sides “discussed parameters of a deal,” but there was no “formal offer” from the Jets

  13. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    ESPN New York reports “there have been rumors about possible interest” from the Jets in free agent Brandon Lloyd. The Jets are looking for an experienced receiver, and they have been linked to Ramses Barden, Josh Cribbs, and Braylon Edwards. He’d be solid veteran insurance should Santonio Holmes not bounce back from his foot injury.

  14. By RONBO on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    IRA, you and I went back & forth several times before concerning the topic of this header. As you are a great Jet fan you almost always paint the brightest picture when possible. Like 64 I tend to say whats on my mind and in this case Wooden’s departure was no surprise to me. Basically, I see it as 3 down two to go as Idzik rides the franchise of any and all members of the old regime.Most likely Rex will be next unless he pulls off a major miracle by getting this team in contention next season.(Good luck with that!) Sadly, the only member of the “”old regime who is safe is the main culprit himself: Woody.

  15. By IRA on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Well if the Jets had some interest in Cribbs i would hope they would kick the idea of talking with Brad Smith. Reports are he probably will be let go.

  16. By Allan O'Dane on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Jets are interested in Karlos Dansby…mmmmmm….could help LB’s corp.. Barnes-Davis-Harris-Dansby?…sure looks better then previous corps…..

  17. By RONBO on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    ALLEN O, If we could get him to sign a one year deal I would consider Dansby too.I’m hearing Arizona will likely re sign him though.

  18. By scjoe on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Ron, my thoughts on the changing of the guard in the NYJs FO.. Change just for the sake of change isn’t ALWAYS what’s best. To rid yourself of certain personnel just because they are “left over” from the previous regime doesn’t necessarily mean you have upgraded that position. Of course time and only time will tell, but to me, that sounds more like an ego trip then a rational decision. Oh yea, I try to be very careful in my choice of words now. (;-)

  19. By scjoe on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    64, not sure the news of signing Lloyd or Barden brightens my day, but if you believe a certain quote by John Idzik in a recent Q and A session he stated that free agency is “for filling needs” ( better late then never) then this signing would be a no brainer, given the health concern of Holmes, and given the uncertainty of Hill’s talents and skills, what are the other options? Edwards is certainly one. What then?

  20. By IRA on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Tom,
    While I like the potential Geno brings he does need plenty of work. Just be careful with Jaws remarks about Geno. Remember he also thought Clemens was the best QB in the draft when he was picked.
    Ronbo,
    There are plenty of negatives about how the Jets play and conduct things but I prefer to focus on the positives but I will also comment on when I don’t like things like them moving Coples to OLB. As for the personnel dept of course there will be some changes when a new GM comes in.
    Alan,
    Dansby is coming of a career year and he will be too expensive plus they have Davis and Harris. Only way I can see them signing Dansby is if they want to trade Harris who is making 13 mill this year. Or if they have any idea of moving Dansby to OLB.

  21. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom Down with Common Sense on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for printing the stuff about what actual football people of consequence think about Smith, Spicer, as opposed to gossip and slander spread by know-nothings. GaryC, I don’t see the pt of losing McKnight to sign Cribbs either, Cribbs is even less of a postion player than McKnight. Agree with you, Ronbo, on Idzik bringing in his own people from Rex on down, what GM wouldn’t do that? Best news of all is that pretty soon Smith actually starts training to play QB in the NFL and Cimini, O’Conner, and others who are interested mostly in stirring up trouble have to focus on the game.

  22. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Randy, Tell Geno Smith to pick #3 as his jersey number that has always been my lucky number.

  23. By Randy Lange on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Tom, Geno already has decided to go with No. 7.

  24. By Allan O'Dane on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Ronbo, i agree..as long as the money is right…and not long term,,but it looks like he’s looking long term deal…not ideal for us if that’s the case

  25. By RONBO on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe, I agree about change for the sake of change. I’m not sure if its Rex your referring to in this case but only time will tell how that all works out? In a way I think Rex is the same situation Sanchez faced last year.Sanchez had very little chance to succeed last year as he simply was not surrounded by a strong enough supporting cast.Rex will be in a simular spot this season as this offense has the potential to be even worse if Holmes doesnt make it back,Hill fails again and the soloutions at G and T.E fail to get the job done.Of course in this case Rex will have only himself to blame as his lack of control of the offensive side of the ball will ultimately be his undoing.We can make all the excuses we want but the bottom line is the-

  26. By RONBO on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    H/C’s office is where the buck stops in this case. IRA, I know you are a realist and believe me my comments to your were purely complimentary! No Sarcasm intended. I share your concerns about moveing Coples but in looking at the current roaster i see little other choice as Richardson is simply not big enough to play NT and although I believe they will play more 4-3 I just cant see Rex abandoning his father’s 3-4 teachings. Llook what happaned to his brother Rob in Dallas who refused to change his D for Jerry Jones and was dumped as a result. As for Dansby he has the physical size and skill set to play OLB in a 3-4 so if his price is affordable and as Allan O says keep it to a 1 or 2 yr deal I’d be o.k with that.

  27. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom Down with Common Sense on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Hate to break it to you, scjoe, but pro football, show business, politics, etc. are Big Ego businesses. Nobody gets near Idzik’s job without an enormous drive to succeed and an even bigger belief in oneself. That said, it’s not useful to speculate on specific motives re specific decisions, in the abstract you could say anything anybody does in an “ego trip.” Besides, almost any fan on this site woulda made radical changes with a roster as weak as ours at the end of last yr. I think many Jet fans are just so used to mediocrity that any strong action re the team seems to come from another planet on which teams win SBs. As for FA WR’s I’ll take Lloyd. By “filling needs” I think Idzik means getting guys at good value, not overpaying like Mr. T.

  28. By GaryC on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Tom64,I never made mention of McKnight as opposed to Cribbs,must have been someone else,Scjoe,Idzik says signing free agents to fill needs,sounds like my theory when I said free agency would be sprinkles to the draft’s ice cream,sounds like Same Church,different pew.

  29. By GaryC on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Tom Spicer,Rick Mirer didn’t do well with Number 3 either.

  30. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Gary C, What does my favorite number have to do with Rick Mirer? I dont get it all I said was I wanted Geno to take that number because it is my favorite number.

  31. By scjoe on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    64, you do realize that you made another one of those oxymoron type statements considering where you previously placed Idzik’s accomplishments when you said “almost any fan on this site would have made radical changes with a roster as week as ours after the end of last year” my point exactly about what Idzik has accomplished not being anything extraordinary. But contrary to where you have placed his accomplishments since his inception.

  32. By scjoe on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    GaryC, sorry, I don’t see “filling needs” as being the sprinklers on the ice cream. I think the “sprinkles” come long, long, after you fill your needs

  33. By Allan O'Dane on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Well Ronbo…Dansby is now a AZ Card. Oh well…Not really sweating it. But I would like to see if we have someone on the roster that can ball at the OLB position.

  34. By RONBO on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    ALLEN O, Yeah, I caught that too. No big deal, not sure how serious the I-man was anyway.But I like your thinking. There is still gonna be several opportunities to upgrade this roster so its always better to keep an open mind. I am seeing several people here falling into the same old trap of being content or even overly optimistic about the coming season. Hey, I think its great we support the team. but lets not fall into the same old stagnent trap of assuming everything is gonna be great just besause we want it to be. I believe the old axeum that if your not moveing forward your falling behind. Lets hope we keep turning over every stone in an effort to find that hidden gem!

  35. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom Who Dwells in Reality on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Back to distinctions, scjoe, yeah, any fan woulda made radical changes, that last being a general category. Within that category there are an infinite number of moves. Some woulda gone after Alex Smith. Some would drafted Warnack and Cooper instead of the 3 top guys we drafted. And some woulda just stayed put, like Karan hoping “Mark” would flourish under the WCO and Cimini, after trashing Mr T for yrs, perversely saying he “deserved another yr.” And then there’s what Idzik did which, as I’ve said, is far more radical with the roster than most fans expected, as evidenced by the protests lodged by such as you over the loss of overrated nothing players. Me, I think Idzik grades out highly so far including with GaryC’s “sprinkles” model.

  36. By scjoe on May 11, 2013 | Reply

    64, re: GaryCs “sprinkler” model, with free agency being described as “filling needs” (according to Idzik) being the ice cream cone, and the with the draft being described “ice cream” by both you and GaryC, exactly where does that leave the “sprinklers” which come dead last?

  37. By GaryC on May 11, 2013 | Reply

    Tom Spicer,were you a jet fan when Mirer was with the jets and wore number three,that is all I was saying,three being your lucky number will bring success to Geno only if he has the talent to perform.

  38. By GaryC on May 11, 2013 | Reply

    and we know he is wearing 7 anyway now.

  39. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on May 13, 2013 | Reply

    Gary C, Yes I was a Jet fan when Mirer wore #3 & he stunk!

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