Woody Johnson: Rex Ryan Is 'Still The Head Coach'

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson met with the media Thursday to discuss the recent controversy involving Rex Ryan and his wife, Michelle. Here is the transcript of Johnson’s press conference.

On recent reports involving Rex Ryan
It is a private matter. Whatever Rex said to you yesterday, are going to be my comments as well.

On his initial reaction to the situation

My reaction is I don’t really want to talk about that in terms of I’m going to respect Rex and how he wanted to characterize it. It’s a personal matter and that’s the way it is.

On if he showed support to Ryan
He’s still the head coach of the New York Jets. I have a lot of respect for Rex and his family. My respect has not diminished one iota.

On if there is an update with Sal Alosi
Not really. Sal was suspended indefinitely. We haven’t made a final determination. We will at some point, but I haven’t done it to date.

On if there is a timeline for when he will make a decision on Alosi
No. Indefinitely is a pretty long time. We’re focused on the season. We’re focused on the Chicago Bears at this point. In football, that’s about as far as you can go.

On if they are putting a decision off until the end of the season
I’m not really putting it off. We’ve looked at what he did. I don’t know if I said this to you guys, but I apologized to (Dolphins owner) Mr. (Stephen) Ross and asked if his player (Nolan Carroll) was ok. He assured me that the player was fine. He accepted the apology and said, “No problem.” It’s not a problem for him, (but) it’s a problem for me. I also called (Patriots owner) Bob Kraft and said the same.

On if there is a reason why they wouldn’t fire Alosi
We’re taking a look at it. Obviously, tripping somebody is not something we condone. You can call it a violation of the rules. It’s not called because it’s not done very often. It’s just something where we don’t aspire to this type of action.

On his call to Bob Kraft
I called Bob about any comment that we may have made and how he may have interpreted those comments.

On if Mike Westhoff’s comments upset him

Our job is not to insult another team, particularly from a coach or owner’s standpoint. (We don’t want to insult) another teams’ coaches or players. That’s not what we’re here to do.

On what happened when they met with the league last week
I’m not going to talk about the meeting, but one thing about the New York Jets that I’m very proud of is we are extremely open. As I said right at the beginning with you guys, we, through you, talk to our fans and we’re going to make mistakes. We’re not perfect, but we are pretty good at, once we’ve made a mistake, I think we’re pretty good at trying to make remedies and trying to cure and trying 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 have, preferably, any incidents. (Although) we know we’re going to have some.

On thoughts that the perception of the organization is not very good right now

I disagree with that, I disagree. First of all, I disagree with the word inordinate. I think one of the things, if you read other media in other towns, I think you’d find perhaps other things. Not to use that as an excuse, but there won’t be any organization, I don’t think, in the public media that’s more accessible than we are. I’ll stand by what I said earlier, I think we’re pretty good at addressing each one of the incidents that we’ve had this year and, hopefully, we won’t have quite as many going forward.

On what it has been like for him having to deal with a number of incidents
You wish some of these things hadn’t happened, but I’m very proud of the organization. I think the organization responded very responsibly in every case and so I think we have the culture that I’m looking for, that is starting to develop and is developed to a point where the 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.

On whether these incidents stem from loose atmosphere Coach Ryan fosters
I don’t agree with that. I don’t think it’s loosey-goosey and I don’t think there’s a lack of discipline. You can’t win the number of games we’ve won, even with a rookie quarterback, with a loosey-goosey anything. I mean, we’re very disciplined. I think the perception is that he smiles maybe or whatever, and that maybe gets confused for a lack of whatever, but I don’t look at it that way and I know his players don’t either. Players want to feel that they’re getting better and they want to feel that the people in command (are) giving them a formula that they’re capable of winning (with), and I think they feel that. I know they feel that.

On the team being on the verge of another playoff berth
It’s very exciting. We have to get the job done this week and that’s what we’re preparing for right now. Even through this, I think the team is very, very focused, maybe even more focused.

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