New York Jets team owner Woody Johnson didn’t hold back on Thursday night when talking about his team’s offense and quarterback Zach Wilson.
Johnson, speaking ahead of the NFL Honors awards show in Las Vegas ahead of the Super Bowl, slammed the Jets’ offense after their rough 7-10 season, mostly under Wilson. In his eyes, for head coach Robert Saleh and the rest of the franchise, it’s now or never.
"The discussions I've had in the last couple of months, they've seen me about as mad as I can be with what was going on, with the offense particularly," Johnson said, via ESPN. "We have all this talent and we have to deploy talent properly. So I think they all got the message.”
The Jets looked like they’d be a very solid contender before the season began. But, just four plays into the season, starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.
The Jets never really recovered from that, and both Wilson and Tim Boyle tried to lead the team the rest of the way. Wilson, who was the former No. 2 overall pick, went 4-7 as a starter. He threw for 2,271 yards and had eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has one year left on his initial four-year deal, but the Jets are widely expected to trade or cut him.
“You need a backup quarterback,” Johnson said Thursday. “We didn’t have one last year.”
Rodgers, despite sustaining a major injury and recently turning 40, has said he will play next season. Who Johnson and the Jets opt to bring in as a backup quarterback remains to be seen.
Either way, Johnson is already applying the pressure. Their playoff drought now spans 13 seasons, which is the largest in major men’s pro sports in the United States, and he doesn’t want it to get any longer.
“This is it,” Johnson said. “This is the time to go. We've got to produce this year."