Woody Johnson says playoffs not a necessity for Rex Ryan to keep job

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiRobert Sabo/New York Daily News Owner Woody Johnson is not happy with how the Jets have been playing, but not making the playoffs won’t necessarily cost Rex Ryan his job.

Could Rex Ryan really miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season and still keep his job? It is possible.

That’s what Woody Johnson said Thursday when asked that question. It was a response that Ryan had to like to hear.

“We don’t look at it that way,” Johnson said of whether the Jets had to make the playoffs in order for Ryan to keep his job.

Of course, the Jets probably still have to play relatively well for Ryan to keep the gig, something they haven’t done over the first four games of the season.

In fact, Johnson made it clear he is not satisfied with anyone’s performance so far — and that includes Ryan and his staff.

“The team and the coaches, they’ve fallen short, that’s for sure,” Johnson said.

“Shoot, I’m not expecting a new salary at 1-3,” Ryan joked. “Believe me, I’m just glad he never said another two words that he could have said.” (i.e. You’re fired.)

Ryan was a candidate to be canned a season ago after the Jets finished 8-8. But after winning three of their final four games, the Jets gave him a one-year extension — through 2015 — instead.

In classic Ryan form, the coach deflected a question about his own job security with a self-deprecating remark. Ryan was asked about what appears to be the Jets’ new motto — sustainable success — when he could very well may not be around by 2016.

“Well you bring up that point — let’s spend every darn penny right now,” Ryan said.

Ryan was kidding, but perhaps there was some truth to his quip: even if he won’t admit it, Ryan knows he could have had at least a better cornerback if John Idzik had been willing to spend some of the $20-plus million the Jets have left in cap space.

“We’ve got enough talent on this team that I believe we’re going to win and I believe we’re going to win this year, so I won’t have to worry about it,” Ryan said. “I believe in my heart that I’ll be part of that long-term future.”

The optimist in Ryan may say that, but the coach is on thin nice — and he knows it. After all, Johnson said Thursday, “I don’t think patience is ever in my vernacular.” The owner was talking about winning in general, not the coach’s job specifically, but he made his point.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiRobert Sabo/New York Daily News Rex Ryan’s job may not hinge on whether or no the Jets make the playoffs.

The quickest fix for Ryan would be for the Jets’ second-year quarterback to stop playing like a rookie and live up to the hype his teammates and coaches built up through the offseason. Geno Smith has thrown seven interceptions in four games, prompting many fans to call for veteran backup Michael Vick. Though Johnson said he doesn’t involve himself in those type of decisions, he has significant hope for Smith.

“I think Geno can be a franchise quarterback,” Johnson said. “I really do.”

That came on the heels of Smith saying on Wednesday that he hopes to eventually be the team’s franchise QB, but that he knows he’s not there yet.

Though Johnson claimed he won’t be so patient anymore, he also said he also realizes that developing players takes time.

Related to that, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg revealed Thursday his general philosophy on making changes at quarterback.

“You’ve got to allow people to rebound,” Mornhinweg said. “I’m slow-moving typically with the quarterback deal. Because a lot of times you’ll see where people give up right before it happens.”


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