Monday, January 27, 2014
Woody Johnson: 'You can't beat Rex'
By Rich Cimini
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is a busy man these days, bouncing around New York and New Jersey in Super Bowl-related events, but he paused for a few moments Monday to answer a couple of questions about his football team -- his first comments since Rex Ryan signed his contract extension.
"Oh, yeah, I mean, you can't beat Rex," Johnson said after a Manhattan news conference conducted by the Super Bowl XLVIII host committee. "Rex is a great coach, as I've said many times. Great D. He's grown in the role immeasurably."
Johnson touched on a couple of other items:
• Training camp: He reiterated what the team announced last week -- it's exploring location options -- but he said "we'll probably be" at SUNY-Cortland again this summer. Contractually, the Jets have an option.
• On hosting the Broncos in Florham Park: Johnson said "it's bittersweet" because he wanted the Jets to be in the Super Bowl, but he said they'd extend a warm welcome to the AFC champions, who will start practicing Monday at the Jets' facility. Asked if it would've been uncomfortable hosting the New England Patriots, Johnson said, "We'd rather not have somebody in our division."
Johnson echoed the sentiment that New York Giants co-owner John Mara had expressed only minutes earlier. Asked how it felt to be hosting the Seattle Seahawks, Mara cracked, "It could've been worse" -- meaning a division opponent such as the Dallas Cowboys.
• No logos: In preparation for the Broncos' arrival, the Jets were required to cover their logos and various team-related placards that appear on the walls in the facility. That includes a 100-yard mural of Jets fans -- actual fans pictured in their seats at the stadium. The idea is to make the Broncos feel like they're practicing at a neutral facility.
• Cold-weather Super Bowl: Naturally, Johnson was excited about hosting the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl in history. He said the owners "broke the ice barrier" when they awarded the game to the New York/New Jersey region.
"I think it's important to have an outside Super Bowl," Johnson said. "I don't want to use the word 'no-brainer,' but we've had 47 of these indoors and in the South. It's about time we played a Super Bowl in conditions, the way the game is routinely played."