Woody Johnson says everyone doing their job to change losing culture of the Jets – The Denver Post


Following their 24-9 season-opening loss to the Ravens, many questioned if this was the same old Jets team.

What a difference five weeks makes in the NFL.

Not only has Gang Green won four of its last five games, but the team is in the thick of a playoff chase.

“It’s a start, it’s a good start and that’s all it is,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told the Daily News’ Pat Leonard at the NFL owners’ meetings in Manhattan on Tuesday. “We are very happy. Green Bay, if you do anything at Green Bay, that’s pretty dope going to Lambeau, sacred Lambeau Field.

“It takes a lot with changing culture. I was surprised that it came in this fast. The young guys are doing it this fast. The vets are doing their job.”

In 2021, Robert Saleh took over a Jets franchise that had recorded one winning season [2015] since 2010. His predecessor Adam Gase had run the team into the ground and the Jets roster resembled one of an expansion team.

Saleh immediately knew he had his hands full with trying to develop a winning culture. After a 4-13 campaign, Saleh decided it was time to bring in a good mix of veterans to add to the Jets’ youth.

During the offseason, the Jets added cornerback D.J. Reed, who Saleh knew from his days as a defensive coordinator of the 49ers. The team also signed linebacker Kwon Alexander and tackle Duane Brown after the start of training camp.

Not to mention, the Jets also drafted cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson, defensive end Jermaine Johnson and running back Breece Hall all within the first 36 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft.

This team now resembles the young 49ers team, with Saleh and Kyle Shanahan leading the way as coach. After enduring back-to-back losing seasons in 2017 and 2018, San Francisco finished 13-3 before losing Super Bowl LIV to the Chiefs.

San Francisco relied on defense, running the ball and special teams to win games, much like the Jets are currently doing now.

“Our style of play is effort, technique and violence,” Saleh said. “Those are the three things that we feel as players and coaches that we have control over. The best way to show that is when the lights are off and it’s one person watching tape, there’s no sound, there’s no announcer, there’s no replay, there’s no still shot.

“It’s my eyes looking at your tape, and it’s dark and it’s quiet. What am I seeing? What are you telling me off of your tape? Our style of play is everything and those are the three things we want jumping off the tape.

“We want to see guys playing with great effort, playing with precision and obviously playing with violence. I feel like, especially the last two weeks, it feels like that part of our game is getting better and better and still has a long way to go. It’s heading in that direction, credit to the players, they’re doing a great job of handling things they got control over.”

Throughout training camp, Saleh and the Jets players repeatedly said how much improved the team was compared to last year. After a 4-2 start, it is difficult to argue with the results thus far.

The Green and White have found different ways to win games, especially late in the fourth quarter. They have relied on Hall to carry their offense in wins against the Dolphins and Packers.

Quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets defense were the keys to the 24-20 Week 4 victory at Pittsburgh. And with 1:55 left on the clock, the Jets found a way to come back from a 14-point deficit to stun the Browns 31-30.

There are 11 games left in the season and the Jets are sitting as the sixth seed in the AFC after their three-game winning streak. Gang Green has three key games against the Broncos and home against the Patriots and Bills before its bye week.

Saleh keeps preaching to the players that they haven’t done anything special. He also wants the players to feel like winning can become normal for the Jets franchise.

“It’s not easy to win in this league and I think everyone knows that,” Brown said. “Being able to string off three in a row, it’s even tougher. You want to enjoy that and appreciate it for what it is, but understand each week is going to bring new challenges.

“No one cares about what you’ve done the week before. You have to switch your preparation, switch your focus and understand the challenges you have ahead.”



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