Jets Ownership And GM On Darrelle Revis

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson & general manager John Idzik spoke with the media on Thursday about the Darrelle Revis situation.

Opening Statement…
WOODY JOHNSON: This is a very important day for the New York Jets. We’ve just finished an exhaustive process. Maybe exhaustive is not the right word, but we finished the process where we interviewed a number of very qualified people to assume the job of general manager of the New York Jets. (With) that process, we wanted to be very thorough and careful because of the importance of this decision, so we hired Korn/Ferry. They led it and I think Jed Hughes was very helpful in establishing a process that really gave everyone a fair look and set out the criteria that we were looking for. We went through the process and after interviewing John Idzik, it became apparent to us that he was head and shoulders the best fit for the New York Jets. It’s not only his demeanor and the way he speaks, it’s also his experience. He’s a second-generation football guy. His father was here as an offensive coordinator in the 1970s, a successful one. His 20 years in every facet of the football business, from personnel to the (salary) cap to the weight room, he’s done it all. He’s been around some great coaches and great people and general managers. I think if you go back to Tampa, the Arizona Cardinals or anyone at the Seahawks, they will confirm the kind of person John is and that fact that he is the right person to do this job for the New York Jets in 2013. I think (he) will add so much to what we’re collectively trying to do, and that’s put a championship football team on the field. I think he’ll do a great job. I know I am very excited and I think the fans, as they get to know John, will be excited as well. With that, I would like to introduce the new general manager for the New York Jets, John Idzik.

JOHN IDZIK: Thank you. Welcome, I appreciate your attendance and I appreciate your patience. (I’ve) been across the country a little bit, took a little detour to Mobile, Alabama and finally landed here in my new home in Florham Park. I’m happy to be here. It’s a very special day for me, my family and the New York Jets. I owe all of that to Woody Johnson. I’m very appreciative of the time we’ve spent together. We’ve had several talks over the last couple of weeks and you’ve made me feel right at home. I’m also very appreciative of Neil Glat, Ira Akselrad (and) Rex Ryan. Again, we’ve had several in-depth conversations and every step of the way I gravitated more towards the New York Jets, I felt like a member of the New York Jets. I’m very appreciative of that. The last three days I took a little hiatus down to Mobile and spent a little time with our personnel staff down there, Terry Bradway, Scott Cohen and company, and our pro and college guys and it was a great introduction. It’s challenging enough to go through the Senior Bowl dual day practices, so for them to make time in a very jam-packed schedule to let us get to know each other was very valuable to me, so we can hit the ground running when they come back. Once you start looking at players and start talking about players in that environment, it’s like riding a bike. We felt very comfortable together. It hasn’t taken me long to feel like a New York Jet. I’m certainly happy to be here. I share this day with four new Jets that have a temporary layover out in Seattle. My wife of 27 years, Carol – living in a football family, I’ve grown up in a football family as Woody said, it’s very rewarding and very unique and it has it’s challenges on family members. We spend a lot of time away from home. For me, to have the peace of mind that Carol has taken care of everything at home with our children and raised them to be fine individuals that we’re very proud of, means everything. She has responsibilities far greater than I will ever have and I’m very grateful for her. Our three kids, Bryant, your sense of adventure, your creativity, Bradley, your dedication, work ethic and desire on and off your fields and Holly, your compassion and quick wit, they all inspire me. We’re very proud and I welcome you to the Jets. As Woody mentioned, my dad was here. It took me a little time, but I made it back. I’m very happy to be back. Just like Carol, my mom was the bedrock for our football family growing up for my two sisters, Cindy and Joy. She has provided stability along the way. When my dad was away for long stretches of time, I was the lucky one out of the three because I got to spend a lot of time with my father going to camps and on the sidelines. I was in Hempstead and Shea (Stadium) as a skinny high school receiver. I treasure those times. Not only for observing my dad in different environments and how he worked, but more importantly he taught me life lessons that extend well beyond football. I think you get a sense from me that family, cohesion and teamwork are at my core. They’re at the core of the New York Jets. That’s been my experience in the league, too. Whenever you can build a cohesive unit, it’s trustworthy and they’re dedicated to a common cause, to each other and you can fight through difficult times and support each other and, more importantly, you know how to handle success. You know how to handle success over an extended period. The most recent example of that was in Seattle. We had a tremendous building led by Paul Allen, Peter McLoughlin, Pete Carroll and John Schneider. John is a special guy to me. We’ve known each other since I’ve been in the league for 20 years, first as divisional foes. We joke about that a little bit, but I really treasure our last three years getting to work alongside each other. There is a building there that is special and they are all in and I feel that here in New York. We’re going to be all in and work together and that’s how we’re going to develop a sustainable winner. It’s something that our fans and our community are going to be proud of. I would like to digress for just one second and say that it’s a special day for my mom and dad. I would like to wish them a happy 60th anniversary. Beyond Seattle, I had the good fortune to work alongside many people that had a profound influence on me both professionally and personally. Just to mention a few, Tony Dungy, Tod Leiweke, Rod Graves, all of these folks, I count as lifelong friends. We’ve been through a few battles together. We’ve built things together. It’s been very rewarding. In Tampa, Rich McKay, Jerry Angelo, Tim Ruskell, Ruston Webster, we went on quite a journey in Tampa. We saw it from the bottom to the top. It was very special. To me, all of those experiences have solidified the power of “we”, the power of “we” over “me”. That’s something that is going to be very strong here in New York. As it goes there, it goes here in New York too. It will be based on a collaborative effort. It will be inclusive, it will be well thought out and researched. It will be the power of “we”. Our immediate plans, I have criss-crossed the country and I don’t know what time or day it is, so Rex (Ryan), you are going to have to help me out that way. We’re going to continually develop, maintain and enhance a roster here that is grounded in competition. There will be a constant influx of competition. When you’re in football, you relish competition. It gets everybody better. By that, I mean we’ll explore every measure to bring in talent and continue to compete. The draft will be very important to us. That will be a lifeline for us, year-in and year-out. We will use free agency. Again we will be very thoughtful, do our research and be judicious in free agency. We will use trades. We will use waiver claims. We’ll work our practice roster. We’ll have numerous tryouts throughout the year in search for guys that “Play like a Jet.” That will be a constant hum in the background of what we do. The most immediate business item that we have to address is a thorough and comprehensive review of our current roster. I come from the outside as an opponent. Rex, you’ve lived with these players. Our pro and college department, they’ve lived with these players. They know them not only as players on game day, but they know how they eat, sleep, practice, they prepare. They know their families, so I want to get to know them in depth. We’re going to do a thorough review of our roster. From there, we will be able to develop short-term plans going into free agency. We’ll be able to develop our plans as far as the salary cap is concerned going into the 2013 league year. Of course, there will be countless hours spent in preparation for the 2013 draft. That’s it in a nutshell and I’m happy to be here. I’m elated and it’s a special day for me. I look forward to meeting and getting to know each one of you over the years. I’m proud to be a Jet.

On his level confidence in making the final personnel decisions…
When making the final personnel decisions, when I say a collaborative effort, that’s genuine. I think my role as a general manager is to provide some direction and develop a consensus in the building, so that when we make decisions, they’re Jet decisions. I may be that person that hands in the card, but what’s on that card is a Jet decision. That’s going to be genuine here in New York. As far as my background, I’ve been around NFL players since I was “young,” since I was six years old, in various capacities. As I started my professional career, I’ve had a myriad of different perspectives. So I think that’s something that I can lend to the New York Jets, various perspectives, and that’s inclusive of personnel. It’s inclusive of management, administration (and) operations. It’s inclusive of, obviously, contract and (salary) cap, so I think that will be a help for the New York Jets.

On there will be any initial changes in the personnel staff…
No, I can say that in my initial days I’ve realized this, I’ve only been on the job for three days, this is my fourth, (and) three of them have been out of state, I’ve been very impressed with my initial impressions. I had the opportunity to spend some time with (Head Coach) Rex (Ryan) down in Mobile, (AL). I had a chance to talk with and meet with all of our personnel staff down there: Scott (Cohen), (Senior Personnel Executive) Terry (Bradway), (Assistant Director, Player Personnel) JoJo (Wooden), (Director, College Scouting) Jeff (Bauer), (Assistant Director, College Scouting) Mike (Davis), (Director, Football Administration) Ari (Nissim), all those people. My initial expressions are we have a really strong group here and I look forward to working with them in these days and nights to come.

On Coach Ryan…
I look at Rex Ryan as a very accomplished coach. He’s very energetic. He’s optimistic. He’s engaging as we all know. He engages our players and he gets them to play hard. I can speak to that from the opponents’ side. I look forward to our time together. I really do. I’m excited about it, so that, to me, was a plus.

On if being the son of a former NFL coach gives him more credibility around the league…
I think your credibility really comes from within. I think, a lot of people, there (are) perceptions, or should I say misperceptions out there, and you are who you are. The people in the building are going to feel who you are. It’s more that than where your roots are from family-wise. That said, yes, I had a tremendous advantage. As I said, before grade school I was going to NFL training camps. I may be a little bit biased here, but my dad was a heck of a coach. To be able to sit in camps with him, sit alongside with him in the coach’s booth (and) grow up around that, (was) a tremendous advantage for me. But I think ultimately it’s how you handle yourself in your job (and) how you relate to your people in the building. That’s your credibility.

On how he plans to handle the current salary cap…
Every year, as you enter into a new league year, you’re always going to, much like you do in free agency with your own players, the draft, you’re going to develop a plan for the salary cap. We’re going to develop a plan in the days to come. I never saw the cap situation here as a hindrance or anything like that. It’s something that you research, you work through (and) you evaluate, just like we evaluate our roster. We make the moves we think are best for the Jets. I’m fully confident we’ll be able to do that and we’ll have a fruitful offseason.

On the thoroughness of the interview process…
I think the interview process was very thorough. I commend Woody (Johnson) and his team. Really, there’s a lot of pressure in the NFL to answer the question who, and when? The sense I got was we’re going to take a step back, we’re going to do this thing right and we’re going to talk to as many people as we have to. The same held through with our conversations. We had very open, candid (and) informative conversations. Through that, the more we talked, the better I felt, the more I felt that if I was given this opportunity, I would be happy to be a New York Jet.

On the challenge of getting back to the playoffs…
Every year is a challenge. Whether you’re in the playoffs or not, and we’ve experienced it here in New York. You can go as far as the conference championship game (or) you can go to the Super Bowl. We did it in Tampa (Bay). We went to the Super Bowl one year and the next year we weren’t as fortunate. So every year is a challenge and you really wipe the slate clean and see what you have as a base going in, and you build off that and try to improve daily. In that vein, it’s not different than years that will go by when we are a perennial playoff team. We’ll look at it the same way. How can we improve? It’s a challenge, yes, but it’s a challenge that we’re all up to.

On Mark Sanchez’s role going forward…
Obviously with Pete Carroll, we have a little bit of background there on (Sanchez) coming out of school. I can’t comment really. I’m literally hours into the building. Rex had to show me my office (laughter), so I don’t want to drill down too deep. That, we’re going to save for our evaluation process in the days and weeks to come, but in looking at Mark, even evaluating him as a draft prospect, he’s an athletic guy (and) he was accomplished at USC (Southern California). He’s done some nice things here, but I think we just need to take our time and evaluate Mark with everybody else on the roster and see how we can move forward and improve.

On if anything gave him pause about accepting the general manager job…
Really, nothing. I think as soon as I got to know the people better, you just get a sense. You get a sense they’re talking the same language as you (and) they have the same makeup. Again, when we talked about teamwork, togetherness, cohesiveness, there’s going to be integration within the building (and) we’re going to make collective decisions. When we talked those through, they made me feel very comfortable. We’re all in this together. I’m glad, I’m going to be grateful, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

On the perception of that no one wanted the Jets general manager job…
Everyone is going to have their opinions and I don’t deal with much in perception to be honest. I deal with reality. The reality here is I think this is one of the most fabulous football infrastructures anyone can ask for. For one, we have some of the most fervent, passionate fans in the National Football League. I’ve experienced what an advantage that can be in Seattle, Tampa (Bay) and Arizona. I feel that here. We have a state-of-the-art stadium to play in. We have a state-of-the-art facility. The people in this building are tremendous. That’s reality to me. The more I got to know about the people here, the fans here, the environment here, the facilities, I think the football infrastructure is second to none. My personal opinion is, (it is) one of the best opportunities that you could have.

On whether he sees the Jets as a “win now” opportunity…
I don’t know that you can put a timetable (on it). Like I said, every year is different. I don’t know that you can put a timetable (on it, but) I can assure you of this, Rex, myself (and) everyone in the building, every single day we’re going to look to improve. We’re going to see improvement and we’ll work as hard as we can to do that. I don’t know that you can put a discrete timetable on it. We’re going to have a competitive team. That’s going to be the center of everything we do, competition, and that’s going to make us better. It’s going to make us a force in the league.

On whether he would be open to the possibility of trading Darrelle Revis…
I think it’s way premature to say anything specific. Again, I haven’t even had the chance to sit down and thoroughly vet through our roster with Rex, his staff (and) with our personnel staff. I think it would be presumptuous to say anything like that.

On the level of priority associated with addressing Revis…
Not that one specifically, but I’d say very important. One of our first steps is to go through our roster in detail. That includes (Darrelle), that includes everybody on the roster. Then develop a comprehensive plan off of that. But it’s still a little bit premature to say.

On reports that he asked the Seahawks to go on more scouting trips the last two years and how comfortable he is handling personnel…
Yes, I’m completely comfortable in that area. To address the first question, whatever I do in football, I do for our team. I don’t do it for personal gain or anything like that. I have a very broad background and a very extensive background in personnel and evaluation, so if my team needs me to go out on the road, I’ll go out on the road. If my team needs me to stay in house and do more pro, I’ll do that. If my team needs me to do cap management, that’s been kind of my general take over the years. Nothing is prefab or anything like that. Again, it’s in the vein of chipping in in a collective effort and what you can lend. I think I can lend a lot in various aspects of football operations.

On describing the draft as a “lifeline” and if he’d trade a prominent player for multiple picks…
First off all, when I say lifeline, no matter if we have all of our picks as we do this year, if we don’t have our full complement of picks, or we attain additional picks via trades, we’re going to place an emphasis on the draft from rounds one through seven and the (undrafted) college free agents. We will be well versed in who we think is going to help our squad through the draft. Then on an individual basis, once we evaluate our roster, the baseline will always be our current roster. Everything we do will be compared to what we have in the building. That will always be the baseline. We will charter our course based on all these evaluations. Some of it will be draft-oriented. Some of it will be free agent-oriented. Some of it will be trade-oriented. It’s a little bit premature to get specific about it, but I just think that to us, every draft choice that we turn in is going to be precious to us.

On his general philosophy for building a winning team…
Hopefully you got a sense of it from my comments before. It has to start from the people in the building, the players, coaches, scouts, football operations (and) business operations. We will develop a Jet profile and you develop that profile that they “Play like a Jet.” That’s first and foremost. And of course you start to evaluate their football acumen and everything else pieces together. In terms of a more specific football philosophy, that’s for Rex and I to sit down and (talk about). We’ve already begun that, but we will continue to do that in the days to come, to be very discrete in what we want to do to win games and mesh that up to the types of players that we want to bring in.

On this being a new beginning…
Of course, it’s a new beginning for me because this is my first day in Florham Park, but beyond that you can always look at it like every day is a new beginning, every month is a new beginning, every season that we go through, be it (the) offseason, draft, post-draft, mini-camp, training camp, we have new beginnings throughout the entire year. Yes, I look at this year as a burst of energy. It certainly is for me. I’m excited about it and from what I’ve heard, Rex is to. I’m very enthused about it.

On if there is a playoff mandate for the coaches…
No, I think what you do is you push the envelope, as far as competition, and you make sure you’re doing the best you can to improve every day. The byproduct of that is sustainable success. A byproduct of that is winning football games, going into the post season and eventually bringing championships back to New York.

On if he was aware of the negative perception and believes that he has to repair the organization…
No, I don’t think I ever got the perception. Again, there seems to be a lot of misperceptions. I had a brief breakfast with the entire building. The entire building showed up to shake my hand. That’s pretty impressive that people go out of their way to introduce themselves to me and make me feel at home. When I sense that, I don’t look at it as repair. I look at it as fostering what we have here. We have a good group of people here. They’re good at what they do and it’s up to me and everybody here to join together. That’s the sense I get. I don’t sense dysfunction or anything like that.

On his strength in player evaluations…
I know this is probably one of the most resourceful groups of journalists in the world, so if you want to answer perceptions, I would ask you just to go back to the numerous people that I’ve worked alongside in my NFL career. They can own up to that. As far as evaluations, football is at the root of who I am. I’ve been a football guy, so to speak. I don’t know exactly what that means, but (I’ve been in football) since I was a six-year-old. Once I got into the league, I got into the league purely as a scout. That’s always been in the background of what I do. Again, if there are any perceptions or any questions, there are plenty of resources out there to ask the people that I’ve worked with.

Source: New York Jets Media

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