A troubled Jets’ season has led seamlessly into a troubled Jets’ offseason.
On Thursday afternoon while addressing the media, owner Woody Johnson promised that disgruntled wide receiver Santonio Holmes would be back with the team and expressed confidence in head coach Rex Ryan following a disappointing 8-8 season.
“I don’t think the whole locker room was toxic. I think there clearly were a few players that had conflicts,” Johnson said. “I have two boys, and trying to keep those guys apart is a full-time job. So, you’ve got 53 individuals in that locker room and at any one time, they’re going to be arguments and altercations and so on.
“Would you love to have total harmony? Maybe. Maybe, it’s good to have a little bit of disharmony also, but they have to care about each other.”
There is no denying the star power of Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, but both had arrest records before their tenure with the Jets.
“When you try to build [a team] you don’t know how that room, that 53, are going to come together,” Johnson said.
Much of the bickering came on the offensive side of the ball and perhaps rightly so. The Jets were the No. 25 offense in the league and Schottenheimer, who was in his sixth year with the team as offensive coordinator, shouldered the angst of many fans for the anemic unit. The Jets maintained all along that the split between the two parties wasn’t acrimonious and Johnson saw it as part of the progression of being in New York.
“That was a decision that was a mutual decision. I think Brian felt that he wanted a fresh start and I don’t disagree. He had a lot of pressure on him and there was almost no way he felt he could perform up to what the expectations were,” Johnson said.
“This is a tough place to play in New York. He wanted a fresh start and I commend him for what he’s done here [and] the years he [has had]. The first few years were great. The last year, we were just a little bit off.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.