Jets’ owner Woody Johnson takes shot at Zach Wilson, puts offense on notice: ‘We’ve got to produce this year’

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is putting his team on notice.

In the lead-up to Thursday night’s NFL Honors award ceremony, Johnson ripped into the team’s offense and took a not-so-thinly veiled jab at quarterback Zach Wilson when discussing the disappointing season. 

Zach Wilson and Robert Saleh talk

Zach Wilson, #2, and head coach Robert Saleh of the New York Jets talk during warmups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

“The discussions I’ve had in the last couple of months, they’ve seen me about as mad as I can be with what was going on, with the offense particularly,” Johnson reportedly said, via ESPN. 


“We have all this talent, and we have to deploy talent properly. So I think they all got the message. This is it. This is the time to go. We’ve got to produce this year.”

According to the report, when asked specifically by reporters about the team’s need for a backup, Johnson agreed. 

“You need a backup quarterback,” he said. “We didn’t have one last year.”

Zach Wilson rolls out of the pocket

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) rolls out of the pocket under pressure during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, December 10, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/John Munson)

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Wilson, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has faced mounting criticism throughout his NFL career. After another disastrous season, the Jets moved forward last year to acquire four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers in an offseason trade with the Green Bay Packers.

With that, the Jets moved from trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010 to talking about Super Bowl aspirations. But just four plays into Rodgers’ debut, he suffered a season-ending leg injury, and the Jets were back at square one. 

Johnson’s remarks can be seen as an indication of his view of Wilson’s status on the team. 

“We’ve got to fix our offense,” Johnson told ESPN separately. “I think we’ll do that – Aaron Rodgers will be back, and we’ll protect him, and we’ll get the flow and get into it.” 

Zach Wilson vs Raiders

Zach Wilson, #2 of the New York Jets, walks off the field after the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Jets to win the game at Allegiant Stadium on November 12, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Steve Marcus/Getty Images)


Johnson also addressed his confidence level in head coach Robert Saleh, telling the outlet, “He’s going to be a lot better coach.”

“It’s offense, offense, offense – as I’ve said.” 

The Jets finished the season 7-10, missing yet another postseason run. They now hold the record for the longest active playoff drought in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.

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