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Owner Woody Johnson Just Fine with a Youth Movement for the Jets

Jets owner Woody Johnson is well aware that 2017 could be a loss-filled season for his organization, which has one of the NFL’s least-talented rosters, Darryl Slater of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

But Johnson wants fans to take a bigger-picture view of the Jets’ get-younger, full-on rebuilding process. Because that’s what Johnson is doing.

“Really, the way I want to be judged this year, hopefully, from the fans’ standpoint is just watch how we improve during the year,” he said Tuesday on ESPN New York radio. “And look at each individual on the team and see how they’re getting better. And if they’re getting better, that’s a mark of progress. That’s what we’re looking for.”

He was asked, then, if fans should judge 2017 not so much on wins and losses, but rather, on how younger players improve throughout the season.

“Exactly,” Johnson said. “If you want to go to the promised land, you’ve got to go in a certain direction. I think this a direction that we’ve never tried in 17 years that I’ve been involved with the Jets. We’ve never gone this way — build through the draft, build through young free agents that a lot of guys don’t even pay attention to.”

It was suggested to Johnson that fans should be “patient” this year.

“Don’t use the word patient,” he said. “They’re not patient. I think judge it by progress. So pay close attention to what’s going on.

“We’ve tried various things over the years that I’ve been involved with the New York Jets, and what we haven’t done is really concentrate on younger players, and making sure the coaching staff is capable of teaching those players and getting them better.”

“Because we’ve tried a lot of different things, and we’ve got to find a quarterback,” he said. “That’s a goal. I think what we’ve done over the years is traded picks away, and we’ve gone and we’ve had too big of an emphasis on free agency — and not enough emphasis on developing our own. I think you’re better off with a home-grown guy.”

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