New York Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson continues to keep pressure off his coaching staff and front office to put a winning team on the field.
In September, Johnson said progress of players would matter more than wins and losses. The owner backed that up by giving head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan extensions despite a 5-11 record. On Tuesday, Johnson said the new contracts did not come with a playoffs-or-bust order for the Jets brass.
"I have no mandate," Johnson said, via NJ.com. "Believe me, I want to get to the playoffs. I want to build a team with Mike and Todd that can compete for the playoffs every year. That can't happen fast enough. But there's no mandate."
The Jets haven't been to the playoffs since the 2010 season and have won six or fewer games four of the past six years, including back-to-back 5-11 records.
Johnson's optimism of a turnaround came after speaking to several players on Monday, who all believe "something special" was in the works under Bowles.
"The players clearly love Todd," Johnson said. "I heard, more than once, they'd run through a brick wall for him. I think he's a great coach, a great coach of these men. The record at the end of the season didn't dissuade me from that.
"He's a great leader of men. He got the most out of his guys. He got more than anybody imagined out of these guys. The predictions at the beginning of the season were pretty dire. I think some stars, some young stars emerged. An extraordinary core emerged. I attribute that to Todd and his staff."
Despite preseason accusations of tanking, the Jets played hard for Bowles each week, which ultimately made his extension unsurprising.
"I know that we have given [fans] a lot more pain than glory recently," Johnson said. "It's been a long time since we've had proper glory.
"I think that they understand that I'm trying to set this team up for glory. I think we'll get there. I really do."