There are two things we know here at the Talk of Fame Network: History and that the New York Jets under the ownership of the Johnson clan doesn’t learn from it.
They repeat it.
This was borne out once again this week when Christopher Johnson, younger brother of knucklehead Jets’ owner Woody (aptly named) Johnson, made the latest in the kind of curious moves that have kept the Jets out of the Super Bowl for 50 years and counting.
Just for the record, history being as predictive as it is in the Jets’ case, the 51st year is upon us.
If Jets’ CEO Christopher Johnson was the matchmaker on “The Bachelor’’ divorce lawyers would rejoice. As a matchmaker, he makes a good explosives expert.
Less than two months ago Johnson said of Jets’ general manager Mike Maccagnan: “I think he’s terrific at his job. He has a plan that I believe in. It’s really key that he’s working well with (head coach) Adam (Gase.’’
On Wednesday he fired Maccagnan and installed Gase as his interim replacement. The new face always looks better than the old face as far as the Johnsons are concerned.
Johnson just fired the man with the plan, as he put it in March, after allowing that man to hire Gase after Gase himself had just been fired in Miami following three years of mediocrity and one playoff loss. But Gase replaced Todd Bowles, who had just been fired by Johnson after four years of mediocrity and no playoff wins in New York.
Then Johnson allowed Mccagnan to spend over $125 million in free agency, including overpaying for a running back (Le’Veon Bell) that Gase reportedly doesn’t want.
Then he allowed him to run a draft that included making the third pick, which Maccagnan turned into defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, to play in front of new inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, whom Maccagnan paid a ton of free-agent money. Reason: Two years ago his plan was to draft an undersized linebacker named Darren Lee with the Jets’ first pick.
The first thing Gase did after replacing Maccagnan? Trade Lee.
So the man with the plan was allowed to do all that this offseason and then was fired by The Man and replaced by a guy he’d just hired as head coach. How do you spell dysfunction?
J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS!
Had Johnson made a clean sweep after the season and relieved Maccagnan … as well as Bowles … few would have questioned it. In the past four years the teams they built went 24-40 and got worse every season.
So starting over at that point made sense. Which is why Johnson didn’t do it. Little makes sense with the Jets since the Johnson Family took over.
They retain Maccagnan, let him hire a new coach, spend like a drunken sailor and run the 2019 draft … and then fire him?
Rumors swirled for months that Maccagnan and Gase did not see eye-to-eye, which is remarkable when you consider they’d been face-to-face for only a few months. To doubt that Gase wasn’t involved in the hit on Maccagnan is to be as blind as the Johnsons when it comes to running a football operation.
So now the Jets are looking for a new general manager to take the job knowing the head coach just helped take out his predecessor less than six months after being hired by him? That fact led Johnson to say this week “This had nothing to do with Adam. This was not one person or another winning a power struggle. This was completely my decision.’’
And in the next breath he said, “I think there was pretty good synergy (between Maccagnan and Gase), but it was not everything I was hoping for. I made the decision that I want to find a better fit for this building…It’s more than a talent-evaluation guy. I want a great strategic thinker…someone who can collaborate well with the building.’’
So two months after Johnson said Maccagnan had “a plan I believe in’’ he didn’t believe in his plan. If I were Adam Gase, I’d be renting not buying.
Owners can do what they want and, apparently, so can the brother of the owner who is now ambassador to England. It is tempting to say that explains the Brexit fiasco, but that would be giving Woody Johnson too much credit. It is enough to say he’s a Trump man. Chaos to follow.
Essentially, what the Jets have done is repeat the failed shotgun marriage of GM John Idzik and then-head coach Rex Ryan not so long ago when Woody was still in the States. They got along about as well as Bill Belichick and Woody, which is to why Bill resigned one day after taking over as the HC of the NYJ.
We know how that worked out for the J-E-T-S JETS.
Now the Johnson clan not only repeated the Idzik-Ryan fiasco with the Maccagnan-Gase pairing but are likely to do it again with whomever they hire next as GM. If they hire someone who is really the GM he is stuck with a coach he didn’t hire and might well not have wanted since the only team pursuing Gase after he went 23-25 in three years in Miami was the Jets.
Or they’ll have a GM who is a puppet of the power-hungry Gase, who had full control over personnel with the Dolphins and led them from a 10-6 record with the team he inherited to 6-10 and 7-9 disasters of his own making.
What this leads me to wonder is this: Had Christopher and Woody Johnson been the founders of the Johnson & Johnson empire they inherited would they have thought to put glue on the back of the first Band-Aid?
I doubt it.