Chris can’t miss

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I’m going to say something

that might not be that popular, but I think Christopher Johnson has learned from his mistakes.

Some people don’t do that, but I think he has.

He was plucked from obscurity into an ownership role with the Jets four years, and had a tremendous amount to absorb and learn, and made some mistakes.

Now when he took over he inherited a mistake his brother made, after getting astray by NFL consultants brought in to help find a new coach and GM in 2016.

Christopher inherited a dysfunctional mess with a head coach (Todd Bowles) and GM (Mike Maccagnan) who clearly weren’t on the same page. As we broke on this site a couple of years ago, the GM and coach WEREN’T EVEN ON SPEAKING TERMS¬† for a significant stretch of time. Imagine a GM and coach attempting to run a team not speaking to each other, Wow.

So Christopher isn’t to blame for hiring that GM and coach combination, but was to blame for keeping them and extending their contracts. That was a major miscue.

And then after the Jets fired the coach, Johnson was told by many people, including some in the media like us, that he needed to have a football guy in the room for the head coach interviews in 2019, not just businessmen and lawyers. That premise made sense, but the problem was keeping Mike Maccagnan to be that guy turned out to be an error, and that search ended with Adam Gase, who delivered on two things Maccagnan wanted in an HC – a coach to take his prized QB pick to the next level, and a coach would agree to hire Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator. These were two misguided guidelines to hire a coach.

But to Christopher’s credit, realized, after an off-season of wasteful spending on free agents, that he needed to move on from Maccagnan in May of 2019, and brought in Joe Douglas, the best hire by the Johnson family, either at the coach or GM spot, in their 20 years of owning the team.

There is a beat-writer trashing Douglas now. Not sure why. Douglas is good at his job and not the problem. He inherited a dumpster fire from Maccagnan, and a head coach he didn’t hire, who was over his head.

Christopher has moved up the growth curve as an owner. There is no doubt. The mistakes his brother and the consultants made in 2016 are gone, and he now as a man leading the latest coach search, who is uniquely equipped to find the Jets the kind of HC they so desperately need.

“With Joe (Douglas), he’s been around a number of very good NFL teams. He has taken it in. He has strong opinions on how to do this right and bring in the right culture. I think we should have every confidence in him as the man on point in this search.” – Christopher Johnson.

It’s been tough few years for Christopher as Jets owner, but I truly think he learned a ton, and the Jets are now poised for some good things, with a really good GM, a lot of premium draft picks, a lot of cap space in a year most teams don’t have that, and the right man, with a tremendous knowledge of the coaching fraternity, leading his coaching search.

And with the right GM and coach in place, Christopher can be a very good owner, because he’s very hands off. With Adam Gase as the head coach, he needed to be more hands on. For instance telling his coach to stop going with a 37-year-old running back as his bell cow late in the season, with talented youngsters behind him. In a game the Jets entered at 0-13, Frank Gore ran 23 times. Who does that?

But, if you give this man a big-time GM and coach, who you can trust to consistently make the right decisions. Christopher can actually be a very good owner, because he’s not a meddler.

The challenge will be to make sure his brother doesn’t meddle, something he’s done in the past.

However, there no doubt Christopher has learned from his mistakes, and has a better understanding of what the Jets need do, than four years ago, when he was thrust into situation he wasn’t ready for.

January 4, 2020

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