FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Pepper Johnson doesn’t want to talk about his defensive line — or anything else.
Before his interview with reporters got underway Tuesday in the press workroom, the Jets defensive line coach tried to set some ground rules.
“Before we get started, there’s no Pepper Johnson questions,” he said. “I’m not answering any questions.”
Confused by his response, a reporter asked him: “There’s no Pepper Johnson questions?”
Johnson replied: “Yes. There’s no questions for me, then I’m not answering any questions.”
More confusion ensued.
“So, no questions about you, but you’ll answer questions about your guys?” another reporter asked.
“No, the other way around,” Johnson said.
Pepper’s salty stance came just nine days after two of his biggest stars, Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, were benched in the first quarter of the Jets’ 27-23 loss to the Dolphins on Nov. 6. Wilkerson missed the team’s walk-through on Oct. 22 — which was his 27th birthday and the day before the Jets hosted the Ravens — and also reportedly failed to show up to his own birthday party in one of the defensive meeting rooms. He and Richardson were benched in Miami for being late to a team meeting.
With coach Todd Bowles not holding his typical news conference because of the bye week, quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo and Johnson were the only coaches scheduled to talk to reporters Tuesday.
Johnson and Patullo don’t grant one-on-one interviews during the season and are required to speak to media a minimum of three times a year.