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Jets Q&A: Woody Johnson pleased with team

Woody Johnson speaks at a press conference held

Woody Johnson speaks at a press conference held by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, regarding Super Bowl XLVIII, which New York and New Jersey will host at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014. (Oct. 10, 2013) Credit: Getty

What's Woody Johnson's take on the Jets?

Fans may be frustrated with Geno Smith's erratic play, but owner Woody Johnson said he is pleased with his rookie quarterback and his team's direction.

Johnson has kept his comments to the media to a minimum this season, but in a pregame ESPN radio interview Sunday, he said he's "pretty happy with the way things are going'' -- a potentially good sign for Rex Ryan, who has one year left on his contract.

Before the Jets' 37-27 win over the Raiders ended a three-game losing streak, Johnson said the defense has been "amazing'' and the offense is "very, very close'' to reaching its potential.

"We've got a young quarterback who is very, very talented,'' Johnson said. "Like with all young quarterbacks, he's learning so much. I think you'll see him get better and better. I have a lot of confidence in Geno. When he gets better, everyone on the offense, defense and special teams will get better.''

How do the players feel about Ryan?

"Rex has been so selfless,'' said guard Willie Colon, adding that he came to the Jets to play for Ryan. "He bleeds green, he believes in this team, even when sometimes you don't believe in each other.''

Other teams might have fallen apart during this rough stretch, but players credited Ryan for keeping them together.

"You know you have a good coach who can get things going in the right direction late in the season when you've had three straight losses,'' said future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed, who played under Ryan in Baltimore.

Many believe Ryan will be on his way out if the Jets miss the playoffs, but Colon is determined not to let that happen.

"We love Rex as a team. I love Rex,'' Colon said. "And I'd be the first one to step on a soapbox and scream 'Keep him!' ''

Where was Stephen Hill?

The receiver was inactive after being downgraded to questionable Friday. He has had swelling in his knees "the last several weeks,'' Ryan said. "He's just not himself.''

Was that really Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney in the Jets' locker room after the game?

Yes. Former vice president Cheney and 2012 presidential hopeful Romney were there, along with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and actor Michael J. Fox. Johnson contributed financially to the Romney-Paul Ryan ticket.

New York Sports