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Jets owner lauds Ryan

Jan. 24, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 23, 2010 at 7:24 p.m.


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(PHOTOS)

By Tom Rock

Newsday

(MCT)

INDIANAPOLIS — The New York Jets didn't advance to the Super Bowl, but they did advance to the point where thinking about future Super Bowls doesn't seem so ridiculous. And owner Woody Johnson said he's as proud of shedding the sorry image of his franchise as he is for the way they played the last month.

"Rex has brought in something really, really special for us, having dispelled the myth," Johnson said Sunday, a clear reference to the Same Old Jets tag that always seemed to hang from the toe of each season. "We're onward and upward from here."

It's been a difficult few weeks for Johnson, whose daughter died earlier this month while the team he owns reached the AFC title game.

"This is the highest I've ever gotten," he said of advancing this far.

Ultimately, Johnson thought being the No. 5 seed and having to play on the road in the playoffs was just too difficult.

"Just to think of the wear and tear on this team for the last couple of weeks, we've been everywhere," he said of playoff wins in Cincinnati and San Diego before Sunday's game in Indianapolis. "We've done a tremendous job."

Johnson did not address the team in the postgame locker room, but he did greet them individually as they came off the field. He said he told Ryan how proud he is of what has been accomplished, "particularly in the first year."

And Johnson added that he's excited about the future and he's never seen the fans this excited, either.

"We just hope next year, we'll be able to go a little further, one game further, and win the next one," he said.

And it didn't sound crazy at all.

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(c) 2010, Newsday.

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