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Jets owner Woody Johnson optimistic about season, supports Rex Ryan

Jets owner Woody Johnson says "I'm always optimistic" as his team opens play after a turbulent offseason.

Johnson said Wednesday that he didn't have an issue with coach Rex Ryan using quarterback Mark Sanchez behind a backup offensive line in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. Then the presumptive starter, Sanchez hurt his throwing shoulder on a hard hit and could be sidelined for several weeks.

Johnson also supports Ryan's trip to see his son at Clemson on Saturday on the day teams made final cuts.

Johnson calls Ryan "an excellent head coach."

Earlier in the day, the Jets announced that rookie quarterback Geno Smith will start in the season opener at home Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org