Namath, Young talk Tebow’s role on Jets

Tebow drops back to throw against the Bengals in the preseason opener.
JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES

Never one to shy away from the hot topic of the day, the NFL Network’s latest golden calf appears to be none other than Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

Next Wednesday’s “A Football Life” series returns with a full-hour dedicated to Tebow. In the episode, quarterbacks Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Steve Young, Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart will share their analysis on Tebow.

A critic of the mid-March trade for Tebow, Namath now thinks that Tebow can add a certain dimension to his old team that has been lacking in recent years.

“A younger Joe Namath would have said, ‘He can’t play quarterback.’ I would have probably been harsh on his passing ability. I promise you, I’m a fan of Tim Tebow’s,” Namath said in an excerpt from the show. “Using his strengths, and that’s being able to run and throw on the run some, as a steady diet will that work? I don’t think so. But as a mix I believe it can work.”

Namath became a cultural icon in New York, leading the Jets to a win in Super Bowl III but also was equally famous for his love of the nightlife. While the devout Christian Tebow likely won’t sample of the same forbidden fruits that Namath once did (Namath was such a playboy that he had shag rugs on the floor and mirrors on the ceiling of his bedroom in his New York City apartment), the Hall of Fame quarterback does think that the Jets backup is poised to handle the New York City media crush with ease.

“Tim’s prepared better than anyone that’s gone in there in this kind of situation. Dealing with the media, dealing with endorsements, dealing with requests for your time — he’s better prepared than I was by a long shot,” Namath said.

Like Tebow, Young was viewed as more of an athlete than a quarterback and sat behind the legendary Joe Montana for several years in San Francisco. But when he got the chance to start, Young turned into a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and was MVP of Super Bowl XXIX.

Young thinks Tebow needs to become better with his arm and not just his legs.

“You cannot run around and play in the NFL. You have to throw the football from the pocket. You have to deliver it from the pocket on time. That’s the job. There is no other job,” Young said. “You can try to make a career running around and you might be able to do it for a little while. But if you want to do this long-term, that’s the job. Do the job.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for breaking news throughout the season.



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