The man known as “Broadway Joe” was the iconic quarterback of his generation and in many ways he remains a bigger persona than the Jets team he led for 12 years, including their Super Bowl win in 1969.
Joe Namath still remains watchful of his old team, including calling them out from time to time. After Sunday’s embarrassing loss to Seattle, he held general manager Mike Tannebaum responsible.
“It’s hard to put the owner on the hot seat. The next step down -- I don’t know who that is, there might be some people we don’t know about -- but the general manager is the guy in charge of getting talent as well. At this point, I don’t see any outstanding talent other than the guys on the injury list and some inherited talent -- guys like Nick Mangold, [D’Brickashaw] Ferguson, [Brandon] Moore and Dustin Keller already on the roster,” Namath told Metro New York. “There’s some talent at strong safety, the guys brought in recently. I don’t see a great deal of talent on this team at the playmakers. The defense is getting older and slowing down. The new players are taking a long time to develop. I don’t see many outstanding players brought in over recent years. Rex brought Bart Scott in with him, [former Jet Jim] Leonhard too, who is now elsewhere. I haven’t seen us continue to grow talent wise since then.”
A major cause for concern for Namath is the quarterback position, where fourth-year incumbent starter Mark Sanchez has been middling at best.
“Whenever you’re getting desperate you’re reaching for a lot of different ways to get it done. I’m not surprised people want a change of pace. If you don’t get results, maybe you should try something different,” Namath said.
Namath was strongly in Sanchez’s corner earlier this season.
“I think it is only time when a coach can look the players in the eye and the players give him the feedback that [Tim] Tebow gives them a better chance to win. At this point, I believe the players know and feel that Sanchez gives them the better chance to win. I agree with the players most of the time. They look at those tapes, every single snap in practice, every single play in the game and they know why each play breaks down. Until they know Sanchez is the problem, they know he gives them the better chance to win. The Jets have hurt themselves more this year than other teams have hurt them.”
In Namath’s eyes, the Tebow trade was made with dollar signs and merchandising in mind, not wins.
“They’re very conscious of media and headlines and someone in the group convinced the football people that he’d be good on the team,” Namath said. “I’m one of the guys who thinks that Tebow is good on anybody’s team as far as his character, work ethic and all. You have to find a way to use him, but at this point, he’s not a quarterback who can beat out his competitors. Every play in practice, every snap, the players see who is the better quarterback. I don’t think it is Tim.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.