Joe Namath Not On Speaking Terms With Jets Owner, Says Team ‘Misled’ Fans
NEW YORK (WFAN) — Joe Namath hasn’t been shy in his criticism of the New York Jets.
The Gang Green great doubled down on WFAN radio Thursday, admitting he hasn’t spoken with owner Woody Johnson and some members of the organization for quite some time.
“No. No, no, no, no,” Namath said on the “Boomer & Carton” show when asked if he was on speaking terms with Johnson or new general manager John Idzik.
“In fact, I haven’t met Mr. Idzik unless it was 40 years ago,” he added. “But no, I have not been on good terms with Mr. Johnson for the last couple of years.”
The Hall of Fame quarterback said he was “somewhat” bothered by his relationship with the Jets. But that didn’t stop him from firing another round of shots at the franchise.
Namath called the Jets “deceptive” and said the brass in Florham Park has “misled” fans about the state of the team.
“You know, you’ve got to be honest,” Namath said. “I want to be honest. And I think they’ve been deceptive.”
The 69-year-old later clarified his relationship with the Jets, calling it “uncomfortable.”
“I wouldn’t say bad terms, you know?” he said. “Uncomfortable. Because I was saying earlier, you don’t like to hear negative things, negative vibes, and Woody I’m sure doesn’t like the criticism. I mean, when we’ve brushed shoulders in the past it hasn’t been the same as it was originally. We don’t talk — ‘Hi, how are ya?’ ”
Namath touched on a number of topics during the in-studio interview:
— On former coach Eric Mangini: “When you say Mang-idiot, well he might have put that team together that got to those two (AFC) championship games to start out with.”
— Jets “misled” fans: “The team’s declined while we fans are being told how good they are constantly, how this new player’s so good. They haven’t played up to how they’ve been touted. And so I think they’ve misled the fans more or less. They’ve made some bad decisions on personnel the last couple of years.”
— On why he believes in QB Mark Sanchez: “He’s got four years under his belt of some highs and certainly some lows. He’s endured. He’s resilient. I believe that at this stage. And I think he’s going to be able to put together what he’s learned over these four years if the Jets’ team puts something together. Get an offensive line, plug those holes. You bring in running backs? Forget it — you’re bringing in running backs and you need blocking. I don’t care what running back it is. They’re just not fixing the spots that need fixing.”
— Should coach Rex Ryan have been fired after last season?: “No. First of all, Rex has still got a winning record there. And he is the head coach, he’s not the guy making all the decisions. … They’re telling him what to do. Sure, he has some input. But I don’t put the blame on Rex entirely, absolutely not. It’s a different style that I’ve ever seen in coaching before, but we’re past that. He’s got a winning record. Who’s to say this team doesn’t bounce back this year? You see, that’s another thing.”
— On PSLs: “I still got a hangup over personal seat licenses, you see. What owner is not a billionaire and yet they’re getting people to cough up money on those little things. It’s greed and it’s unfair. But life is unfair.”
— On Tim Tebow: “We all love Tebow as a man, but where do you put him on the football field? His feet aren’t that agile, he’s not that quick, he doesn’t have the size to play (as) a blocking tight end, he’s not a receiver and he doesn’t throw the ball well enough to play quarterback. Where are you gonna use him?”
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