'You Do Not Put Your Quarterback In There In That Situation'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We all know that Joe Namath frequently criticizes his former team.

So with plenty of controversy surrounding the Jets in the wake of last Saturday’s game, it’s not particularly surprising that the Hall of Famer has struck again.

His target this time around? Head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan surprisingly put Sanchez into the game in the fourth quarter this past weekend against the Giants. The fourth-year starter was playing behind an inexperienced offensive line, and the results were disastrous. The former first-round pick injured his shoulder, and it might force him to miss New York’s regular-season opener against the Buccaneers.

The whole situation isn’t sitting well with Namath.

“You do not put your quarterback in there in that situation, not the guy that is probably going to be your starter, behind a makeshift offensive line in a preseason game,” Namath said Tuesday during an interview on “The Rich Eisen Podcast” on NFL.com. “Come on. There was no rhyme or reasoning to that.”

Following the game, the outspoken head coach refused to say that he made the wrong decision by putting Sanchez in the game at that point. He’s spoken to the press on several occasions since then, and maintains that injuries are simply a part of the game.

Ryan’s rationalization, too, bothered Namath.

“I wish (Ryan) would just say it was wrong — ‘I made a mistake,'” Namath said on the podcast. “But instead he was talking about the competitive feelings of wanting to win. That’s just beating around the bush. My man made a mistake, Rich!”

The 70-year-old admitted that his current relationship with the organization that he won Super Bowl III with is “clumsy” and “awkward.”

“None of us, when we’re in position to be critiqued — if it’s not good — we don’t like to hear it,” Namath told Eisen. “And I know it’s been uncomfortable for the Jets, Mr. (Woody) Johnson, Rex or whatever. It’s uncomfortable for me. It has been for me since I’ve been around and noticed a subtle change in our relationships.”

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