NEW YORK (WFAN) — Was Joe Namath really that confident when he made his Super Bowl III guarantee or was he just spouting off?
“Before I made that guarantee, I was confident,” the Jets great told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday. “We had looked at films of the Colts prior to going down to Florida for the game. We knew — I knew — the Colts weren’t going to change for us. They were going to keep doing what they did best, and that was putting pressure on the passer. That was blitzing. That was choking that line of scrimmage.
“The Colts weren’t going to change for us. And we had intelligent linemen, backs and receivers. They could listen and go with the audibles all the time or the check-with-mes. I’d get in the huddle and give a formation and say ‘check with me on such and such a count and just go up and look at them,’ and they gave an indication to me where the strength of the defense was prior to the snap and also where the strength of the coverage was going to be after the snap. So we took advantage of that, and we executed it.”
And what was it like to play for the legendary Bear Bryant at Alabama?
“He was sharp. He was a born leader,” Namath said. “That’s one man that we played for because we grew to love him. When we first met Coach Bryant, he was hard, he was tough to understand, except he did tell us — my freshmen class — he told us, ‘Look, I’m going to teach y’all how to keep from beating yourselves. We’re going to win here, and you’re going to learn how to keep from beating yourselves.'”
Namath said he initially didn’t care for that message because it sounded like the Crimson Tide would be playing scared.
“But to this day, you look at every football team, professional (or) collegiate, most of the time the loser does a good job of beating themselves by making mistakes, mental errors, dropping the ball, missing tackles,” the Hall of Famer said.
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.