Joe Namath Needs to Pipe Down


Joe Namath is the greatest Jet ever.  That is the truth, and will be the truth until Rex Ryan leads this team to a Super Bowl victory.  This is not in dispute.  That being said, Joe Namath has had a great deal to say about the Jets difficulties over the past couple of weeks.  And he has been wrong for saying it.  Dead wrong.

First of all he has been inconsistent.  Look at this week’s quotes about Santonio Holmes:

“For Holmes, as a captain, to go outside, to the media, and start pointing
fingers. … I mean, he’s right about the ball getting out late to him (on the
interception), and he’s right about the offensive line, but that can create a
problem in the locker room. … That divisiveness can bury a team.”

The validity of the comments can be debated.  I for one may in part agree, that all of the grumbling could be a bad sign.  That’s not the point.  Let’s go back in time, to one week ago, and really look at the comments that Namath made after the Raiders game:

“It’s rather alarming,” Namath said on WEPN-AM’s “Michael Kay Show,” according
to ESPN.com. “It starts at the top. Coach Rex Ryan, he’s been doing a great job,
getting us to two conference championship games, but there’s one thing about the
athlete: You keep telling him how good he is, he’s going to start believing it
to the point that he may not be preparing quite the way he should. He may be
losing some respect for the other team.”

Is it me, or isn’t Joe Namath pointing fingers at Rex Ryan here?  Isn’t he doing, exactly what he is saying Santonio Holmes should not be doing?  Joe, you were a great player, but you need to remember what you say from week to week and at least be consistent about it.

Now to the content.  Not being in the locker room, Joe Namath has no idea whether or not Rex Ryan is losing respect for the opponents.  He should know better.  He has been around the Ryan family since he was a player, as Buddy was a defensive coach for the Jets while Joe was playing.  Everyone knows that Rex Ryan’s persona is a Ryan family trait, and it is always calculated.  It is designed to take the focus off of his players, and therefore, the pressure off of his players.  Just because it is not working right now, does not mean that Rex Ryan has lost respect for his opponents, and not being in the locker room, Joe has no right to say it.

Let’s go on and take a further look, as Joe went on to take his swings at the front office as well:

“I’m not sure what’s going on there,” he said. “We picked some poor players and
we’re not owning up to it. That’s what it amounts to. You’ve got guys on the
roster who have been picked and you keep trying to say, ‘OK, they’re going to
work out.’ Well, guess what? We tried that with (Vernon) Gholston and it didn’t
work out.”You have to (say), ‘Hey, I made a bad pick, a bad selection,’ and move on. The
Jets didn’t do that and it’s a little late for the season to get it righted.”

Namath is 100% out of line here.  He is nowhere near the front office.  He has no idea what was said about Vernon Gholston, nor what has been said about any other player.  Without being there, I can just about guarantee that Mike Tannenbaum and company are aware that they have made some mistakes.  What is Namath expecting, for them to cut every player he doesn’t like?  For all intends and purposes, they have their team they are going to go forward with for 2011.  They can’t go and cut every player just because Namath said so, and newsflash Joe, they cut Vernon Gholston, and never saw the field for an important situation while he was here.

Joe, you are the greatest Jet, but you are not the only one in the know about how to handle the team.  Unless you are spending all of your time around the team, pipe down.  Your comments aren’t any help, and they have the potential to be just as big of a problem as Santonio Holmes’ comments.  The players and coaches are right on the money to pay no attention, and we can only hope they continue to do so.  Pipe down.  Stay out of it.

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Tags: Alan Schechter Buddy Ryan Joe Namath Mike Tannenbaum NY Jets Rex Ryan Santonio Holmes Vernon Gholston