NY Jets legend Joe Namath made headlines this week following his controversial comments about Zach Wilson, Robert Saleh, and the state of the organization.
Namath called Wilson's performance against the New England Patriots on Sunday "disgusting" and "awful" while blaming the coaching staff in the process. The Jets Hall of Famer pleaded with the Jets to trade their former No. 2 overall pick.
While Namath's comments rubbed some people the wrong way, it's hard to disagree with a lot of what he said. Still, that doesn't prevent his words from causing harm — as they seemingly did.
CBS Sports' Josina Anderson reported on Thursday that Namath's words "were more hurtful to some in the [Jets] building than people realize." It seems his remarks stuck a nerve with those inside the walls of the Jets' team facility at Florham Park.
NY Jets team officials were hurt by Joe Namath's comments
The usually optimistic and laudatory Namath was strikingly frustrated and pessimistic when speaking about the current state of the Jets. Perhaps it was frustration from the Aaron Rodgers injury, but this was about as coarse and defeatist as Namath has ever been.
He's gone out of his way to praise and defend Jets quarterbacks in the past. He's typically very patient with the team's coaching staffs. His tone was different this week, however. Namath was fed up.
Perhaps that's why his comments were so hurtful to those within the Jets' organization. Anderson also points out that the Jets believe they've largely been victims of bad luck.
"Also, I can tell from my conversations that there’s an internal sentiment of wanting observers to remember that the organization was 2-14 before the Saleh-Douglas regime came together and a lot of progress has been made in improving the team and making it a destination free agents want to join — and that the Rodgers injury is a huge unfortunate circumstance."- Josina Anderson
Saleh told reporters on Wednesday that Namath was "entitled" to his comments but that they would "agree to disagree." Wilson remarked that the Jets' offense, himself included, has to do "everything [they] can to try and prove him wrong.”
The Jets are determined to make Namath eat his words, and if you ask fellow Jets Hall of Famer Joe Klecko, Namath might regret saying what he said as well.
Klecko told The Jet Press in an exclusive interview this week that "If Joe [Namath] had to do it over, he would have recanted [his comments] right away." Klecko said he "know[s] this as a fact."
The damage has been done, however. The greatest and most iconic player in franchise history has come out and publicly bashed the team's quarterback and coaching staff, essentially calling for all of them to be replaced.
Whether he's right or not, his words were not taken well by those in the Jets organization.