Joe Namath has never been one to shy away from discussing NY Jets quarterbacks. The greatest quarterback in franchise history has shared his thoughts on a number of quarterbacks over the years ranging from Browning Nagle to Sam Darnold.
His most recent comments about current Jets quarterback Zach Wilson raised a few eyebrows, however.
In a recent appearance on The Michael Kay Show, Namath discussed Wilson's rookie struggles and expressed some concerns for his future. Most of what he said was totally fair, but one point, in particular, got some fans worked up.
When discussing Wilson's so-called size concerns, Namath made a pretty outlandish take on what he believes an ideal quarterback should look like.
"He certainly has the physical ability to buy time, to throw strikes. Most guys can improve on their accuracy and should in this day and age, practicing it year-round. I like him, but I don't know how long he's going to last. You'd like for a guy to be 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7 back there in the pocket. School's still out on how Zach's going to do."- Joe Namath
Joe Namath's comments about Zach Wilson's size are ridiculous
Wilson has faced criticisms about his size dating back to college, but most of them are overblown. The former No. 2 overall pick measured in at the NFL Combine at 6-foot-2, 214 pounds.
That's the same height as the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott, and others and heavier than players such as Trevor Lawrence, Lamar Jackson, etc.
Wilson isn't Josh Allen, but his size shouldn't be a major consideration at all. Five of the top-12 quarterbacks in the NFL (Rodgers, Prescott, Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson) are 6-foot-2 or smaller. The size argument is a tired trope.
But perhaps the most confusing comment is exactly what size Namath considers to be an ideal quarterback. The Hall of Famer insists that teams would prefer their quarterbacks to be 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7, which simply isn't the case.
Only six quarterbacks in NFL history, at least by my research, have ever been 6-foot-7. And the list of Mike Glennon, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Frank Patrick, Sonny Gibbs, and Dan McGwire hardly inspires much confidence.
Even 6-foot-6 quarterbacks aren't super common. Of the 21 6-foot-6 quarterbacks drafted since 2000, only three turned out to be capable starters — Justin Herbert, Joe Flacco, and Matt Schaub. The rest were either primarily backups, total busts, or low-tier starters.
There's such a thing as too big when it comes to quarterbacks, and 6-foot-6 seems to be right on the border. To suggest that NFL teams are looking for quarterbacks at that height or taller is just silly.
Also, it's worth pointing out that Joe Namath measured in at just 6-foot-2, 200 pounds when he played — the same height and 14 pounds lighter than Wilson. Of course, players from that era were smaller, but it's a fun hypocrisy to acknowledge.
Joe Namath is absolutely correct in saying that the jury's still out on Zach Wilson, especially after a difficult first year in the league.
But his comments about Wilson's size don't carry much weight. His hyperbolic example makes the quote look even more erroneous.