Joe Namath, a heralded quarterback out of Alabama, helped boost the fortunes of the old American Football League by signing a lucrative contract with the New York Jets back in 1965.
Joe Namath was the first and still only quarterback to lead the New York Jets to an NFL championship when the Jets upset the Baltimore Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III.
So, Joe Namath knows a little something when it comes to football.
As far as current Jets head coach Rex Ryan is concerned, Joe doesn’t know his team.
The Hall of Fame quarterback made comments Monday about Ryan’s coaching style, saying the coach has players believing they’re better than they really are and that affects their game preparation.
“They haven’t won a championship yet. I think they’ve got to remember that there’s room for improvement,” Namath said during an interview on a New York sports talk radio station.
Namath’s comments were made after the Jets lost to the Raiders on Sunday.
Ryan, whose father Buddy was an assistant coach on that 1969 Super Bowl champion Jet team and later was head coach of both the Eagles and Cardinals, said Monday night Namath is out of the loop.
“He doesn’t know our team. He’s on the outside. Even though he’s a Jet — and once you’re a Jet you’re always a Jet — he’s on the outside. He’s not in these meetings. I think if he was, he’d be shocked with our preparation.”
Sounds like some frustration has set in for Jet alumni. Could it rally the current club or lead to an icy detente? This Sunday, the Jets play Baltimore, one of Ryan’s former teams.