In the debut of The Broadway Blitz on Sirius NFL Radio with Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath and Adam Schein, Schein asked Namath whether it was a mistake for the Jets to be the subject of this year’s Hard Knocks.
“I think so,” Namath said. “I think it is for any team that’s going to work to do their best to get to be their best. It’s what we call ‘distractions.’ You’re going to spend more time away from thinking about your position, your job, and the details of it when you’ve got other things going on around you that you’re partaking in. It has to be a distraction and you can’t have spent as much time on your mental preparation and homework as you would have without the distractions. So, yeah, I don’t think it was a positive.”
Namath attributed the team’s offensive struggles on Monday night to execution and not play-calling, and he thinks that quarterback Mark Sanchez was “harried” due to age and inexperience.
“Granted he played last season, but a second year quarterback is certainly not as wily as he is going to be in his fourth or fifth year having experienced a whole lot of things that he hasn’t as of yet,” Namath said. “The game will slow down to him. He’s running a game at a faster pace, certainly in his head, than Tom Brady is running in his head as far as feeling the speed. Brady is thinking of more things than Mark Sanchez at a comfortable mode, a mode that he has practiced, rehearsed, and done again and again over the years of experience. Mark Sanchez, the only flaw he has is his age and his experience at this point.”
Namath also believes that the Patriots are a “stronger team” at this point. “[T]hey are balanced on both sides of the ball,” Namath explained. “The big question mark about the Patriots, other than [Wes] Welker’s knee coming into the season offensively, was their young defense, so to speak. New England had a fortunate game last week and [were] able to create a couple of things to build up a fast lead, so school’s still out a bit on their defense.
“I still have to see the Jets offense be able to put up some points because the defense is overworked out on that field. If Brady can keep the Jets defense out on that field anywhere close to what Baltimore did, they’re going to be a tired bunch and the Patriots will outscore the Jets. For the Jets to win that game, they’ve got to play their best with the special teams scoring something as well.”
It’s a good thing that Namath led the Jets to their only Super Bowl title. Otherwise, plenty of Jets fans would conclude based on his attempt to objectively assess the team that he in fact “hates” them.