No matter how bad it gets for Mark Sanchez, he’ll always have Joe Namath.
The Jets only championship quarterback said Tuesday that the current passer has a chance to join him in that club, if the team would help him.
“I believe Mark Sanchez can be a championship quarterback as long as he has the right supporting cast, yes I do,” Joe Namath told Newsday’s Bob Glauber. “He hasn’t shown me enough yet to give up on him. To say he can’t? Excuse me, he’s just finishing his fourth year. Who’s to say he can’t get better? He sure as hell works hard enough.
“I’m not a person to say this man can’t do it. I like him. I think he can. It takes Lady Luck to be on your side, but yes, I think he can do it.”
That said, Namath said he was disappointed Sanchez hadn’t improved this year (though that could easily be explained by his circumstances).
“I believe in his courage and in his work ethic,” Namath said of Sanchez, “but the only thing I’ve been disappointed with throughout the season is that he’s missed several open receivers.
“I love his heart, he’s going to keep trying, and he doesn’t bad-mouth the other guys. But he needs to be more on target with his passes.”
Namath also holds firm that the Jets could help Sanchez by finding a new home for Tim Tebow, for whom he does not share the same high regard. Asked if Tebow should return next season, Namath replied: “No. What position are you going to play him at?”
Asked if he should be in uniform Sunday, considering his two cracked ribs, Namath was equally clear.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Namath. “With two broken ribs, and he’s not a gifted passer to begin with and running the ball is his forte, you’re telling me he’s going to be the active quarterback? This isn’t complicated, but they’re making it more complicated.”
That’s perhaps been the Jets greatest skill, since the days Namath was playing.