Hall of Fame New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath called out his former franchise Thursday during a guest spot on WFAN's Boomer & Carton, saying the front office has been "deceptive" with its fans and admitted that he's not on speaking terms with Jets owner Woody Johnson or Jeff Idzik, who became general manager of the team in January.
Namath said the Jets' front office has falsely portrayed the success of a team that, in reality, has "made some bad decisions on personnel the last couple of years." The Jets finished with a record of 8-8 in 2011 and posted another disappointing season last year, finishing 6-10.
"The team’s declined while we fans are being told how good they are constantly, how this new player’s so good. They haven’t played up to how they’ve been touted. And so I think they’ve misled the fans more or less. They’ve made some bad decisions on personnel the last couple of years."
When asked by radio co-host Craig Carton if he's on speaking terms with either Johnson or Idzik, Namath emphatically replied, "No. No, no, no, no," and then went on to explain:
"In fact, I haven’t met Mr. Idzik unless it was 40 years ago. But no, I have not been on good terms with Mr. Johnson for the last couple of years...You know, you’ve got to be honest. I want to be honest. And I think they’ve been deceptive."
Namath clarified his comments specifically about Johnson, saying their friendship has taken a turn for the worse, but thinks of it more as "uncomfortable" than anything else:
"I wouldn’t say bad terms, you know? Uncomfortable. Because I was saying earlier, you don’t like to hear negative things, negative vibes, and Woody I’m sure doesn’t like the criticism. I mean, when we’ve brushed shoulders in the past it hasn’t been the same as it was originally. We don’t talk — ‘Hi, how are ya?’
Namath also touched on a number of other related topics, including:
"He’s got four years under his belt of some highs and certainly some lows. He’s endured. He’s resilient. I believe that at this stage. And I think he’s going to be able to put together what he’s learned over these four years if the Jets’ team puts something together. Get an offensive line, plug those holes. You bring in running backs? Forget it — you’re bringing in running backs and you need blocking. I don’t care what running back it is. They’re just not fixing the spots that need fixing."
"We all love Tebow as a man, but where do you put him on the football field? His feet aren’t that agile, he’s not that quick, he doesn’t have the size to play (as) a blocking tight end, he’s not a receiver and he doesn’t throw the ball well enough to play quarterback. Where are you gonna use him?”
Whether head coach Rex Ryan should have been fired after last season: "No. First of all, Rex has still got a winning record there. And he is the head coach, he’s not the guy making all the decisions. … They’re telling him what to do. Sure, he has some input. But I don’t put the blame on Rex entirely, absolutely not. It’s a different style [than] I’ve ever seen in coaching before, but we’re past that. He’s got a winning record. Who’s to say this team doesn’t bounce back this year? You see, that’s another thing."