Thursday, September 6, 2012
Namath: Tebow Time? Jets just need to win
By Matt Ehalt
There's only one way Joe Namath sees the acquisition of Tim Tebow paying dividends.
"I've got to wonder myself how this is going to work out," Namath said on a conference call Thursday. "I cannot see it as a positive unless the Jets win and win and win and win."
Namath still has questions about how the Jets' quarterback situation will play out this season as the team heads into its first game against Buffalo on Sunday. The former Jets quarterback will host the new "Joe Namath Hour" within "The Michael Kay Show" on Mondays at 6 p.m. on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
"How it's going to play out remains to be seen. It's all guesswork," Namath said. "If they execute properly on the field, it could play out to be an advantage. Otherwise it's going to be kind of chaotic if things don't go well. And things aren't always going to go well."
Namath, the lone quarterback to lead the Jets to a Super Bowl, reiterated how he's "not keen" on the Tebow trade. He said in the past he didn't agree with the move, saying the team was trying to grab headlines and calling it a publicity stunt. Three days before the opener, he feels the same way.
"[Tebow was acquired] to try to get some of those headlines, to help us fans keep interested in, to get the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and every football fan interested in, what the Jets were doing as opposed to as other teams in the NFL and especially the Giants," Namath said of the move.
The 69-year-old commended starter Mark Sanchez for how he's handled himself over the past few months as he's had to answer questions about his backup quarterback. Namath said he would not have approved had the Jets brought in a quarterback like Tebow during his time with the team.
"I don't think I would have been happy about it," Namath said. "I really never felt that kind of challenge. I always had the challenge within myself to make the team first."
Coming off last year's rough season, the Jets have a critical campaign upcoming. They'll try to run a new offense and get their defense back to the level head coach Rex Ryan wants. Namath is expecting the team to win nine to 10 games, which he doesn't envision being enough to win the division but will give the team a chance at returning to the playoffs.
While he's excited to see the season get under way and he has faith in the defense, Namath does have some questions about the offense and the linebackers.
"Any time a team has a defense that has the potential that the Jets have, and I say potential because I'm a little concerned with [Bryan] Thomas, I'm a little concerned with [Calvin] Pace, and over the years have they slowed down a little bit; I want to see the speed they show," Namath said. "It looks like the Jets' defense can really help carry the team more than the offense. You can win with a top defense and an efficient offense. I'm not sure about the depth already at the safety or the quarterback position for the Jets."