- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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The most celebrated player in Jets history is perhaps the most celebrated critic of the team. Joe Namath doesn't pull any punches, not since he started his radio spot two years on ESPN New York 98.7 -- and it has frayed his relationship with the Jets, especially owner Woody Johnson.
Namath admitted as much Tuesday night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, where he joined other former and current Jets and Giants at the United Way Gridiron Gala.
"It’s rough, you know," the legendary QB said of his relationship with the Jets. "None of us like to be critiqued, criticized in a negative way. It gets bent sometimes. I don’t like the feeling, the vibes I get back whenever I cross Woody's path. Rex (Ryan) and I have been getting along well when we bump into each other, but I know there’s some underlying sensitivity there the Jets have."
BRANDON AMONG HONOREES: Jets RG Brandon Moore was honored at the 19th annual gala. Moore and Giants RG Chris Snee received the Hometown Hero award to recognize their service to the community. Giants Hall-of-Fame LB Harry Carson was honored for his lifetime achievement.
ON THE BLOCK: TE Dustin Keller, who also attended the event, said Tony Sparano's system includes a larger variety of blocking calls than the previous system. That, he believes, will solve some pass-protection issues ... OT Vladimir Ducasse said he's been working exclusively at right tackle in early drills. Ducasse, a two-year disappointment, acknowledged "this is a big year for me." He didn't make any bold declarations about overtaking incumbent Wayne Hunter, saying only that his "ultimate goal" is to start.
4dField Yates and Rich Cimini