Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Is Joe Namath helping the Jets?

By James Walker


Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath is at it again. Namath, the team's only Super Bowl-winning quarterback, was critical of Jets head coach Rex Ryan following New York's 34-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Namath believes Ryan may have a preparation issue and Jets players could be overlooking opponents.

"It starts at the top," Namath told "The Michael Kay Show" this week. "Coach Rex Ryan I think has been doing a great job getting the team to two [AFC] championship games. But if there's one thing about the athlete, if you keep telling him how good he is, he's going to start believing it, to the point that he may not be preparing not quite the way he should. He may be losing some respect for the other team."

For starters, I disagree with Namath's knee-jerk reaction. The Jets cannot get to back-to-back AFC title games by overlooking teams and not being prepared. New York was 2-0 just last week.

But here's the rub: Namath's comments may actually help the Jets (2-1).

Remember Jason Hill? He was the "no-name" Jacksonville receiver who said two weeks ago Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was overrated. It caught New York's attention and the Jets pounded the Jaguars 32-3.

New York is in desperate need of another wake-up call after Sunday's embarrassing loss to Oakland. "Broadway Joe" criticizing his former team and creating a national story should do the trick.

The Jets play with more of an edge when there are detractors. They're going to need all the edge they can muster to survive a brutal, two-game road slate against the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) and New England Patriots (2-1).