Jets Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath sounded the alarms a day after the Jets' 34-24 loss to the Raiders in Oakland, suggesting in a radio interview today that the Jets might think they're better than they actually are.
“It’s rather alarming,” Namath said on the Michael Kay Show on 1050 ESPN Radio. “It starts at the top. Coach Rex Ryan, he’s been doing a great job, getting us to two conference championship games, but there’s one thing about the athlete: You keep telling him how good he is, he’s going to start believing it to the point that he may not be preparing quite the way he should. He may be losing some respect for the other team.”
Namath suggested that Ryan's constant bragging about his players might be working against him.
“I think these guys might be believing that they’re better than they are,” Namath said. “Rex has been the only coach that we know, in maybe the history of the game that I’m familiar with, that keeps continually telling his guys how good they are. And they have been pretty good — pretty good — but they haven’t won a championship yet. I think they’ve got to remember that there’s room for improvement.”
Ryan said he disagreed with Namath's assessment, in part because the former quarterback isn't around the team.
"I welcome him to come out here and watch our guys prepare," Namath said. "He’d see a team that in my opinion prepares as well as any team I've been around. I disagree with him."
Ryan said he wouldn't back off in supporting his players.
"I’m confident with our football team," he said. "There’s no question about it. I’ve never gone into a game I didn’t think I’d win. We haven't won 'em all, but I certainly think we can and will. I’m not going to change who I am because joe Namath said something. If he can still throw, I’ll have him as a backup quarterback. He doesn't know our team. He's on the outside. Even though he's a Jet, you're always a Jet, he's not in these meetings. I think if he was, he’d be shocked at the preparation."