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Tag:Joe Namath
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:59 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 9:18 pm
 

Namath thinks Jets issues too much for Peyton

Joe Namath thinks Gang Green already has their franchise quarterback: Mark Sanchez. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Jets are reportedly one of the dozen or so clubs interested in Peyton Manning. One team official told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that the impression is that Manning has narrowed his list to Miami, Washington and Denver, although, ultimately, the front runner will be the team that offers the most guaranteed money.

As for the Jets, they seem like an odd fit for a couple reasons: there's the belief in the media that Peyton wouldn't want to play in the same town as brother Eli (we're not convinced but we'll include it here anyway). Then there are the locker room issues that came to a head in Week 17 and torpedoed the team's playoff chances. Or as CBSSports.com Pete Prisco tweeted Thursday:

PriscoCBS
If Peyton Manning went to Jets, he'd be one instilling discipline since there is none.
3/8/12 12:45 AM

Prisco, it turns out, isn't alone in this opinion. Former Jets great Joe Namath feels similarly.

“The Jets have to get things together on their own turf before someone with his background would be interested in coming,” Namath told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview.

The team's official response?

“We appreciate Joe and he is entitled to share his opinions,” spokesman Bruce Speight told Bloomberg News in an e- mail.

It's worth noting that former Jets running back Curtis Martin and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski both think Manning makes a lot of since for the Jets. 

“That’s a great opportunity,” Martin said in late January in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com. “I’m not saying anything against Mark Sanchez, but Peyton Manning … I have a lot of respect for the guy. I played against him for a number of years. I wouldn’t care who was on my team -- if Peyton Manning was available, I would go after him.” 

A month later, during a radio appearance, Jaws echoed Martin's sentiments: "I love Mark Sanchez and there are 25 other quarterbacks in this league that I would take Peyton Manning over. There’s a turf war in New York. The Giants just won the Super Bowl. The Jets are fighting for every inch of space they can get in the newspaper. How do you get that inch? How do you get the headlines? You sign Peyton Manning.” 

Meanwhile, Namath, the only quarterback to lead the Jets to a Super Bowl win, thinks the franchise quarterback is already on the roster.

“These guys — the Jets — thought Sanchez was a championship quarterback. Has that suddenly changed now?” Namath told Metro New York. “I haven’t heard that. Let them come out and say it. I haven’t heard that and I don’t think they should.”

A day after the season ended ingloriously in Miami, head coach Rex Ryan announced that Sanchez was his starter in 2012 -- partly because a team can't talk about acquiring other team's players, but also because we think that some part of Ryan actually wants to believe it.

“Mark’s going to be around awhile," Namath continued. "His demeanor was angry last year with all the things going on behind the scenes. His feelings were clearly hurt. I hope they work through all that because I’m rooting for him. But I don’t see Peyton coming to the Jets."

We're not yet sold on Sanchez as anything more than a system quarterback, although we suppose he could grow into the franchise player the Jets envisioned when they traded up to get I'm in 2009. For now, however, here's our question: if, as Namath points out, the Jets are too crazy for Manning, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, what chance does Sanchez have to succeed?

via PFT

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:57 pm
 

Namath feels 'awful' about relationship with NYJ

NamathBy Josh Katzowitz

When Joe Namath logs onto Twitter during a Jets game, it’s usually not a pretty sight. Namath, the most-famous player in Jets history, has had a knack for, let’s saying, bitching about how the team is playing or how the coaches are performing.

It’s not the most attractive side of Namath when he comes out firing on coach Rex Ryan or questioning the team’s game plan on Twitter or during his radio appearances. Perhaps, he’s begun to realize how obnoxious he looks while doing so.

“I feel awful about it. I feel awful about my relationship with the Jets right now in the sense -- I’m talking about the ownership, general manager and head coach,” Namath said, via the Newark Star Ledger. “I don’t want them upset with Joe, but damn it, I have to say what I see, what I think, what I feel.”

One reason Namath gives for his behavior is because of the unique attitude displayed by Ryan,  though that’s strange considering Namath’s boastful nature when he played in the American Football League.

“With the current Jets situation the last few years, I just tried to explain how I felt about things, and when we talk about our head coach, the Jets head coach, he’s unique,” Namath said. “I’ve never seen that style in all the years I’ve been around football.”

Namath is the subject of a new HBO documentary, entitled “Namath,” which documents his life from becoming an AFL star out of the University of Alabama to his embarrassing flirtation on national TV with reporter Suzy Kolber. But most of all he wants to see the Jets succeed again.

“I want a winner here,” Namath said.

Here’s hoping he’s not so vocal about if it doesn’t happen right away.

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Joe Namath makes fat joke at Rex Ryan's expense

Namath makes with the funny in Ryan's direction. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It doesn't take much effort to find fans and players of other teams who loathe the Jets. This is what happens to successful franchises, particularly ones who have a head coach that loves the sound of his own voice, usually when there's a microphone nearby. But even former Jets have taken a critical eye to the franchise, and perhaps none more outspoken than Joe Namath.

He called out the team after their loss to the Raiders earlier this season, and suggested that maybe Ryan hasn't done such a good job of preparing the Jets to play. Ryan, of course, had a response.

"I'm not gonna change who I am because Joe Namath said something," he said a few weeks ago. "Joe Namath can come in here, and if he can still throw, we'll have him as a backup quarterback. He doesn't know our team. He's on the outside. … he's not in these meetings. I think if he was he'd be shocked at the preparation.”

Well, the gloves -- and the shirts -- are off. During the Jets' bye week, Rex made a trip to the mall (!) and he donned a No. 12 Jets jersey for the occasion.

Namath, who wore No. 12 during his playing days, appeared on ESPN's 1050 with Michael Kay and quipped: "I'm just stunned that the jersey with No. 12 come in that size."

At least we think it was a joke. Maybe Namath was serious. Either way, according to ESPN New York, Ryan joked that "nothing has hurt more" than Namath's crack about Ryan's man boobs and waistline.

"Hey it doesn't matter," Ryan said when asked about wearing the jersey. "I'm still a huge Joe Namath fan." He then added: "Any fan or any Jets alum is welcome to their opinion. It doesn’t mean I have to like it or agree with it."

If Ryan's taking requests, for his next trick we'd like to see him squeeze into a Sam Bradford jersey.

We'd pay to see Ryan try on Bradford's No. 8. (US PRESSWIRE)

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Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:37 pm
 

Sanchez: Joe Namath 'still cares a lot'

NamathPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re a member of the Jets and you have to listen to -- or be reminded of -- that when Joe Namath speaks, no matter how far removed from football he gets, the media feels obliged to cover it.

So when Namath says something like this after the Jets lost to the Raiders: "It wasn't disheartening so to speak. It's rather alarming is the way I'm looking at it,” it’s probably awfully irritating to those who actually play for the Jets currently.

He then went on to insinuate that Ryan might not be preparing the team the way it should be, which led Ryan to counter, “"I'm not gonna change who I am because Joe Namath said something. Joe Namath can come in here, and if he can still throw, we'll have him as a backup quarterback. He doesn't know our team. He's on the outside. … he's not in these meetings. I think if he was he'd be shocked at the preparation.”

And on and on it goes … blah, blah, blah.

So, Mark Sanchez, what’s it like having to dealing with the fallout from whenever Namath opens his mouth and says something critical?

“He still cares a lot about the team,” Sanchez told Fox Sports radio (via sportsradiointerviews.com) on Thursday. I know that. Some of that stuff may be taken out of context and the other stuff he just wants us to do well, so he is critical of anybody. … That’s the way it goes and especially in New York. Joe Namath is the ultimate Jet and he’s probably the biggest icon this franchise has and winning that Super Bowl and guaranteeing it the way he did. We have a lot of respect for him and I know he wants the best out of our team. It’s no big deal.”

Maybe not ,but it’s awfully annoying, eh?

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:17 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Living Legends

Bum Phillips is a living legend (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the death last Saturday of Raiders owner Al Davis, we got to see a side of him that most people under 35 never got to experience. When Davis was an innovator, a kick-ass coach and owner, a fighter against The Man and one of the most important figures in NFL history. It was nice to be reminded of that with tributes all over the Internet, newspapers and in NFL stadiums on Sunday.

Maybe we didn’t think about it in terms like this, but Davis, though largely reclusive to the public, was a living legend, and in the final years of his life, we probably didn’t appreciate him as much as we should have.

That said, here are 10 other living legends who hold (or who should hold)  a special place in the league’s heart. No matter what they’ve become today -- those who are outspoken for and against their old teams, those who spend their time behind the scenes, and those who have disappeared for now -- it’s not too late to show them our appreciation for all the good they’ve done and the lives they’ve led.

10. Ron Wolf: Another of Davis’ protégés, Davis gave Wolf a job as a scout for the Raiders in the early 1960s, and after helping the Raiders to a plethora of wins, he helped set up a 1979 division title in Tampa Bay before moving on to Green Bay as the general manager. He hired Mike Holmgren as the head coach, traded for a backup quarterback named Brett Favre, revitalized that franchise that led to Super Bowl riches and restored the name of a storied organization that had fallen into disrepair.

9. Mike Westhoff: The only man on this list who’s still active in the game, you might remember Westhoff from his turn on Hard Knocks where he played the Jets awesome special teams coach. It wasn’t much of a stretch, because Westhoff has been an awesome special teams coach. Aside from that, he’s a bone cancer survivor (he had to have nearly a dozen surgeries to get rid of it), and he’s one of the most respected working coaches today. But he won’t be around much longer. After 30 years of coaching, he’s said this season will be his last.

Kramer8. Ray Guy: Last year, I made him my No. 1 former player who deserves be in the Hall of Fame, but since he probably won’t ever get to Canton, that list and this one will have to suffice. Once Shane Lechler’s career is over, he’ll be considered the No. 1 punter of all time (maybe he’ll have a chance at the HOF!), but Guy was the one who showed the NFL how important a punter could be to his team.

7. Jerry Kramer (seen at right): He was a better football player than Jim Bouton was a pitcher, but both opened up the world of sports that fans had never seen before. Bouton’s tome, “Ball Four,” is a masterpiece that shocked those who had watched baseball and thought of players like Mickey Mantle as pure of heart. Kramer’s 1968 book, "Instant Replay," was a diary he kept of the 1967 season in which he gave glimpses of what life was like inside the Packers locker room under coach Vince Lombardi while chronicling some of the most famous moments in Green Bay history.

6. James “Shack” Harris: He was the first black player in the NFL to start at quarterback for the entire season in 1969, and in 1975, he led the Los Angeles Rams to an 11-2 record and an NFC West division title. He wasn’t a dominant quarterback in his day, but he was a trailblazer. And after retirement from playing, he was the head of pro player personnel when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2001. He’s currently a personnel executive with the Lions.

5. Chuck Noll: We don’t see much of Noll -- who’s rumored to be in declining health -- these days, but his impact is unmistakable. He won four Super Bowls as head coach of the Steelers in the 1970s, and Al Davis thought so much of him that he once tried to sue him (the two were on the same staff in San Diego in the early 1960s). And he was the first coach to allow his team to take baseline concussion tests -- which, as we know today, was a pretty important development.

4. Joe Namath: The legendary Jets quarterback has become a thorn in coach Rex Ryan’s side. Namath is constantly on Twitter, exhorting or back-handing his former team, and because he’s Joe Freakin’ Namath, the media has to pay attention. With that -- and his on-air exchange a few years back with Suzy Kolber -- it’s not difficult to forget just how good Namath was as a signal-caller. He was the first to throw for 4,000 yards (in a 14-game season no less), and he boldly guaranteed victory for the underdog Jets in Super Bowl III and then went out and delivered.

3. Joe Gibbs: One of my colleagues recently called him the greatest coach of the last 40 years, and considering Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien), he’s one of the legends. His return to the Redskins from 2004-07 didn’t go so well (a combined 30-34 record), but before that, his complete career winning percentage was better than all coaches not named John Madden or Vince Lombardi.

2. John Madden: We don’t get to hear much from John Madden these days, and that’s too bad. I liked him on Monday Night Football -- his football knowledge and his enthusiasm -- and though he was before my time, you have to admire his coaching record. He took over the Raiders job in 1969 at the tender age of 33, and when he retired after the 1978 season, he had a coaching record of 103-32-7. That is a winning percentage of .763, and to go with it, he won a Super Bowl and seven division titles in 10 years.

1. Bum Phillips: The old Oilers coach -- and 3-4 defense innovator -- is still kicking around in Texas, attending Texans games, wearing his big cowboy hat and writing books about his life (OK, it’s one book, but you should check it out). He’s a fun guy to speak with, and he’s fully into philanthropy. But aside from his defensive prowess, the dude is a great storyteller. Quickly, one of my favorites: when he was an assistant coach to Sid Gillman, one of the earliest believers in breaking down film, Phillips barely could keep his eyes open one night as Gillman continued studying game tape. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Gillman excitedly claimed that watching film made him feel so awesome that it was better than having sex. Responded Phillips: "Either I don't know how to watch film, Sid, or you don't know how to make love."

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Posted on: October 8, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 2:22 pm
 

In 1966, Al Davis wanted to destroy the NFL

Davis

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


Forty-five years ago, Al Davis wanted blood. He wanted revenge. He wanted to take the NFL for all its worth and engulf it, like the NFL had done to so many other start-up leagues before. But unlike those other leagues, the American Football League -- which had been established in 1960 and which had been looked down upon by NFL owners -- was about to make a real problem.

The AFL had gone through troubles in the early part of its life. The owners had lost millions of dollars, the teams played in terribly unprofessional stadiums and the NFL looked at the AFL as short-term, inferior competition. But the AFL also was building a fan base, mostly due to its high-powered offenses that excited TV audiences -- which contrasted nicely with the NFL’s power-run game that put fans to sleep.

Al Davis started as an assistant coach with the Chargers, signing Lance Alworth and helping Sid Gillman build the most exciting offense in pro football, and then moved on to become the coach -- and eventually one of the owners -- of the Raiders.

By the mid-1960s, the AFL was becoming a real problem for the NFL. Not only was the new league’s football a more exciting brand, the AFL could offer competitive contracts to the best graduating college players. When Joe Namath left Alabama, he was courted by the AFL’s New York Jets and the NFL’s St. Louis’ Cardinals.

The Cardinals offered him $200,000 to sign. The Jets got him for $427,000. That was the power of the AFL in those days.

Which led the NFL to quickly decide to merge with the AFL -- which, by then, employed Davis as its commissioner. At that point, there was a strong belief by some AFL owners that the NFL could be beaten in a head-to-head matchup, and at least one person wanted to try to send the NFL out of business.

“We could have beaten them,” Davis said via Ken Rappoport’s 2010 book The Little League That Could. “I didn’t necessarily want a merger, but they wanted it.” In fact, the AFL owners were so confident in their place in the pecking order that, assuming they didn’t receive a legit offer from the NFL, one owner said, “If they’re lying to us, we’ll have to drop the bomb on them.”

But when the New York Giants signed away AFL kicker Pete Gogolek, who had played out his contract in Buffalo, that’s when the AFL went on the attack. Though a gentleman’s agreement between the two leagues stated that the opposing league wouldn’t sign players in Gogolek’s position, the Giants went ahead with it anyway, inkng Gogolek to a three-year deal worth $96,000.

That’s when Davis knew what he wanted. He wanted to be the one to drop the bomb on the NFL. He wanted blood.

Said Davis: “Now, we can go after their guys. We are going after the quarterbacks, after places they feel it.”

The AFL had been saving money for a scenario like, and the owners went to work going after the top NFL quarterbacks -- Roman Gabriel, Fran Tarkenton and Sonny Jurgensen. Then, a bombshell. Bud Adams in Houston signed tight end Mike Ditka, one of the biggest stars in the NFL. Ditka had never made more than $25,000 in Chicago, but Adams gave him $50,000 just to sign (the contract would have paid him $183,000 during the next three years).

While Davis wanted to go after the NFL -- or, at the very least, get the best possible deal from the opposing league in the merger -- the AFL owners met with their NFL counterparts  and negotiated in secret meetings without his knowledge and then signed a deal without his input.

According to Jeff Miller in his 2003 book Going Long, Davis emerged from his commissioner’s office in New York early one afternoon, and Val Pinchbeck -- who went on to become a close advisor to NFL commissioners -- said, “Are you going to the press conference?”

Said Davis: “What press conference?”

“It seems that there’s an announcement being made by the AFL and the NFL over at the Warwick (Hotel) in a couple of hours.

Said Davis: “Do you remember Yalta?”

Later remarked AFL co-founder Lamar Hunt: “He was a general without a war. “

Davis soon recovered and went on to big success as the Raiders owner. But he had to wonder what could have happened if the AFL had put the NFL out of business, if he had dropped the bomb and taken its blood. Davis’ impact on the NFL was great, but if the AFL had survived and taken down the NFL, Davis could have been the most important figure in pro football.

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Posted on: June 9, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 11:57 pm
 

Don Maynard thinks he could have taken Revis

Don Maynard (left) said he could have taken D. Revis one on one (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During the NFL Network’s recent top-100 countdown, Jets coach Rex Ryan told the cameras that, when Darrelle Revis’ career is complete, the top-flight CB will be known as the best player in franchise history, saying, "There's only one Darrelle Revis. There's not a better zone (corner). There's not a better man (man-to-man corner). You name the defense, he's the best at it."

ESPN New York caught up with WR Don Maynard – who, along with QB Joe Namath – is considered one of the best Jets in history, and Maynard had an interesting theory about how he would have performed against Revis.

Asked if he could have taken Revis one-on-one, Maynard said, “Oh yeah. It doesn't matter if it was him or anyone else. I had a guy named Namath throwing me the ball. If he goes left, I go right. If he goes right, I go left -- the ball would be there. And I've never been caught from behind. That's why my book is called, 'You Can't Catch Sunshine.' (Revis) is like Deion Sanders. I would've loved to have played against those guys."

I assume the Sanders comparison is a compliment. But Maynard also realizes it’s impossible to line up players side by side if they didn’t play in the same era.

"Everybody has his own opinion," Maynard said. "It's like a basketball official calling a ball game. When he blows the whistle, he pleases one team and displeases another. I'm not judging any of them. Whatever (Ryan) says is his business … I'll say this: Our credentials speak for themselves. We wound up in the Hall of Fame."

For the record, Maynard played from 1958-73. He led the AFL in 1965 in touchdowns (14), and in 1967 he led in receiving yards (1,434). He made four Pro Bowls before he was elected into the Pro Football HOF in 1987. His 88 career touchdowns still rank 10th-best all time.

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Posted on: February 14, 2011 8:38 pm
 

Hot Routes 2.14.11 Loving football

Hot Routes

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit


It’s a good thing NT Shaun Rogers doesn’t work for the Browns anymore, because it sounds like Cleveland GM Tom Heckert is a little bit apprehensive about Rogers’ ability to help a team win. Naturally, Rogers’ agent disagrees.

 
On his excellent NFL Draft blog, CBSSports.com’s own Rob Rang discusses the importance of the player interviews at the upcoming Combine. If you haven’t bookmarked this blog or added it to your RSS reader, go ahead and do that now.

 
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King writes about the process for Hall of Fame voting and discusses the criticism he and his Gang of 44 have been receiving recently. My personal opinion: the 2011 HOF class is on point. 

 
The former Colts QB coach is now the Colts WR coach. And the former Colts WR coach is the new QB coach. Hopefully, they won’t have to switch offices and wives as well.

 
The first piece written by former CBSSports.com writer John Oehser, who has left Indianapolis to become the senior writer at Jaguars.com. 

 
Would the Jets get rid of RT Damien Woody so Vladimir Ducasse could move into that spot?

 
If you were wondering what Nick Lachey thought about the state of the Bengals, ESPN.com’s James Walker has the answer.

 
Bob Cook, a huge Packers fan who was featured on a Visa commercial as one of the men who had never missed a Super Bowl, has died at the age of 79.

 
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says CB Ike Taylor, not OLB LaMarr Woodley, is the Steelers’ top free agent priority. This may sound crazy, but that would actually be history says that’s actually in line with the Steelers’ M.O.

 
Contrary to Saturday reports that he’d be released before the end of the weekend, Redskins return specialist Brandon Banks is still in the hospital due to superficial stab wounds. He’s expected to be released Tuesday.

 
Joe Namath wished everyone a happy Valentine’s Day. What would we do without Twitter?


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com