If Joe Namath were in charge of the Jets, Mark Sanchez would have zero distractions, meaning no competition at quarterback.
The Jets’ legend (Namath, not Sanchez) told the New York Daily News that general manager John Idzik didn’t need to draft Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. Namath said the team should have filled other positions of need before adding another signal caller.
“No, I don’t think they needed a quarterback,” Namath said. “They needed the other positions filled. Possibly offensive line. They got some defensive line. The safeties are still questionable. The outside linebackers are still questionable.”
While Namath certainly has a point (especially about those pesky outside linebackers), he might have gone too far in backing Sanchez, who severely struggled last season. Sanchez completed just 54.3 percent of his passes (his worst rate since his rookie season) and threw 18 interceptions to just 13 touchdowns.
“I know it’s a team game and I know Sanchez is going to play better,” Namath said. “I promise you you’ll see a different guy [this year]. I believe you’ll see a different guy. Mark’s not a puppy anymore. He’s gone through some things, growing process. As far as Sanchez goes, even if he’s not with the Jets, he’s going to play as long as he wants to. He’s that good. As long as he wants to, he’s going to be in the NFL.”
Namath noted Sanchez’s back-to-back AFC championship game appearances among his accomplishments and mentioned the USC product’s lack of weapons on offense. Maybe Namath really does like Sanchez. Or maybe Namath just forever wants to be known as the best quarterback in Jets history. And keeping Sanchez under center as long as possible should ensure that.