Joe Namath and Mark Sanchez in 2009. (Getty Images)
You've gotta feel for Joe Namath. The dude remains the absolute unquestioned high point of the Jets franchise, and he's stuck watching a team with its head so far up its own backfield that it's turning in a circle. What do you do if you're Joe? Gripe and moan about the state of the franchise and come off as a bitter once-was, or try — really, really TRY — to find something positive, even when you're flying in the face of reality?
Namath, to his credit, is taking the latter route. Speaking to a local coterie of football fans, Namath went all-in on supporting incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez. “I know that Sanchez is going to play better,” he said. “He went through some major distractions last year. No matter how much you say, ‘It doesn’t bother me, that’s not a focus-breaker,’ bull. I promise you you’ll see a different guy this year."
And by "different guy," Namath means a different Sanchez, not an entirely different quarterback, though he allowed that's not completely off the table. "Even if he’s not with the Jets, he’s going to play as long as he wants to," Namath said. "He’s that good. He’ll get another job. As long as he stays healthy, he’s going to stay in the NFL."
Wait, Sanchez writing his own ticket? Really? Sure, the only time Sanchez doesn't make a bad move in the pocket is when he makes a worse one, but we'll give Namath credit for knowing more about quarterbacking than the rest of us.
Of course, even the all-knowing Broadway Joe can't figure the Jets' thinking behind drafting Geno Smith. Namath can't figure why the Jets would pick up yet another quarterback, but noted that Smith is a "sensational athlete" despite being "a little lean."
Bottom line: Namath managed the trick of supporting Sanchez while still leaving himself scrambling room to support Smith should the rookie, or someone else, win the starting quarterback slot. That's why Joe's the best, kids ... you can't lay a hand on him.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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