Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett tape a Noxzema shaving cream commercial December 4, 1981 in New York City. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett tape a Noxzema shaving cream commercial December 4, 1981 in New York City. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
Joe Namath always has an opinion, and it usually becomes public knowledge.
The New York Jets signed Michael Vick this offseason to complete against Geno Smith. Last season, Smith struggled as a starter, and faced with a do-or-die season, Jets coach Rex Ryan welcomed the signing of Vick. It beat Ryan trying to choose between Mark Sanchez or Smith.
Namath, a Hall of Famer, was asked at the United Way of New York City's Gridiron Gala about the current quarterback competition with his former team, and while he did not predict who would start in Week 1, he shared one observation.
"If Mike’s healthy, I think he’s the better player at this point," Namath told NJ. com. "Now, Geno’s got some talent, no doubt. But we’ve already seen Michael and what he can do. Having some knowledge of (offensive coordinator) Marty’s (Mornhinweg) offense, I think that’s an advantage, too, for Michael to make the transition. It’s a matter of how sound he is. Of course, the coaches are going to decide who’s out there. But I don’t know any football fan that’s been around for the last nine or 10 years that doesn’t think Michael could be outstanding and is probably the best player at this time."
Namath did not go out on a limb with that assessment.
Vick has played in 11 NFL seasons, while Smith has one year under his belt.
More importantly, Vick has not played in all 16 games of a season since 2006 with the Falcons. He appeared in five games last season with Philadelphia before suffering a hamstring injury. Vick missed two games, sustained another hamstring injury and was eventually replaced by Nick Foles.
Smith struggled last season as a rookie, throwing 12 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and fumbling eight times (losing four). He was eventually benched because of his inconsistent play.
"The safest thing for me to say, the one factual thing for me to say that I know is his (Smith) passing accuracy," Namath told NJ.com. "The rest of it, I don’t have a handle on – his mind, what he sees. The one thing I know he can improve on – and he does, too – is his accuracy."
Namath’s evaluation is accurate, too.
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