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Ay yay yay: Namath doesn't get why Jets hired Sparano as OC

  • By Simon Samano NFL.com
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With the current state of the Jets seemingly filled with more drama than the Jersey Shore house, it was only a matter of time before Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath spoke up about the situation.

Never one to shy away from sharing his opinion about his former team -- especially after a failed 8-8 campaign -- "Broadway Joe" spoke candidly when he appeared Thursday on ESPN 1050-AM. And let's begin by saying he's not the biggest fan of hiring Tony Sparano as a replacement to Brian Schottenheimer for offensive coordinator.

"I’m stumped. I am stumped. Ay yay yay,” Namath said. "Let's ask the world do you like the choice of Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator?"

Namath said he admired Sparano for the way he handled the season-long pressure in Miami before being fired as head coach. Namath's just not sure Sparano is qualified to run an offense.

“Other than calling some plays with the Dallas Cowboys, I don’t know what his credentials are for an offensive coordinator,” Namath said. “This goes back ... Sparano’s relationship with (Jets general manager Mike) Tannenbaum goes back to the (Bill) Parcells days, too. This is the football fraternity, the coaching fraternity, the general managers with their friends and all. That’s basically what I think about Tony getting that job. Because credentials as an offensive coordinator? I don’t see it."

To Namath, the players were as much to blame -- if not more -- as Schottenheimer for New York's 25th-ranked offense being so anemic.

"I think (Schottenheimer's) the fall guy basically, not a bad offensive coordinator by any stretch. He's going to be around," Namath said. "I really appreciated what a couple of the players on the Jets had to say when they did point out that it was the failed execution on the field that led to the disappointing season. I am a firm believer that the players -- the players -- are the ones that decide the game out there."

Namath generally defended Mark Sanchez in spite of in-house criticism from players calling Sanchez "lazy and content." Namath seemed to take bigger issue with nobody owning up to making those comments.

"This stuff about guys saying things anonymously, it stinks. It's lousy," Namath said. "I don't know how you correct it unless you're there in the room looking at guys face to face and getting it squared away. And then some of them you've got to get rid of.

"You have 50-plus guys. ... Not all of them are sweethearts. And they don't come to practice day in and day out as happy campers. They have things going on in their life away from football. You just have to weed it out. You've got some prima-donnas, no doubt about it. We know some of them, and they need to change."

But you, Joe? Ay yay yay. Please keep talking and don't ever change.

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