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Joe Namath: New York Jets' talent level has 'regressed'

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath has remained quiet during the New York Jets' disappointing run this season. We knew that couldn't last forever.

Watching Rex Ryan's Jets lose their footing in the AFC East, Namath emerged this week to rip the front office.

"We seem to have regressed with talent," Namath said on SNY's "The Jets Blog Podcast" on Wednesday. "The last two years at least. The last three years. And I don't know who's picking the players we bring in. ... We sign a guy today, an undrafted guard -- or yesterday or whatever -- it's terrific. I'm disappointed in the talent we have, and I think you gotta start looking at who's doing the picking and why."

Namath's not-so-subtle shot at Jets general manager Mike Tannenabum didn't end there: "I don't want to hear about 'Can't find talent.' How do the other teams around the league -- that are so consistent -- continually find talent?"

Added Namath: "I think that the fans haven't been given a fair shake. I don't think they get a straight story, often enough, from the powers that be. I think it's kind of condescending talk ... in telling us how they're developing and who they're getting. I think it's been disrespectful. We can go right to the (Tim) Tebow thing. I mean, come on. If you're bringing him in to play, where's he been? Are you bringing him (in) to make other people practice longer? Are you bringing him in, trying to get media headlines?"

When I spoke with Namath this summer, he credited Tebow as a fantastic athlete -- and hoped he'd make a difference in the Jets' offense -- but he didn't sound hopeful. Namath questioned back then why the Jets would make such a move, and he did it again this week.

"I think the focus has changed subtly," Namath said. "It's more toward grabbing headlines. And everything starts at the top. ... I don't think winning has been put at the top of the board. Winning headlines has replaced that."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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