Ryan: 'Outsider' Namath ignorant
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath fired some shots at Jets coach Rex Ryan on Monday, saying the team was not prepared for Sunday's 34-24 loss to the Raiders because he had made the players overconfident.
"It's rather alarming," Jets legend Namath said on 1050 ESPN Radio.
"It starts at the top. Coach Rex Ryan, he's been doing a great job, getting us to two conference championship games, but there's one thing about the athlete: You keep telling him how good he is, he's going to start believing it to the point that he may not be preparing quite the way he should. He may be losing some respect for the other team."
Ryan fired back, saying Namath did not understand the inner workings of the team.
"I'm not going to change who I am because Joe Namath said something," Ryan said.
"Joe Namath can come in here and if he can still throw we'll have him as a backup quarterback. But you know what? He doesn't know our team. He's on the outside. Even though he's a Jet and once you're a Jet you're always a Jet. But he's on the outside. He's not in these meetings. I think if he was he'd be shocked at the preparation."
Namath, who famously guaranteed the Super Bowl III victory by the Jets, said Ryan might be praising his team too much.
"I think these guys might be believing that they're better than they are," Namath said. "Rex has been the only coach that we know, in maybe the history of the game that I'm familiar with, that keeps continually telling his guys how good they are. And they have been pretty good — pretty good — but they haven't won a championship yet."