Jets legend Joe Namath reverses course on brutal criticism of Zach Wilson: ‘I take it back’

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Joe Namath’s name is synonymous with the New York Jets and the Pro Hall Football Hall of Famer recently expressed his frustration about the team’s quarterback.

Starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1, which forced Zach Wilson back into action. The Jets went on to win the season opener, but then dropped the next two games in a row. As Wilson and the Jets struggled to move the football during the Week 3 loss to the New England Patriots, Namath unleashed a brutal criticism – much of it directed at Wilson.

“WRONG DIRECTION ZACH! Step UP into that pocket!” Namath wrote in a social media post on Sept. 24.

Namath then appeared on “The Michael Kay Show” on Sept. 25 and continued to share his disdain. “No, I didn’t take anything positive out of it yesterday,” Namath started when asked if he had any positive takeaways after watching the game. “It was awful.” 

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath has had enough of the New York Jets playing quarterback Zach Wilson. (Getty Images)

Although the Jets dropped their third consecutive game of the season, Wilson played well throughout most of the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jets 23-20, but Wilson finished the game with 245 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The third-year quarterback did make a critical mistake when he fumbled a snap in the fourth quarter. 


Wilson’s performance appeared to have left an impression on Namath. He was back on “The Michael Kay Show” this week and complimented the Jets quarterback and noted his criticisms of Wilson were made out of frustration.

“He played well, he played pretty darn good,” Namath said as he smiled. “I am a Jets fan, I want us to do well, I get fed up when something goes wrong and I am tired of losing. But Zach did some positive things yesterday. We know he has athletic ability. We know he can run around and we know he has a strong arm. He showed it yesterday.”

Joe Namath on the football field during the first quarter

Joe Namath on the field during the New York Jets’ game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The icon added that he did not believe the Jets would seriously consider moving on from Wilson this season. 

“We lost the game. I was fed up. I probably said I’m fed up, I’m tired of him let’s move on.” Namath said. “I didn’t think for a minute that they’re going to get rid of him. Of course they’re going to stick with him and he’s going to improve. Hopefully he’s going to keep improving. Hopefully we’ll start winning some games.”

Wilson has been a lightning rod for criticism since he was the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2021. Last season, he was heavily criticized for seemingly blaming his teammates after a loss, but on Sunday he shouldered the blame for his fourth quarter fumble.

“To be driving right there, to drop a snap, I cannot do that,” Wilson said. “You know, I lost us this game and I cannot do that.”

Zach Wilson and Robert Saleh

Head coach Robert Saleh of the New York Jets interacts with Zach Wilson before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 1, 2023. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

NBA superstar LeBron James took to social media to offer Wilson some words of encouragement.

“Helluva game kid!” James wrote over a clip of Wilson saying, “It’s my fault, bro” to punter Thomas Morstead. “You win as a team and lose as well as a team! 1 play doesn’t define the whole game! Keep ya head up high and keep pushing forward!! If it was easy everyone would do it!” James added a folding hands emoji, a salute emoji and a crown to the post.

Wilson has largely struggled during his time under center, but his more recent performance could be something he builds off of going forward.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh was encouraged by his quarterback’s performance on Sunday night.

“I thought he was really good,” Saleh said. “He gave us a chance to win the game. He brought us back. If he plays like that, we’re going to win a lot of football games.”

The Jets travel to Denver this weekend for a matchup with the Broncos.

Source: Fox News

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