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Joe Namath: Blame Mike Tannenbaum for Jets' mess

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Joe Namath say the New York Jets have "regressed with talent," and blames general manager Mike Tannenbaum for doing a poor job identifying good players.

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Joe Namath, the legendary former New York Jets quarterback, says the organization has "regressed with talent" the past two seasons, and puts the blame squarely on the shoulder of general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

"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 Tannenbaum 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?"

Namath still loves the franchise he quarterbacked to its only Super Bowl more than 40 years ago, follows them like a passionate fan and is never shy with his opinions about what is happening with Gang Green.

[Related: Tannenbaum 'confident' Jets will improve]

Is he right, Jets' fans? Is Tannenbaum responsible for the Jets simply not having as much talent as they did during Rex Ryan's first two years as coach, when the team reached the AFC Championship Game?