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Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 01/26/2012

Joe Namath ‘feels awful’ about his relationship with Jets

Emerson Boozer and Joe Namath attended the premier of HBO’s ”Namath.” (Craig Barritt / Getty Images)
Joe Namath may “feel awful” about the current state of his relationship with his former team, but that doesn’t mean he regrets anything he has said or tweeted about the New York Jets.

“I feel awful about it, I feel awful about my relationship with the Jets right now. I don't want them upset with Joe, but damn it, I have to say what I see, what I think, what I feel,” Namath said of owner Woody Johnson, General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and Coach Rex Ryan. “I think they can do some things better, no doubt.”

Namath was asked about the Jets’ implosion and the struggles of Mark Sanchez after the premiere Wednesday of “Namath,” an HBO documentary about him.

“Mark made some mistakes this year, no doubt, but he can play,” Namath said (via ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini). “It's only his third year, man. You see guys out there who have played longer than that, making those same mistakes. He's going to learn from his mistakes and he needs the help around him.

(Seth Wenig / AP)
“He presses at times, he wants to do things because he's expected to, and I think he got a little tired of being, ‘The kid this, the kid that.’ Hey, he's made it through three seasons now, and he's not a kid. He's a man out there. He's a man and, if they get the people around him, he's going to be fine.”

Namath defended Sanchez as a leader, saying it’s not the proper role for a quarterback.

“I didn't push any kind of leadership,” Namath said. “Lead by example as a football player, as the quarterback: to know the plan frontwards, backwards; be able to answer; know my guys; convince them I was ready and would give it my best. But no taking over a locker room. You have to have someone with the strength of the guy over in Baltimore — maybe Ray Lewis — you've got to be a beast to do that kind of thing, man.”


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