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http://espn.go.com/n...mpleting-season

Joe Namath criticizes Plaxico Burress

By Rich Cimini

ESPNNewYork.com

Joe Namath has been watching Plaxico Burress for several years, and in him he sees a wide receiver that reminds him a lot of Braylon Edwards -- and that's not a flattering comparison coming from Namath.

The New York Jets' legendary quarterback was occasionally critical of Edwards during his two seasons with the Jets. So, no, Namath isn't swept up in Plaxico Mania, saying Burress would be "damn lucky" if he makes it through the season.

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"When I see Burress, certainly in the past, and Edwards, their route running and adjusting, I didn't like it -- and I still don't," Namath told ESPNNewYork.com Tuesday. "I'll be surprised if Burress and (quarterback Mark Sanchez click well and I'll be even more surprised if Burress, after being laid off for two years and change, is going to make it through the season."

Burress, 34, spent 20 months in jail for illegal-weapons possession, missing the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He signed a one-year, $3 million contract on the eve of training camp, replacing Edwards as one of the Jets' starting receivers.

Namath believes the time away from football, coupled with Burress' age, will be almost impossible to overcome.

"It catches up to the guys who haven't missed any time over the last two years," said Namath, who was in New York to promote Topps 2011 football cards. "It's Lady Luck, and I think it will (catch up to him), given the age factor and his position."

"We're already talking about the feet -- the ankles, the feet," he continued, referring to the sprained ankle that forced Burress to miss the first preseason game. "There's a lot of running in a long season. I don't see it happening."

Namath is an unabashed Jets fan, rarely speaking ill of his team. He wishes the best for Burress, who has three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games.

"I hope he makes All-Pro, but the realistic side of me ... . The reality is, he'll be damn lucky if he makes it through the season," Namath said.

The Hall-of-Fame quarterback described Burress and Edwards as undisciplined route runners that make it difficult for the quarterback to make precise throws. In Burress, the Jets believe they have a huge target (Burress is 6-foot-5) that will actually help Sanchez's accuracy because of his ability to outmuscle smaller cornerbacks.

Namath agreed with that, but he also believes Burress tends to alter his routes, changing stride. He said Edwards sometimes slowed down when the ball was in the air.

"I've seen that in the past that I didn't like. I didn't like it with Edwards and I don't like it with Burress, especially when (Giants quarterback Eli Manning was in his second and third year," Namath said, a reference to Burress' first two seasons with the New York Giants, 2005 and 2006.

Overall, Namath likes the direction of the Jets, calling them one of the best teams in the AFC. He's a big believer in offensive-line play -- that's the old quarterback in him -- and he has some concerns about the Jets.

"I'm optimistic about the season, of course, because of where we've come from and the guys we have back, but that optimism ... . As soon as I start to think hard about it, it takes a little hit," he said. "I'm concerned about the offensive-line depth. Who do we have to take the roles of (Wayne) Hunter and (Rob) Turner? I don't know."

Hunter and Turner were the top backups last season, but now Hunter is starting at right tackle and Turner is out for at least two months with a broken ankle.

The Jets' offense struggled in Monday night's 17-3 win over the Giants. Namath believes the lockout, coupled with the additions of two new receivers (Burress and Derrick Mason), are making it hard for the offense.

"I know they're not as sharp as they want to be," he said. "For whatever reasons, they're just not there yet. They've got to get better and they know it."

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.

Edited by Jetsfan80
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Didn't sports' science basically say that burress was one of the most freakishly gifted at repeating his stride length and number each successive route?? I don't doubt Namath has forgotten more about WRs running routes than I'll ever know, but if Burress is rounding or altering routes, it's not because he doesnt have the ability.

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Hate to say it because Broadway Joe gave me one the great sports thrills of my life but his comments have to viewed as coming from one someone who repeatedly verbally shoots himself in the foot (lower leg). In the over 30 years since he retired has he made one significant observation or prognostication. It's almost sad to hear him.

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Hate to say it because Broadway Joe gave me one the great sports thrills of my life but his comments have to viewed as coming from one someone who repeatedly verbally shoots himself in the foot (lower leg). In the over 30 years since he retired has he made one significant observation or prognostication. It's almost sad to hear him.

LOL

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You're old, Namath. Where's your loyalty at? Jets legends shouldn't bash current players. We've got the best team we've had in a while. This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've heard him do it. Let it go, man. We can win the big game without you.

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Didn't he say something along the lines of "Braylon drops as many passes as he catches" last year??? How'd that work out Joe? Seriously, love the guy for all that he has accomplished, but its time for him to just STFU. As Sage said, at this point it's almost sad to hear him try and make any observations whatsoever. Jumped on Braylon last year, got on Sanchez & modern day Qb's for dropping that lower hand when taking snaps, and now Burress.

All these guys got to where they are today by doing things THEIR way. Burress is playing the way that made him a beast of a WR so why change that now? Again...love Joe for what he's done in the past.....but he has got to stop opening his mouth.

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A lot of his comments seem like he is upset he is not the Belle of the Ball anymore...even his interview this morning...like Sanchez is supposed to confide in him or that he should be part of Sanchez' advisory committee...does he ever have anything good to say?

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If Sanchez becomes half the QB Joe was, we're in good shape. But I don't take everything Namath says these days as gospel. I listen to it, but I don't necessarily just accept it. If the Jets O fails this year it isn't on Burress, it's on Sanchez and Schitty.

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Even if Joe is making valid observations, and I am not sure he is, getting Plax essentially as a rental is far better than signing Braylon and making a longer commitment. Getting the same guy short term had to be a big factor in the front office's thinking IMO.

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You're old, Namath. Where's your loyalty at? Jets legends shouldn't bash current players. We've got the best team we've had in a while. This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've heard him do it. Let it go, man. We can win the big game without you.

That is what makes this so surprising...Namath is a big homer. When he bashes the team, I am actually frightened.

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That is what makes this so surprising...Namath is a big homer. When he bashes the team, I am actually frightened.

Joe was never really a great football mind. Great passer? Yes. Football genius? Not so much.

Drunken Joe was a lot more fun

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http://espn.go.com/n...mpleting-season

Joe Namath has been watching Plaxico Burress for several years, and in him he sees a wide receiver that reminds him a lot of Braylon Edwards -- and that's not a flattering comparison coming from Namath.

The New York Jets' legendary quarterback was occasionally critical of Edwards during his two seasons with the Jets. So, no, Namath isn't swept up in Plaxico Mania, saying Burress would be "damn lucky" if he makes it through the season.

"When I see Burress, certainly in the past, and Edwards, their route running and adjusting, I didn't like it -- and I still don't," Namath told ESPNNewYork.com Tuesday. "I'll be surprised if Burress and (quarterback Mark Sanchez click well and I'll be even more surprised if Burress, after being laid off for two years and change, is going to make it through the season."

Burress, 34, spent 20 months in jail for illegal-weapons possession, missing the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He signed a one-year, $3 million contract on the eve of training camp, replacing Edwards as one of the Jets' starting receivers.

Namath believes the time away from football, coupled with Burress' age, will be almost impossible to overcome.

"It catches up to the guys who haven't missed any time over the last two years," said Namath, who was in New York to promote Topps 2011 football cards. "It's Lady Luck, and I think it will (catch up to him), given the age factor and his position."

"We're already talking about the feet -- the ankles, the feet," he continued, referring to the sprained ankle that forced Burress to miss the first preseason game. "There's a lot of running in a long season. I don't see it happening."

Namath is an unabashed Jets fan, rarely speaking ill of his team. He wishes the best for Burress, who has three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games.

"I hope he makes All-Pro, but the realistic side of me ... . The reality is, he'll be damn lucky if he makes it through the season," Namath said.

The Jets' offense struggled in Monday night's 17-3 win over the Giants. Namath believes the lockout, coupled with the additions of two new receivers (Burress and Derrick Mason), are making it hard for the offense.

"I know they're not as sharp as they want to be," he said. "For whatever reasons, they're just not there yet. They've got to get better and they know it."

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.

Namath is sure right on the mark! Couldn't have said it better myself.

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I find it funny people on these boards will bash Joe Willie when he makes an observation about his team . Like Optimus said Im sure Joe would love nothing more than to se Plax succeed but if he sees something that concerns him Im glad he lets it fly. People on this forum are not even concerned about the age factor of our WR's which I find hysterical but they bash Joe Namath when he voices a concern ?? wow

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Hey I have a concern We obviously brought in PLAX to be more of a threat in the redzone so that being said how many times has the first team offense visited he redzone and how many catches in the red zone has plax had ? zero. What I noticed vs the Giants was once again a WR's corp that could not get any separation, every pass was contested. This has been going on for years. Im still waiting for Dustin "pussy" Keller to go UP for a ball with defenders around him. One Blatent play vs the Giants when the ball was thrown high and Keller Ducked to avoid the hit rather than go up for the ball. I seen about as much of this as I want to see. Theres a reason Keller is not up there with the elite TE's in this league. its not about talent its about toughness.

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Here, take a look at Joe's stats http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/N/NamaJo00.htm and guess what, Mark Sanchez' stats are actually BETTER than Namath's. His best year completion percentage was 52.9%. Sanchez completed 54.8% last year and 53.8% his rookie year.

Namath 173 TD's and 220 INTs

Sanchez 29 TDs and 33 INTs

Now I'm not stupid enough to compare a Hall Of Fame SB winning legend to a 2nd year pro but the stats are what they are...#6's QB rating is 10 % points higher than Namath's-he wasn't as great as his legend says he was guys-he single-handedly LOST a bunch of games for the team-Sanchez doesn't do that-like throwing 5 INTs in a game-Joe did it a few times

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The entire premise of his argument is off considering Burress had glass ankles before he even went to prison. That being said, he did look pretty bad last night, and those weren't all-world corners he was up against. If people are wondering where the Jets are going to be missing Braylon the most, it's the running game.

Ross and Webster played against Burress every day for quite some time, so there's that to consider as well.

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I'm just wondering if anything in the NFL has changed since 1969?

yea a lot has changed but the game is still pretty much the same-the QB throws a pass and the receiver is supposed to catch it. Just because Namath's completion % was for the sh*t it doesn't mean that every QB playing in that era barely completed over 50%. Here' Lenny Dawson http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/D/DawsLe00.htm

Sonny Jurgensen http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/J/JurgSo00.htm

John Brodie http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BrodJo00.htm

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yea a lot has changed but the game is still pretty much the same-the QB throws a pass and the receiver is supposed to catch it. Just because Namath's completion % was for the sh*t it doesn't mean that every QB playing in that era barely completed over 50%. Here' Lenny Dawson http://www.pro-footb.../D/DawsLe00.htm

Sonny Jurgensen http://www.pro-footb.../J/JurgSo00.htm

John Brodie http://www.pro-footb.../B/BrodJo00.htm

Not sure I said anything about Namath's completion percentage, his playing ability, or anything else except his relevance.

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Here, take a look at Joe's stats http://www.pro-footb.../N/NamaJo00.htm and guess what, Mark Sanchez' stats are actually BETTER than Namath's. His best year completion percentage was 52.9%. Sanchez completed 54.8% last year and 53.8% his rookie year.

Namath 173 TD's and 220 INTs

Sanchez 29 TDs and 33 INTs

Now I'm not stupid enough to compare a Hall Of Fame SB winning legend to a 2nd year pro but the stats are what they are...#6's QB rating is 10 % points higher than Namath's-he wasn't as great as his legend says he was guys-he single-handedly LOST a bunch of games for the team-Sanchez doesn't do that-like throwing 5 INTs in a game-Joe did it a few times

SFJ,

I'm surprised at you.

I love Sanchez but comparing any 2010 NFL passer to a 1960's-70's QB is useless... different game in so many ways. most of which I've outlined in numerous past threads, so I won't go into it here.

Suffice to say, Sanchez has averaged 12.1 yards per completion and 6.6 yards per attempt in his first two years.

It took Namath until his last year playing when he couldn't even walk, 1977 as a Ram, to post numbers that low.

For his entire career, he AVERAGED 14.7 yards per completion and actually had 5 seasons where he completed over 15 yards per completion, including '71 and '72 when he averaged 19.2 and 17.4 yards per completion, respectively. Only 12 QB's in the history of the NFL have posted higher career numbers, and none of those were named Marino, Montana, Elway, or Favre. Hell, even the great Johnny Unitas averaged less.

We're lucky if Sanchez has three ATTEMPTS over 17 yards in a game, never mind completions.

Not trying to say that yards per completion is the "end all" stat either ... just pointing it out to illustrate the difference in the passing game between then and now and why completion % and QB ratings can be very misleading stats.

Simple point being that comparing passing stats, especilaly stats like completion % between these two different eras has very little value because the game was so different. ... Rules favored the defense which made passing much more difficult ... Playing conditions/stadiums were worse ... fewer domes. etc...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put Mark Sanchez down ... I'm a huge advocate of his and I really believe he's gonna get us back to the big game at some point. I mean he's entering his third season, has proven he plays well in big games, and is only going to get better. But to imply that he was a better passer than Namath just because he has better statistics is a little misguided, IMO.

True, Namath himself admitted to singlehandedly losing games because he mistakenly felt games were on his shoulders to win. But let's face, he played on some really bad teams, and the fact he had to throw the ball alot because the Jets were usually down big didn't help his numbers either. Even so, I also saw the Jets win games they had no business winning because he was their QB.

And let's face it, as much as I love Mark, he's blown a few games in his first two years, and has had at least two games already with 5 picks I believe.

I'm usually on your side with most of your views, and I respect your opinion, but I guess we'll agree to disagree on this one.

All that said, the real "Joe Willie" should refrain from bashing current Jets. It doesn't serve his legacy well.

Edited by JoeWillie
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Joe Namath calls it as he sees it. Until Plaxico Burress proves his worth here hes right on.

So guilty until proven innocent? Sounds like the NFL way. Plax is a risk. We all knew it. It could potentially pay off huge, and that's the gamble the Jets took this year. I feel that we will get decent production out of him once he gets used to it again. Yeah, he's right on, saying he doesn't think Plax will last the season??? That's not even the same as saying its a risk, it's the much more negative route. I can see why you condone it.

What's really funny is that the negative nancy types are supporting these comments. I feel someone with his status should support the team and not put down players trying to do the same thing he once did. He should be consulting with them and helping them get better on offense. Sure, he can say whatever he wants, it just makes me lose more and more respect for the guy. Saying crap like Revis couldn't do anything against him, or the Edwards drops balls or that Sanchez stinks. SANCHEZ HAD A BETTER 2nd YEAR THAN YOU BY FAR, NAMATH. I think our team right now is better than the team that won SB 3. Maybe not offensively YET, but defensively definitely and overall yes. Once we pull it together on offense, we'll be a powerhouse on both sides of the ball.

Edited by Barcs
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Joe Namath calls it as he sees it. Until Plaxico Burress proves his worth here hes right on.

Burress did, when he had the game winning catch in the SB and won a championship. You know, the same number or titles as Namath.

As to proving his worth to the Jets? That happens in the regular season and beyond. As to Namath's points, Burress helped Eli out tremendously so I don't know where he's coming from on that.

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