Joe Namath calls for Jets to clean house, starting with Zach Wilson: ‘I’ve seen enough’

As head coach Robert Saleh continues to stand by quarterback Zach Wilson, one former prominent former New York Jet has seen enough.

Joe Namath, who quarterbacked the franchise to its only Super Bowl victory in 1969, blasted Wilson and the Jets on social media during their 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. He followed that up with a call to clean house during an impassioned interview with YES Network Monday.

Let’s start with the tweets, of which there were many. Most of them targeted Wilson. Here’s a sampling:

He also put Saleh, his coaching staff and general manager Joe Douglas in his crosshairs:

Then came Monday’s interview. Namath’s fervor from Sunday did not dissipate. In fact, it may have intensified.

Here’s what Namath said when asked if he saw any positives from Wilson’s performance Sunday.

“No, I didn’t take anything positive out of it yesterday,” Namath said. “It was awful. …

“You sit down? You sit down on a play, you go right down? What happened? I thought you were trying to win and make plays. You quit on a play? What is going on? It’s disgusting.”

That’s Namath’s second reference to first-quarter sack that saw Wilson spin under pressure then fall to the turf without being hit.

Asked if he had any ideas on how Wilson can improve, Namath suggested shipping him to the Chiefs to play behind Patrick Mahomes.

“Send him to Kansas City to back up against somebody like Mahomes and maybe learn something,” Namath continued. “I wouldn’t keep him. I’ve seen enough of Zach Wilson. I’ve seen enough. Has quick feet, can throw a little bit. But I don’t believe what’s going on up there.”

Joe Namath, seen here at a Super Bowl III celebration in 2018, has seen better days for the Jets. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Joe Namath, seen here at a Super Bowl III celebration in 2018, has seen better days for the Jets. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images) (Mike Stobe via Getty Images)

Why are Jets sticking with Zach Wilson?

Wilson’s in his third season with the Jets after being selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft. A passer with a 54.9% career completion rate, he’s thrown 17 touchdowns and 22 interceptions while averaging 6.3 yards per attempt in 25 career games. The Jets are 8-16 in games that he started. He lost his starting job only to find himself back under center when Aaron Rodgers ruptured an Achilles tendon on New York’s first possession of the season.

Saleh on Monday called Wilson “our unquestioned quarterback” despite his struggles and the 1-2 Jets start. Namath echoed questions about whether its fair to the rest of the team to keep playing Wilson while he’s surrounded by talent that was otherwise expected to compete for a Super Bowl.

“How can a coach say the locker room’s together?” Namath continued. … Are you telling me there aren’t some cats on the defensive side saying ‘whoa, man, what’s wrong with you?’ It’s not all harmony in the locker room. And if there is, they need to get rid of the people.”

Namath then clarified his stance. He doesn’t just want Wilson gone. He told YES Network that he wants Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas gone too in a message targeting team owner Woody Johnson.

“He picked these people. Douglas picked these people,” Namath continued. … I’d get rid of everybody. You’ve got to start over. ‘Mr. Johnson, hey, these guys aren’t picking the right players. They aren’t doing good job of coaching. It’s evident.’ … They need to fix it, and that’s getting rid of a lot of people and bringing new ones in.”

When asked if he wanted Saleh gone too, Namath said “yes.”

Namath, of course, is not a decision maker for the Jets. But he remains a powerful voice in the Jets community as Hall of Famer and Super Bowl winner. And he’s not alone in his calls for change at quarterback and questions to Jets management seeking that change.

The problem for the Jets is that there are no easy answers.

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