Robert Saleh handled the grenade tossed by New York Jets legend Joe Namath as delicately as possible Wednesday. But it’s just the latest obstacle for the coach when it comes to starting Zach Wilson at quarterback.
Asked for his opinion of Namath’s scathing review of Wilson earlier in the week, Saleh did his best to diffuse the situation.
“We’ll agree to disagree with his comments,” Saleh said. “But he is entitled to those comments.”
Robert Saleh addresses Joe Namath's comments:
"Joe is an icon, a Hall of Famer. My office is always open for him. We'll agree to disagree with his comments, but he is entitled to those comments." pic.twitter.com/7Z026k8TnO
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) September 27, 2023
Broadway Joe was guns blazing during an ESPN New York radio interview Monday, saying, “I wouldn’t keep him. I’ve seen enough of Zach Wilson.”
The legendary former quarterback, who led the Jets to their only championship in Super Bowl III, took to social media to criticize Wilson and the coaching staff during an inept 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Then a day later he said, “I didn’t take anything positive out of (the game Sunday). It was awful.”
Namath was incensed with one play when Wilson fell to the ground seemingly without being touched, though under heavy Patriots pressure.
“You sit down? You sit down on a play? You go right down? What happened?” Namath asked. “I thought you're trying to win and make plays. You quit on a play? What is going on? It's disgusting.”
Saleh admitted Wednesday that “we all acknowledge that [Wilson] needs to play better.” Earlier in the week, the coach said Wilson “was not the reason we lost (Sunday)” and reiterated the 24-year-old is “getting better” after his first two disastrous seasons in the NFL.
The Jets signed veteran Trevor Siemian to the practice squad Tuesday, although Saleh said he will be inactive this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.