Joe Namath pulling for Hackenberg in Jets quarterback race

The Jets have a horde of moderately competent candidates jockeying for the role of starting quarterback. This is not new.

Joe Namath, the lone example of a sterling Jets quarterback, is commenting on the Jets’ signal-caller situation. This is also not new.

The names change, but the storyline remains the same: the Jets can’t find a damn quarterback, and Namath will weigh in with the kind of knowing grin that still makes your grandmother weak in the knees. In this case, the names are Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg, the vet and the newb, and the “prize” is a battle against the Patriots twice a year.

“I know what Josh can do. He’s solid. Never had a real good team to play with,” Namath said on Tuesday at a New York City charity event. “Hopefully the team can step up and give him support.” (Aside: the fact that McCown has never played with a decent team is an achievement in itself, given that he has played with — deep breath — the Cardinals, Lions, Raiders, Panthers, Bears, Buccaneers, Browns, and now Jets. One-fourth of the entire league.)

That said, Namath has a clear favorite in this two-horse race. “I’d like to see Hackenberg get a shot, and I’d like to see him win the job if possible,” he said. “That would give us (the feeling of), ‘Maybe we don’t do it this year, but boy we’ll get ready next year.’ I’m not wishing Josh any bad luck. But I certainly would like to see Hackenberg blossom.”

Joe Namath is back talking Jets quarterbacks. (AP)

Namath has never been shy about commenting on former quarterbacks. He once suggested that Peyton Manning might have some good football left in him after being released by the Colts; that prediction worked out well enough. Namath also advocated back in 2016 that the Jets should go after a pre-anthem-kneeling Colin Kaepernick. Most recently, he questioned the severity of an injury to Jets quarterback Geno Smith, then had to backpedal after it turned out Smith had torn an ACL.

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.