- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Joe Namath thinks the New York Jets were distracted by their star turn on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
"I've got to believe that this 'Hard Knocks' stuff was a distraction of a nature that didn't allow them to think about their job," the Jets legend said Thursday during his weekly radio appearance on "The Michael Kay Show" on 1050 ESPN New York.
Namath also thinks the Jets lack speed at receiver. He said Braylon Edwards was a "fine receiver" but later said he was too slow to be a deep threat.
"I don't feel that we do have the deep threat, the speed out there at this point, that the defensive backs respect," Namath said. "I really believe that Edwards is a fine receiver. But meantime, I don't think they're worried about him running by defensive backs."
He also reiterated an earlier critique of Edwards, saying the receiver had poor hands.
"That's my feelings, you know. I'd like to see him catch the ball more consistently," Namath said.
Namath was tamer when dealing with quarterback Mark Sanchez, seeming to back off of comments he made in Wednesday's editions of the New York Post that were critical of the Jets' offense.
Namath indirectly singled out Sanchez when he told the Post that Gang Green would not fare well in a shootout with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
"A shootout? You gotta have something to be shooting. We haven't been shooting. We can't get in a shootout with anybody," he said.
During his Thursday spot on the radio, Namath said Sanchez is "still a very young quarterback, but he's a gifted quarterback. His arm is plenty strong enough, it appears, to get the ball to where he needs to get it. He just needs to get more playing time under his belt."
Namath had another message for the Jets on Thursday: Stop listening to your critics. It was an odd one, coming from the same guy that ripped Gang Green on Twitter and in published reports after their season-opening loss to Baltimore.
Said Namath: "The best thing they can do is stop paying attention to what the critics have to say about the game. They've got too many things they've got to be focused on, they're wasting time listening to the critics again."
The winning quarterback in Super Bowl III unloaded on Gang Green during and after their loss to the Ravens on Monday. Here is what Namath tweeted during and after the Jets' defeat:
8:49 p.m.: "The Jets abnormal amount of penalties in this game can be attributed to a disappointing lack of discipline."
8:58 p.m.: "The Jets are playing with a conservative play calling style, which falls on the shoulders of the coaches- the poor execution doesn't."
9:23 p.m.: "For the Jets to win this game we're going to need a miracle!"
9:34 p.m.: "That's disgusting. You need 10 yards for a first down and you complete a 9-yard out." (A reference to Dustin Keller stepping out of bounds before the marker on the Jets' final drive.)
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.