(Photo credit: Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK)
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson offered a measured response to the criticism he received this week from the team's only Super Bowl-winning QB, Joe Namath.
Wilson spoke publicly on Thursday for the first time in the three days since Namath said of Wilson, "I don't believe in him, I don't believe he has a future as a good player, and I think they made the wrong choice when they drafted him, I feel that way."
After the Jets' practice Thursday at Florham Park, N.J., Wilson said, "He's passionate and he's obviously one of the greats. As an offense, we have to do everything we can to try and prove him wrong. We'll keep doing what we can to improve. I think the guys are very optimistic, and we all believe in each other. So I'm excited for this week."
The Jets (1-2) play host to the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) on Sunday.
Wilson added, "Obviously, Joe was an unbelievable player, but this locker room is very tight-knit and we're working to get better."
There is plenty of room for improvement from Wilson, who regained the starting quarterback job when prized offseason acquisition Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury in the opener.
Wilson led the Jets to an overtime victory in that game against the Buffalo Bills but then struggled in losses to the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots the past two weeks.
Though Wilson has a 52.4 percent completion rate that ranks last among 34 qualifying quarterbacks this year, head coach Robert Saleh has backed Wilson repeatedly.
New York offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett also addresses Namath's comments on Thursday, saying, "Joe Namath was a great, great football player. He has every right to his opinion, and we have every right to prove him wrong."
Namath, 80, earned MVP honors at Super Bowl III in January 1969.
--Field Level Media