Namath says Sanchez will rebound

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- We know where Joe Namath stands on the Jets' quarterback competition. He's a Mark Sanchez guy.

"I know Sanchez is going to play better," the Jets' legend told reporters Wednesday night at the United Way's annual Gridiron Gala in Manhattan. "He went through some major distractions last season. ... I promise you, you'll see a different guy."

Namath has been a Sanchez supporter since his rookie year, and he readily acknowledges, "I'm pulling for him. ... I know he can do better than he's done. And we saw him lead a team to two AFC Championship Games, right? I also know what it's like not to necessarily have the weapons you'd like to have, not to necessarily have the time you'd like to accomplish."

As for rookie Geno Smith, Namath called him a "sensational athlete." Namath said he watched a lot of Smith's games at West Virginia, and was impressed, but he doesn't believe the Jets needed to draft a quarterback.

"No, I don't think they needed a quarterback," he said. "They needed the other positions filled, possibly the offensive line. They got some defensive line. The safeties are still questionable. The outside linebackers are still questionable."