FOXBORO -- Logan Mankins was almost offended by the mere suggestion.

But on Thursday, when he spoke for the first time since injuring his left knee on Christmas Eve against the Dolphins, I asked the powerful Patriots offensive lineman a simple question.



Jets legend Joe Namath is not impressed by his old team's hiring of former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator.

"I'm stumped," Namath said during a Thursday appearance on New York's 1050 ESPN Radio. "I am stumped. Ay yay yay."

Namath questioned Sparano's qualifications for the position.

Following Wednesday's New York Daily News story in which unnamed Jets players blasted Mark Sanchez for being "lazy and content," some players came to the quarterback's defense.

"It was completely false," offensive lineman Matt Slauson said. "Mark is the hardest-working quarterback I've every played with. He puts in more time than anyone. Every since he came in he's been all about improving the team and winning. His whole life is about making the Jets the No. 1 team in the NFL."

The Jets' infighting doesn't seem to be dying down. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is out -- purportedly his own decision -- and at least some members of the organization aren't happy with the man who ran Schottenheimer's offense, quarterback Mark Sanchez. The New York Daily News asked players for their opinion of Sanchez, and they didn't hold back.

“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” said one player. “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.”

Following LSU's 21-0 loss to Alabama in Monday night's national championship game, LSU coach Les Miles faced some questions about why he didn't yank ineffective quarterback Jordan Jefferson and put in Jarrett Lee. One such question that led off the postgame press conference was more of an attack, and it came from former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, who, to make things even more interesting, has a son, T-Bob Hebert, who is an offensive lineman for LSU.

The Jets failed to make the playoffs, but New York still has a loud, cocky team making noise. After dispatching the Falcons Sunday following a few days of bad-mouthing them, the Giants are preparing to face the defending Super Bowl champion Packers in Green Bay. No problem, claims defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

"We're going to win," Pierre-Paul said. "A hundred percent we're going to win. … Because we're the best."

I’m going to miss the Jets in the playoffs this January. And you should, too.



The Jets' blame tour continued Thursday with former Jets center Kris Jenkins assigning blame to quarterback Mark Sanchez for not speaking up earlier in the season about selfish teammates. Earlier in the week, rookie quarterback Greg McElroy said there was a "corrupt mindset" in the locker room.

A former media strategist for the Red Sox ownership group spilled some secrets to Boston Magazine and is getting some attention for his claims. Doug Bailey, who was a senior vice president for Rasky Baerlein, shines a little light on the Theo Epstein-Larry Lucchino feud and claims John Henry is "distant and aloof" -- although his explanation makes Henry sound more senile than anything else.

He told of a day he spent with Henry at a Lowell Spinners game, when he bonded with Henry and talked about a range of topics.

On Tuesday we told you about the Jets' messy breakup day Monday, which included linebacker Bart Scott flipping off a photographer (who snapped a photo of the obscene gesture). The NFL was not pleased, and a league spokesman said there will be an investigation. The team also expressed disappointment.

"What he did was unacceptable," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum told ESPN Radio. "We're going to address it. We'll certainly talk to him."