Unless you have been on another planet for the past three months you know that the NY Jets have themselves a new back up QB on the roster in Tim Tebow.. And it is ironic that just three seasons ago Mark Sanchez, the good looking QB from USC was set to break some hearts on and off the field. But NY Jet fans like most fans motto is what have you done for me lately. Back to back AFC Championship Game appearances was not enough, perhaps if they would have won one of them it would be different. But after the past season when the team went 8-8 the Jet fans and perhaps the organization was looking for someone to put a little fire under the three year QB or maybe even replace him. The Jets could have gone out and signed any QB they wanted. But why would the Jets settle for just a mere back up? The Jets went and signed the most popular back up in the NFL. This can be the move of desperation or the move of genius proportions.
The NY Jets have had their share of QBs in their history. Of course Joe Namath is the most famous of them all. And a lot of have come to the team to achieve what he did with the Jets but not many have come close. Richard Todd took the team the AFC Championship game, and lost in the mud to AJ Duhe and Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins. Pat Ryan and Ken O’Brien were a good tandem, and were just over 4:00 minutes away from going to the AFC Championship game. But a melt down and a Mark Gastineau late hit were the ingredients to a double OT loss to the Browns in Cleveland. The Jets went out and drafted Browning Nagle as the next franchise QB. Nagle went undefeated in the pre-season the first season he was to start. And in fact in his first NFL start he lit up the Atlanta Falcons, but the team lost by 3 points. A few games into the season Nagle suffered an injury and missed some time. It wasn’t long before he lost the starting game. The Jets needed a spark and they went after a local QB who had been to a Super Bowl with the then current head Coach Bruce Coslet. Boomer Esiason a Long Island native was brought to the team to give them some life and to re-ignite his career. Boomer made his debut with newly acquired Ronnie Lott and Leonard Marshall. The team had early success, but fell short to a mean Buddy Ryan defense in Houston. Boomer stayed on the team for a few seasons, but never really had the success the team and fans had hoped for. Boomer took a beaten behind center. After Boomer the team had a turnstile at the QB position. Frank Reich, Bubby Brister who’s shovel pass gave the expansion Carolina Panthers the first ever franchise win just made the miserable 90’s even worse. A young QB named Glen Foley came in off the bench and lead the Jets to a 99 yard TD drive vs the Pats during game at the Meadowlands. The team was not headed anywhere but it gave the team hope. On a last minute desperation pass Foley was hit and suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Neil O’Donnel was then over paid after he and the Steelers lost the Super Bowl to the Cowboys. O’Donnel was a good QB but was not what was needed for this team. When Parcells came in to be the head coach he had Foley replace O’Donnel in a few games. I saw Foley lead a come back win at home vs the Patriots. Parcells didn’t like O’Donnel to the point that he had a half back actually attempt a pass in a win and in game vs the Lions.
In 1998 Parcells took in Vinny Testeverde. Vinny another local Long Island guy was great in college, but from his last game in college to his first few season in the NFL he was sub par. I for one was against bringing in Vinny from Elmont. But after losing Foley to an injury Testeverde stepped and lead the team to the AFC Championship game. A 10 point lead lost and another shot at the big game. Opening day 1999 the stadium was buzzing, all Jet fans walked around with swagger. Less than an hour in real time, Vinny blew Achilles tendon along with the dreams of a championship game. In the at season Rick Mirer looked like a pop warner QB and Ray Lucas a Rutgers Qb who played special teams led the team to one game within the playoffs. Vinny came back in 2000 and took the team to the playoffs in 2001. He was never the same as the 1998 Vinny. 2002 Chad Pennington was named starter after a very slow start. Pennington led the team to a blow out win of Brett Favre and the Packers to win the AFC East. The very next week Chad blew out Peyton Manning in a loud playoff game at the Meadowlands. Unfortunatley Oakland killed our playoff drive two years in a row. Pennington was then on the injury train. Broken wrist in pre-season of 2003. In 2004 he suffered rotator cuff injury but still lead the team to a playoff win and was a FG away from beating the Steelers and advacning to the AFC Championship game. 2005 he re-inured his rotator cuff again, a few plays later his back u Jay Fiedler was knocked out as well In 2006 Chad and the Jets lost to the Patriots in a Wild Card Game.
2008 Brett Favre was to come in with his cannon arm and light up teh opposing defense. But you live by the sword and you die by the sword. Favre threw a ton of INTs and ironically the Jets lost the chance to go to the playoffs to the Chad Pennington led Miami Dolphins. The Jets let Favre go to Minnesota, where he wanted to be all along.
Now here we are, Sanchez has three seasons under his belt. He has shown signs of greatness and has shown signs of immaturity on the field. Tebow who made last season very exciting in Denver is listed as the back up QB. But it won’t take long for Jet fans to be chanting for him tom come in and take over. The first three and out, or INT will get the fans on the Tebow bandwagon. I know that there are names that I have missed that have played QB for this team either one play or one game. But I have to say I don’t care who is under center, I just want to win it all!