Note to the Jets: Stop Stringing Along the Starting Quarterback


Who suffers in this handling of the QB situation? Mark Sanchez. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

All right, we have settled into the Tim Tebow to the Jets situation. No matter what we think about it, he is here. The Jets say that Mark Sanchez is going to be the starting quarterback, and Tim Tebow is the backup. They also say that there will be packages for Tim Tebow each week, to confuse and get the defensive coordinator thinking. I’m changing my position on this trade. The more I think about it, the more I don’t like it. And the reason I don’t like it is because of what it does to the incumbent QB, Mark Sanchez. The Jets are stringing him along with mixed messages, and for a kid that doesn’t handle criticism really well, it isn’t fair.

Let’s talk about Sanchez for a minute. Everyone likes to throw a lot of criticism at Mark Sanchez, and yes, he had his problems last year. But don’t forget about his successes. He did lead the Jets to two straight AFC championship games, ladies and gentlemen. Did we forget that? He already has 4 road playoff wins under his belt. For all his difficulties last season, he did set a career high in TD passes. He does need to get better, no doubt, and everyone was all too quick to send him that message.

The Jets have given their young quarterback mixed messages following the season. Not good for a fragile guy like Mark Sanchez. Let’s talk about those messages.

They talked about needing a backup quarterback to give some competition, but say that Mark Sanchez is their starter. Listen to that for a minute. I mean, the idea of an active backup QB makes sense. I don’t think anyone in the land of Jets fans was excited about the idea of having a 41 year old QB (Mark Brunell) to take over if Mark Sanchez gets hurt. Not good. So, an active backup is a good idea. Yet, they were saying that they needed to provide “competition” to Sanchez. If you are sold on your starter, why do you need to have “competition”? If you are not happy with your QB’s work ethic, or feel he is coasting, don’t keep announcing he is your starter. For Pete’s sake you could have a drinking game, taking shots every time Mike Tannenbaum says in a public forum, “Mark is our starter”.

Then, we talk about the Peyton Manning interest. The day of Manning’s press conference announcing his release from the Colts, one of the first teams were hear about having discussions is, guess who? The New York Jets. No surprise here, as Woody Johnson, owner of the Jets, is as interested in bringing in celebrites as he is in winning football games. He needs to sell PSLs, and who better to do it than the greatest free agent out there? The Jets’ interest in Peyton Manning should ahve surprised nobody. But, Manning clearly showed no interest in the Jets. So what happened?

They give Mark Sanchez an extension. They didn’t re-sign him, he was under contract. They gave him a bunch of money. Mike Tannenbaum waxed poetic about their QB, “we’ve been working towards this sinc the end of the season..” “we are happy to have Mark here..” On and on he went. But yet, out of the other side of his mouth he said about Peyton Manning, “We had to explore it.” Really Mike? You had to? No, you didn’t. If you love your starting QB as much as you say you do, you could have written off interest in Manning from the beginning, but you didn’t do that. You flirted with the future Hall of Famer. Understandable, but don’t insult your QB’s intelligence. It’s wrong. Then Woody Johnson said “we passed on Peyton Manning”. Seriously? A team that loves bringing in big names, with a coach that says Peyton Manning is the greatest thing since the invention of electricity, passed on Manning? Yeah, right.

Then they go and sign Drew Stanton to be the number 2 QB. Here is the part that made marginally more sense than anything else. Drew Stanton is a young guy, and was looking for an opportunity to be a number 2. Although he hasn’t taken a snap in a game in over a year, he has had success in the limited starting opportunities he has had. Not perfect, but a guy with ability that would keep Mark on his toes. They tell him that he will be the number 2 quarterback.

What do they do just one week later? You know.

Tim Tebow. And all of his fanfare.

The Jets new number 2 quarterback. Drew Stanton asks for, and is traded away today, as expected, to make way. Can’t blame him as it seems he was lied to. In comes Tim Tebow, with his private plane, and a press conference scheduled for Monday.

Usual for a backup QB right? All backups have press conferences to announce their signing, right?

The hoopla has already begun here in NY. The Jets shop website had Tim Tebow shirts up, and displayed ahead of their “starting QB” within 24 hours of the trade. 24 hours. Normal, right? Not! He has a major billboard up coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel, a major access road to New York City for those of you out of towners. Another every day occurrence for a backup quarterback. This is so clearly a move by the Jets to make money, a blind person could see it.

Now let’s talk football plans. And…we go back to the drinking game. Listen to Mike Tannenbaum in all the forums he has been on since the trade. The same message “Mark is the starter” “Mark is the starter”..on and on. Well, if you are trying to make your fragile quarterback feel comfortable, why do you bring in the MOST POPULAR BACKUP QB IN THE UNIVERSE? It doesn’t make any sense. He is so popular that there will be people in the stands that all they want to see is Tebow in the game. They will be pulling for Mark Sanchez to break his leg! They are Tebow fans, or Tebow maniacs, not Jets fans. It comes with the territory. Imagine if he throws a pick. It will be crazy for Tebow.

Going on, after one side of his mouth says Mark is the starter, the other side is guaranteeing snaps for Tebow in games?! What? In what lifetime is a backup player guaranteed to get on the field? How can Mark Sanchez be comfortable with that, despite what he says? Why would Tim Tebow come here, unless he can compete for the job? He’s a football player, and he wants to play.

This move clearly says that they are not happy with Mark Sanchez. You don’t bring in a guy that popular if you are happy with what you have. If you aren’t happy with Sanchez, get rid of him. If you want to go the Tebow way, fine. If not, stop undermining your QB that you profess to love. Either get rid of him, or don’t bring in a guy like this. Stop stringing the guy along, it’s not fair.