Tim Tebow in the Red Zone Instead of Sanchez is a Mistake


Well, I guess it’s time to talk about the Tim Tebow/Mark Sanchez quarterback situation again.

Yesterday, a report came out via Rich Cimini that the Jets intend to replace Mark Sanchez with Tim Tebow in the red zone this season. The plan, according to Cimini, is that Tebow will bolster the running game down deep.

I needed to take a day to write about this, because what I felt after hearing it would not have been appropriate to write on here. The initial shock had to pass before the discussion would be in the least bit appropriate.

Now, a little over 24 hours since the news broke, we can talk about it.

Specifically, we can talk about the hope that this doesn’t happen. If it does, fans and Tebowmaniacs, it will be an absolute mistake. There is no other way to say it.

An absolute mistake. And if this does play out this way, the season will become an utter disaster.

There are several reasons why. First let’s talk about the Jets success in the red zone.

For all of the problems last season with the Jets offense, the one thing they were greatly successful at was scoring in the red zone. So successful, they were number 1 in the league, and that’s without the great Tim Tebow.

They didn’t need a solution to an area that wasn’t a problem. People will say, “Yeah, they were number one because of Plaxico Burress.”. Yes, he made an impact on the red zone, point taken. But, he can’t get separation anymore, and they replaced him with a guy just as tall in Stephen Hill. And they added Chaz Schilens.

Adding two guys to the mix more than makes up for losing an aging wide receiver that is too stupid to avoid shooting himself, who happens to be tall.

Now, time to honestly look at Mark Sanchez’s numbers, yet again. He threw for 26 TDs, and ran for 6 more. Yes, he turned the ball over too much. But he accounted for 32 scores. The “great” Tim Tebow only accounted for 18, and the same amount of rushing TDs as Mark Sanchez. Tim Tebow is this great running quarterback, but yet Sanchez had the same amount of scores.

But, Sanchez is a red zone problem? Really?

And by the way, Mark Sanchez has 27 TDS(combined rushing and passing) in the red zone, Tim Tebow had only 12.

I thought the Jets needed “bolstering” in the red zone…hmmmmmm

Now let’s do what every Tebow fan hates, talk about the actual quarterbacking numbers. Before the Tebow fans try to tell me that Sanchez started more games than Tebow, rest assured, I know that. What we are going to look at is a percentage. Specifically, their percentages of throws in the red zone that were TDs”

Sanchez: 26.5% Tebow: 20%

Mark Sanchez has proven to be better in the red zone, ladies and gentlemen. The numbers don’t lie. Period.

This is unnecessary.

Now we discuss mixed messages.

Coach Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum have done a lot of talking on this situation about Mark Sanchez being the starter, and Tim Tebow is the wildcat quarterback. They talk about Brad Smith, and how valuable a weapon that he was, and how Tebow can replace Smith as a weapon.

Then, this comes out about the redzone. And it made me think…….

A couple of things here.

Yes, Brad Smith was a valuable weapon, nobody can deny that. He was a threat, as a wildcat quarterback. Tim Tebow would be the same as a wildcat quarterback. But…

Did they take Sanchez out in favor of Brad Smith in the red zone? No they did not. And the reason is that it upsets the quarterback’s rhythm. Much of playing quarterback, and running an offense, is about rhythm. Getting in rhythm with the offense, with the receivers, and getting a flow going against the defense. Taking the quartback out after he leads the team to the red zone, just to change it up, breaks the rhythm, and causes the offense to stall.

One more look at the numbers. Sorry Tebow fans, I know you hate this. Since we are talking about Brad Smith as a weapon under Rex Ryan, let’s compare completion percentages of Brad Smith under Ryan, vs Tim Tebow over the same two years.

Tim Tebow:50%, 46.5% Brad Smith:100%, 66.7%

Obviously, Tebow threw many more passes than Smith, but that is not the point. The point is Smith is a better passer, you can see it when they play. And so is Mark Sanchez, and there is no room for debate.

Now, think about the mixed message this sends Mark Sanchez.

Mark is the starter, he is our guy. But, once we get inside the twenty, he is not the guy anymore? Does that make any sense to anyone? It shouldn’t, because it just doesn’t make any sense. If you want Mark Sanchez to be the starter, and Tim Tebow to run the Wildcat, fine, that actually can work. When the offense needs a jolt, a Wildcat play might just do the trick. But subbing the guy out in the red zone can only hurt the rhythm.

You want him as an extra blocker? Fine, line him up at running back. Not at quarterback.

By the way, for all the success that the Broncos had with Tim Tebow as a starter, don’t forget 2010, when they tried a two quarterback system. What was their record? 4-12.

Finally, for all that talk about all of these intangibles that Tim Tebow has, watch below:

Seriously? Mark Sanchez doesn’t have intangibles too? Come on.

You want Tim in the red zone? Line him up at running back. Replace Mark like the report says, and the season will be a long one.