Tebow is the Popular Choice, but Won’t Happen for the Jets
By Alan Schechter
Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) fakes a handoff to New York Jets running back Jonathan Grimes (21) during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
As we make our way through the bye week, the inevitable question has begun again, should the Jets make the move for Tim Tebow? Is it the right time? Why are the Jets sticking with this guy? Why won’t the Jets admit that they are wrong about Mark Sanchez? It’s barely 48 hours since the game ended, but these are the questions that are starting to fill the minds of Jets fans.
The questions come from the other side too. Why won’t the Jets equip Mark Sanchez with a decent set of weapons? How is Mark supposed to be effective with an offensive line that is far past its dominating days? They can’t run the football, how are they going to be effective at passing the football? These qre the questions that come from the Mark Sanchez support team, myself included.
No matter which side of the coin you are on, all of these questions are valid. Heck, even I know that Mark Sanchez hasn’t done anything to distinguish himself as the starting quarterback going forward. His completion percentage is 52.9%, which is hardly worthy of a starting quarterback in this league, much less of a team that has Super Bowl aspirations. He used to be a master at the come from behind win, now we are nervous when his first read isn’t open, and his feet start to “dance”. He is not the quarterback that he was in his first two years.
Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) calls out a play against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Dolphins won 30-9. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
There are some valid reasons around him. The offensive line has been terrible. They have not opened holes for the running game all season long. Mark has been under his share of duress as well. Don’t even talk about his class of weapons, which when they can sty on the field, is not very good. There are these reasons. But as we all know, you can’t fire an entire offensive line, or wide receiver corp at the same time, so the easiest change to make is at quarterback.
So, why not make the move to the backup quarterback? On any underperforming offensive team, the backup quarterback is always the most popular player. Whether or not it is Tim Tebow, this is always the case. We have seen it all before, and for years. It just makes it that much more complex when the backup quarterback in question is Tim Tebow. His legions of diehard fans pull for this guy to play, through thick and thin. They have fair points, he is certaiinly more of a fiery leader than Mark Sanchez. He has inspired players to great heights, taking a 1-4 team to a first round win in the playoffs. He certainly has had success.
So why not? Rex will never do it, that’s why.
Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Forgetting the fact that Rex said he wasn’t going to make a change, he is going to stay true to that. Why? Because it goes deeper. Not only is Mark Sanchez the starting quarterback, he is the FACE OF THE REX RYAN ERA. It’s not Bart Scott, nor is it Santonio Holmes, or Darrelle Revis. It’s Mark Sanchez. The first big move Rex Ryan and company made when they arrived in New York was to trade up in the 2009 draft to get this guy. If they move him to the bench now, Rex Ryan will be admitting he made a mistake, and he is a stubborn guy. He is not going to make that kind of admission during the season.
Could they bring in a guy during the offseason? Maybe. Could they draft someone? Maybe. Would they give Greg McElroy a shot to compete next year? Possibly. That’s an open QB compettion. Then, if someone outplays Mark Sanchez, Rex can reference that and say that person “gives us the best chance to win”. But, if the Jets move Mark to the bench now, they can’t go back. His career will be over with the New York Jets. The clamour and the excitement of having Tim Tebow in the game will be so great, that he will never be able to go back. That is not a step that Rex Ryan is willing to take.
Let’s not forget about Rex Ryan’s greatest goals, to beat the New England Patriots, and to win the Super Bowl. Look at Tim Tebow’s performances against New England last year: during the regular season he went 11-22 for 194 yards, and in the divisional playoff game he went 9-26 for 136 yards. This is not the type of weapon that Rex Ryan is going to want in the game when the common goal is to beat the New England Patriots. The Patriots figured this guy out last year. Nothing Tony Sparano can do is going to change that.
If Rex Ryan and the staff of the New York Jets had any faith in this guy as a quarterback, they would have used him by now. I don’t see how it can be seen any other way. There have been countless opportunities to use Tebow in situations where he has been proven successful, but yet they have not used him. The coaching staff doesn’t want him. They are not going to use him. It may be the popular choice, but it will never happen.