In March when the NY Jets traded for Tim Tebow, head coach Rex Ryan told reporters there’s “no question” that Mark Sanchez is “of course” the Jets’ starting quarterback. But Rex did tell us that Tebow was brought in to help the Jets win football games. Rex told us all summer that Tony Sparano was preparing a special “Wildcat” package for Tebow. So “top secret” the entire media that witnessed it in practice was sworn to secrecy. It’s going on week 4 of the Jets regular season schedule and we are all still waiting. When will Rex actually show us the wonderful play calling ability of his offensive aficionado Tony Sparano?
Sunday we witnessed Tebow as a runner, a blocker, a decoy, a cheerleader and he even tried to be a receiver against the Dolphins. The one pass thrown his way caromed off his helmet before he knew what hit him. So we are all still here wondering when the Jets actually want to start using Tim Tebow the way we all were “promised” this long offseason.
I was one of the few that actually liked the Tebow trade to the Jets. Figured Tim could get a fresh start in a new city. One where the owner, GM, and head coach actually embraced him. But why didn’t he deserve a starting job after he went 8-5 last season with a playoff victory against a heavily favored Steeler team with arguably the greatest defensive coordinator in the NFL? And throwing for 316 yards for 2 TD’s and had a 125.6 passer rating in that same playoff game? Wasn’t anyone willing to jump out on a limb to get him for nothing more than a few late draft picks?
The Jets did.
And head coach Rex Ryan gushed over Tebow all summer and looked like a teenage girl at a Justin Beiber concert when he talked about how he planned to use him this season.
Rex, we are still waiting for that master plan…….
Ok Rex, here is a solution to the quandary of problems that seem to be facing you thus far. Start Tim Tebow. Yup, I said it. Start Tim Tebow.
The Tebow fans have been waiting for it to happen and the Tim Tebow critics have been waiting for him to start so he can fall flat on his face. You can silence both sides just as Elway did last season (temporarily) when Denver was 1-4 under the most mediocre QB in NFL history Kyle Orton.
The most important part of any sport is obviously winning, right? I mean when the Jets got Tim Tebow, they weren’t only acquiring his talents and his “winning attitude”, but to his critics they also got his fame and what I don’t understand is, his “problems.”
These “problems” are pointed out by the haters. Now, it’s no mystery that Tebow under-throws and over-throws his receivers (I can point out 10 NFL QB’s right now that do it consistently). But what I don’t get is how his sub-par completion percentage outweighs everything else. And I don’t understand how all this criticism doesn’t surround the “starter” Mark Sanchez (who is currently completing 50% of his passes this year). So let’s go under the scope of Sanchez vs. Tebow and see who really has the “problems.”
Mark Sanchez has started 55 NFL games; he has 28 regular season wins, 4 playoff wins, 21 regular season losses, 2 playoff losses, 72 TD’s, and 66 turnovers with a career 55% completion percentage.
Tebow has started 16 NFL games; he has 8 regular season wins, 1 playoff win, 6 regular season losses, 1 playoff loss, 29 TD’s, and 15 turnovers with a career with a career 47% completion percentage.
It’s quite obvious that these “problems” Tebow has are no different than the “problems” Sanchez has. Putting Sanchez under center is about as safe as putting Kyle Orton there, no offense to him or his fans, if there are any.
Nobody thinks of Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez as similar quarterbacks, but their limitations as passers are very similar, indeed. For right now, let’s put aside “clutch” and “he just wins” and other superstitions and evaluate Tebow and Sanchez as passers and playmakers.
Tebow, like Sanchez, will lean on his running backs and defense to win football games. Tebow, like Sanchez, will run a lot of bootlegs to maximize his athleticism while simplifying his decision-making. Tebow, like Sanchez, will be asked to complete a light diet of short passes, mixed with a couple of surprise long bombs a game to try and catch the defense napping. Tebow, unlike Sanchez is a dual-threat.
Sanchez is clearly not a threat as a runner; defenses will never hold themselves back from stopping passes to make sure they don’t lose contain. Defenses will never game-plan to make sure they have an answer for Sanchez’s running.
This is what Tebow brings to the table; not “the clutch gene”, not “the will to win,” not any kind of magic or aura, but a real, credible threat to gain yards on the ground and through the air. Defenses have to spend time preparing for Tebow’s running, so they have to spend less time preparing for his passing.
Whenever an offense can keep a defense guessing, that’s a huge advantage for the offense; it’s a big advantage the Jets can press with Tebow behind center but not with Sanchez. When defenses prepare for Sanchez, they’re just preparing for an unremarkable pro-style quarterback. When defenses prepare for Tebow, they have to reconsider almost everything they typically do.
Clearly, this Jets team will go as the defense goes. And with Pro-Bowl corner back Darrelle Revis now gone for the entire 2012 season that is a huge question mark on how far that will be. They don’t need their quarterback to play like a Joe Montana; they need him to keep the defense honest and move the chains when called upon. And clearly Tebow can do that more consistently than Mark Sanchez.
Right now, after watching Sanchez perform the last 2 weeks, Tim Tebow’s better at what they need their quarterback to do this year. And with the Jets underachieving in 2011, Ryan doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for the future. He needs to win now. And Tebow is the only QB the Jets possess that will win now. Enough of this “mysterious wildcat” and these “gimmick” plays the Jets are using. Start Tim Tebow at quarterback this week.
Written by Brody
Follow him on twitter @BrodyFLA15