Since the trade for Tim Tebow and the pictures of him running shirtless in the rain at practice, the talk about the two time college National Champion has faded. As the 3-6 Jets head to St. Louis to face the Rams this week, the reports from New York have informed the public that multiple players on the Jets team have ripped Tim Tebow and openly said they feel like Mark Sanchez is a much better quarterback. My take on these reports is that there must be enough talk or media driven rumors of replacing Sanchez as a starter for the Jets players to even worry about that comparison. If I had to guess I would say someone said “Maybe Tim would be better for us,” and from there the discussion raged. Almost everyone predicted us to be in this situation at some point in the year, and with the Jets a long shot to make the playoffs the questions arises: Do they start Tim Tebow?
After a disgusting 1-4 start, the 2011 Denver Broncos finally gave Tim the job after weeks of abuse from their fan base. Tebow then led the Broncos to a playoff spot and even won his first playoff game against the Steelers. But that was last year. If the Jets were to give Tebow the starting job, what is the worst thing that could happen? … They’re already losing. The biggest problem with giving him the job at this point, is it seems like no one in the New York organization believes in the former Heisman trophy winner, so then why trade for him?
Let’s look at the Pro’s and Con’s of giving Tim Tebow the starting job in New York.
Cons: You have paid Sanchez a lot of money already and his recent extension brings his 5 year total to 58.25 million dollars, which is the 7th highest financial package among all NFL quarterbacks. What have you got for all that money? In 2009 after being drafted 5th overall, Mark was named the starter and gang green went 9-7 and won two playoff games. In 2010, Sanchez’s best year in the NFL, he led the team to a respectable 11-5 and won two playoff games before being knocked off by Pitttsburgh. Last year Sanchez led the Jets to an 8-8 season with no playoff berth, bringing us to the present year’s 3-6 start, worst of Mark’s young career. Not only is the team doing worse than ever, but specifically Sanchez himself is doing worse than ever. He currently has the league’s worst pass completion percentage and has the most turnovers in the redzone by an NFL quarterback. If you were to bench Mark at this point in the season you would ruin the confidence you placed in him, a guy you chose over Peyton Manning (yes when Manning was coming back from his neck surgery the Jets were in the mix as to where he would end up, and they came out and strongly reassured everyone of Marks’ job security and extended his contract).
The final con to putting Tebow in control of this team right now is the support is not there. The fans currently don’t seem to want him; obviously by the statements from his teammates the feeling is mutual. At the end of the day, the media would probably be 50-50 in terms of support.
Pros: The number one thing Tim Tebow brings to a team is, unfortunately for him, intangible. It is very rare that you have a quarterback like Tebow, who doesn’t have great numbers, doesn’t practice well, and doesn’t even really play that great but can win football games. There is only one explanation for him being able to do what he does, and that is the incredible amount of leadership he has. Teams need a leader, and Tim has been a leader since birth. He has an inordinate ability to bring out the very best from every player on the field. And obviously he wins football games as proven by his 9-5 record as a starting NFL quarterback. The final pro is the potential for actually winning some football games. The Jets are on a 3 game losing streak this year, and have only beat the Dolphins, the Colts, and the Bills. Also in week 8 in their second meeting of the year, the Dolphins (who just got embarrassed 37-3 by the Titans) beat the Jets 30-9.
If the Jets do put Tebow in control of their team I believe he will struggle to find his handle, but will eventually turn things around. The biggest hurdle he will have to face is people buying into his true honesty and overall nice personality. The team has to believe in Tim if they want to win, and no matter how cowardly vocal the defensive starters are, it seems like their belief in Sanchez is fading. The money paid to Mark Sanchez is the biggest reason for Tebow not seeing the field yet, but the second reason is there is no call in New York for him. Maybe once the Jets get beat by the St. Louis Rams this week the Jets fans will decide it’s Tebow Time. But until then, the whispers in the locker room will remain just whispers.