The most polarizing football player in recent memory has polarized another city. Tim Tebow is officially a New York Jet. Is this a good move by Rex Ryan's squad? Does it change your expectations for the team in 2012?
Jets' counterproductive circus atmosphere just kicked into overdriveI am not a big fan of the move and I wouldn't think too many guys in that locker room are either. The reason Santonio Holmes and other players weren't feeling Mark Sanchez is because he isn't a great or instinctive passer. Tebow makes Sanchez look like Tom Brady in that regard.
Though Tebow can add something to the team on the field, the circus-like dynamic that is the Jets just went into overdrive. Some players, like Antonio Cromartie, have already expressed discontent. And like some of us in the media, other players will see this as a publicity stunt, even if that's really not the driving force.
I am a fan of Tebow and truly respect everything he's done for the game and how hard he works to get better. This is not about the young man. This move smacks of "big picture" for the Jets -- not making the team better. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe all the teams that couldn't stop Tebow in obvious run situations last season still won't be able to do it this season. And don't think he was brought to New York to be a full-time backup. He will take snaps from Mark Sanchez every Sunday. Maybe this all works.
For now, though, the last thing the Jets need to do is bring more publicity to a franchise that self-destructed last season and stumbled over itself in the execution of this trade. There's a reason the Packers, Patriots, Steelers and Giants contend every year. It's their desire to make splashes on the field and not in the headlines.
Jets made the right move in sending Sanchez a wakeup callThis is a good move for the Jets, and not just for Tim Tebow's on-field value. He has shown that he CAN be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Argue all you want about his poor completion percentage, passing motion, accuracy, etc. He was 8-5 as a starter last season on a team that won its division and beat the defending AFC champions in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
It's easy to envision him as just a "Wildcat," changeup guy in New York. But I believe the Jets made this deal for another reason: to either push Mark Sanchez into being the QB they believed he could be when they drafted him, or to discover that his ceiling has been reached and move on. To me, the Jets wanted to create competition from within for their starting QB. Veteran Mark Brunell has been a mentor, not a threat. Tebow will push Sanchez in every way: film room, meetings, weight room, running program, practice reps, Page 6 in the tabloids -- you name it, he will do it. Mark Sanchez, this is your wakeup call.
Huge acquisition for tabloids, but this makes no sense for JetsAcquiring Tebow is huge for the New York tabloids. He'll be the Most Valuable Player in the Big Apple for the sportstalk radio shows. (Sorry, Jeremy Lin.)
It makes a lot less sense for the Jets. This team supposedly wanted to avoid drama and heal a divided locker room after the embarrassing end to last season. Bringing in Tebow invites more problems and it doesn't solve Gang Green's biggest, longstanding weakness: They remain a lousy passing team.
I wouldn't have made the move, but I understand the ideas behind itI would not have done it, but I understand the football reasons behind this decision. Rex Ryan believes that adding a different dimension -- "The Tebow Package" -- will cause opposing defenses to spend time in meetings and practice working on defending it, and less time scheming against the core offense. This should help the Jets. The Tebow Package is different than the Wildcat because Tebow can throw better than a running back and he brings the option game to the offense.
The reason I would not do it is because Tebow is not your long-term answer at QB. All the "Tebowmania" he brings is not worth the distraction and practice reps taken away from Mark Sanchez. Though he will push Sanchez, and that is not a bad thing.
Jets have nothing to lose (and plenty to gain) with Tebow on boardWill this move be great? I think the best answer is this: There's no way it can be bad. You can't say it's controversial when the No. 1 goal of the offseason was to push Sanchez. Even if Tebow stinks, mission accomplished.
Say Tebow can't move the football. Just the fact that he'll help wear the defense down by sledgehammering it is an advantage. Again, even if he stinks that's something else a team has to prepare for. Mission accomplished.
But that won't happen. Tony Sparano is going to give us Wildcat 8.0. The reason the Wildcat stopped being effective is teams finally realized no one is throwing it out of the set. Well, that changes with Tebow, who won't have to worry about managing a whole game. I think he'll even come in as a red-zone QB to aid where the Jets have struggled.
Locker room dysfunction? From someone who ends every sentence with "Thank you and God bless?" Forget it. The Jets didn't get another Santonio Holmes. If Sanchez feels crowded, which is feasible, you know what the answer is? Be a big boy, earn your millions and play better. This won't have any adverse effect on the Jets, except now they might have to go eat a gosh-dad-gummit snack.
Jets still a .500 team because huge holes remain unfilledThis is still an 8-8 or 9-7 football team, barring a huge leap forward by Mark Sanchez. The Jets haven't been able to make other key moves, like adding a pass rusher, that they need. The right side of the offensive line did not play well last season, nor did the wide receivers. On the latter point, the team will be relying on Chaz Schilens if the front office doesn't draft somebody. Does that give anyone pause?
Tim Tebow will not solve those issues. It's doubtful he'll get the starting reins. Think about the investment this organization has in Mark Sanchez. That said, Tebow still provides a matchup nightmare for some teams. With the way the Jets defense keeps teams at bay, playing a run-oriented, Tebow-style game would be an interesting formula. Problem is, he still has to get Sanchez off the field. While Tebow might be effective in packages, pushing the Jets to 11 wins or so is far from likely.