Tebowmania hitting Broadway? Not if Jets are smart
Tim Tebow sporting a #15 hunter green jersey. Tim Tebow taking on the New York media day in and day out. Tim Tebow as the team’s lovable back-up quarterback.
I understand if you’re suddenly feeling verclempt. Take a moment to talk amongst yourselves and regroup. I’ll give you a topic: Jets Nation revolting against former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for his unorthodox schemes and ability to outplay himself.
Since we’re talking about it … many were critical of Schottenheimer’s Wildcat offense, first revived by the Tony Sparano-led Miami Dolphins in 2008, and how it took away from Mark Sanchez’s flow of the game. That was with wide receiver Brad Smith running the package, not the polarizing Tebow.
ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that the Jets are “legitimately interested” in the Broncos quarterback for two reasons: 1. The possibility of bettering the offense by using him in their Wildcat package and 2. To improve the team’s locker room and perception of it. If the Jets were to trade for Tebow, they may improve the former but at the expense of the latter.
From a pure football perspective the move appears sound. The Jets and new offensive coordinator Sparano have each previously used the Wildcat formation with great success. After ranking 22nd in team rushing in 2012’s 8-8 season Rex Ryan is looking to rededicate themselves to the “ground and pound” mentality. Also there’s the notion that Sanchez plays considerably better with an effective ground game to sell his play-action and bootleg roll-outs. Having a player with Tebow’s versatility allows all of that while taking away hits from the injury-prone Shonn Greene. After all Tebow did gain 660 yards on 5.6 yards per carry on the top rushing team in the NFL — two areas where the Jets ranked in the bottom third of the league.
They could get all that for swapping a 5th or 6th round pick.
There is, however, a ripple effect to the trade that would reverberate the walls of their Florham Park practice facility and echo across the Hudson. What does the move really say about their assurance in Sanchez? After the off-season he has endured — with the team doing due diligence on Manning, publicly stating their disappointment in his development and teammates questioning his leadership — this may send a sensitive Sanchez over the edge.
The team just gave a contract extension to their former first-round selection, a publicity stunt to clear the air of any ill feelings and move on to the season which drew a mixed bag of receptions. Sanchez-supporters are growing smaller and the locker room is recently removed from surgery on the divided locker room that proved to be the fatal wound on the 2011 season. How long would it be before fans (or teammates) start calling for Tebow to step in and take over if Sanchez stumbles out of the gates?
And the team certainly shouldn’t say they’re looking to “improve perception of the locker room”. Instead of improving the perception, why not just improve the locker room? Tebow is no cure-all in negating the negative media attention. Woody Johnson and the Jets front office have been in a back-page feud with the cross-town Giants for who controls New York and transactions in the past have proved he cares about winning that battle (i.e. Brett Favre, Rex Ryan, Plaxico Burress, etc.). What Johnson is failing to realize that there is no miracle or player that can be brought in to put the locker room problems to rest.
Call it yet another publicity stunt done to keep the team in the news. Call it a team doing their due diligence in making an effort to improve themselves in any way possible. Whatever you call it, just hope the Jets call it quits on the Tebow trade talks before throwing another chink in the chain.