During the opening of organized team activities Thursday, Tim Tebow was used as a punt protector on special teams. Next week it could be a Wildcat quarterback, or H-back, or backup tight end, or some other role on special teams.The Jets are wisely experimenting with Tebow early. He is, first and foremost, a solid football player. There are not many who will doubt Tebow's athleticism,character and work ethic. It's up to the Jets to find a way to put Tebow on the field in a way that gets the most out of his unique skills.But what Tebow is not, in my opinion, is a franchise NFL quarterback. The Jets would be in trouble during an important fourth season under coach Rex Ryan if Tebow is thrust into that role.
Tebow struggled at quarterback again Thursday by throwing two interceptions to Jets linebacker Bart Scott and safety Yeremiah Bell in practice. Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez had a much better day, according to reports.But Tebow certainly can help New York if the coaching staff is creative enough. Tebow also can hurt the team if he is asked to do too much, which would include leading the Jets as their starting quarterback.
We interrupt Tebow-mania to bring you the Jets' starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, who chatted with reporters Thursday after an OTA session. Some of the highlights of that conversation :
ē On whether he feels differently on the field with everyone watching him and Tim Tebow: "I donít really think about it while weíre playing. No offense to Tim, Iím not really thinking about Tim. Iím thinking about the play we have, the protection we have, what potential blitz weíre going to get and making sure everybodyís lined up in the right spot. So, my mind is racing a million miles an hour. I feel good, I feel like the system is coming along and nothing's really changed that way, Iím focused on football."
ē On whether the offseason feels more competitive with Tebow here: "I put a lot of pressure on myself. I think you guys know that. Everybody in the building knows that, that I want to make it right for me and this team. Whether we have Matt Simms, or (G.J.) Kinne, or (Greg) McElroy, or if it happens to be Tim Tebow behind me, thatís fine. It doesnít matter. Iím playing hard and trying to get this thing right for all of us in here."
ē On what experiences he can draw from over his last three seasons to help him overcome the scrutiny because of Tebow being here: "Itís a new experience, but like you said, Iíve got plenty to draw on. The highs and lows of a season ... understanding that this thing is a marathon, not a race ... donít get caught up in who completed what ball and who didnít. Donít even let your mind go there. Itís not worth the time, itís a waste. Just focus on the next play, have a short memory and keep playing. Be the leader this team needs."
ē First impressions of rookie WR Stephen Hill: "Heís a great player. Heís always got a smile. Heís one of those guys who loves coming in the building, and loves to learn. Heís a big, strong, fast kid. Heís a sponge, which is exactly what you want from a young guy like that."
ē On new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano: "He doesnít smile too often. If you catch one, you better save it. Theyíre few and far between. Sometimes itís not a smile, itís a smirk. You never know. But heís tough on us, heís fair, heís an old-school guy and he wants things done right and thatís exactly what we need."
ē On looking to Eli Manning for inspiration because he is in the same city: "I look at that as kudos to him for doing a great job and thriving under that pressure. Look where heís at today, two Super Bowl rings and heís on the top of the world and doing a great job and he deserves it. Heís put in a lot of hard work so you look at it and admire it. Thatís a guy who really did a good job."
ē On whether heís tired of answering questions about Tebow: "It's only OTAs." (Smiling.)
Not for nothing but I would take Fitz or Garrard over Sanchez right now. 2nd is way more credit then he should get here IMO. Fitz has put up better #s 3 years in a row now. Garrard may be coming off an injury but was a very good QB in Jax who never gave him the kind of weapons Sanchez has had. I'm not saying Sanchez is garbage but he still hasn't proven he can be even an average starter in this league. Garrard at least has proven that and Fitz is closer IMO.
1. Alex Smith, 49ers
2. Sam Bradford, Rams
3. John Skelton/Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
4. Matt Flynn, Seahawks
And this is a joke it has to be. Smith is not and never will be even an average starter. Smith didn't even average over 200 yards per game last year. He hasn't had a 300 yard game sense week 5 of 2010. lol That means his own coaches don't trust him with the ball. Skelton average 239.1 ypg with 11 TDs in like 8 games. Sam 216.4 in 10 games and only had 6 INTs. His low QBR is only do to the fact they had no WRs at all last year. Their best WR was a bust throw away in Lloyd. Who he only played like 5 games with. Flynn well is a question mark but when you know Smith is a bust WTF. Smith should be last on this list if he even starts. Colin Kaepernick and Johnson will be right there when he struggles.
The AFC East blog continues its rankings this offseason. Sunday, we take a look at the offenses in the division.
No. 1: New England Patriots
Analysis: No debate here. New England has the best quarterback, the best receivers and the best tight ends in the AFC East. It's really not even close. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady leads the way and continues to play at an elite level, despite turning 35 in August. Receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski are both Pro Bowlers, and teammates Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez also are dangerous. The only question on this team is the running game. New England lost leading rusher BenJarvus Green-Ellis in free agency, and he was a good fit. The Patriots will try to fill the hole with youngsters Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead. Free-agent Joseph Addai also will get a shot.
No. 2: Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Bills have the potential to be solid on offense. The big question is, can quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick prove he is the long-term solution? Fitzpatrick looked fine early in 2011 and fell off in the second half of last season. Injured ribs were mentioned as one of the reasons. Running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller should be one of the best one-two punches in the NFL this year. Steve Johnson is a solid receiver coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. The Bills also have a versatile offensive line that fits their wide open style. The Bills still need to find their No. 2 receiver. David Nelson filled the void at the end of last year, but he's better in the slot. Donald Jones is coming back from injury and rookie T.J. Graham will get a hard look. If the Bills figure that out, their offense can be dangerous.
No. 3: New York Jets
Analysis: New York was ranked 25th in offense last year, which was a major disappointment. This group underachieved and can do better next season. That is the task of new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. He must get this group on the same page and playing more efficient. This is a big year for quarterback Mark Sanchez, who must reduce his turnovers and make more plays. Backup quarterback Tim Tebow also will play a role, especially in the Wildcat offense. Shonn Greene is coming off his first 1,000-yard season, but I'm still not sure heís a franchise tailback back. Receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller can make plays if Sanchez is able to get them the football in big spots. Pass protection also needs to improve. Sanchez was pummeled last year and took a lot of big shots.
No. 4: Miami Dolphins
Analysis: This is the only AFC East team entering training camp with a quarterback competition. Incumbent Matt Moore and veteran David Garrard have the inside track for the starting job. Rookie first-round pick Ryan Tannehill also won't be ruled out, although most expect him to hold a clipboard. The Dolphins have a lot of uncertainty at receiver. Brian Hartline (35 receptions in 2011) is the teamís No. 1 receiver. Davone Bess, Legedu Naanee and Clyde Gates also will fight for major roles in the offense. Dolphins rookie head coach Joe Philbin says he doesn't need big-name receivers in the passing game. But these players have to get open for the quarterback, whoever that may be, to be successful. Miami's running game is the strength of the offense, with tailback Reggie Bush coming off his first 1,000-yard season. But this group needs a lot of work in the first year running a West Coast offense.