The New York Jets are a very curious case. They imploded last season to finish 8-8, which isn’t a bad record, but for a team with such lofty expectations and talent, it was a disaster. The question is, was that implosion a one time thing, or a continuing trend. If the Jets play up to their talent level, they would be an automatic wildcard team. They have a top 10 defense, with the leagues best tandem of cover corners, and a strong running game.
They also have a QB who has proven he has the magic hand late in games, and excels on play action and boot legs. Sounds like that fits perfectly into their system right? If the Jets had gone by their system, the season could have turned out better. The problem was they did not. In 2009, the first year of the Jets back to back AFC Championship games, the Jets run to pass ration was 58.1/41.9. In 2011 when they imploded and finished 8-8, the Jets ratio was 41.8/58.2.
There are other factors, and to say this is the only reason is absurd; however, playcalling must be called into question. Former OC Brian Schottenheimer and current HC Rex Ryan didn’t see eye to eye. Rex now went out and found a personality to match his in Tony Sparano. The Jets are looking to flip the script and go back to a very run dominate team. That bodes well for them.
The question is, have they brought in talent in the places they need it to get them over the hump if the new playcalling alone doesn’t. (and it won’t)
The Jets brought in hard hitting strong safety LaRon Landry who has injury concerns, and backup QB Tim Tebow. These are the only 2 names which most casual fans will even know. Landry doesn’t fit the hole at safety, the Jets need a good covering free safety to match up on tight ends. Tim Tebow will head the wildcat package, and could push Sanchez to be a better QB, but will these 2 alone give the Jets the push to make the playoffs? The answer is no.
The Jets are such a circus at the moment that no one can tell if they are trending up or down. Will the implosion bring them closer? Will Tony Sparano turn the offense into a smash mouth running unit? Will Rex Ryan find the pulse of the locker room and bring his troops back together like only his charisma can? No one knows. The Jets look like an oscilloscope on the trend meter. They are a steady swing of up and down. There is no way to really gain a clear picture until the draft. Then we will see if the Jets have brought in personnel to push them over the edge.
Much has been made of the Jets recent acquisition of backup QB Tim Tebow. The media has been in a frenzy ever since the Jets made it official, and even before. Every former player and coach who has a microphone is weighing in with their opinions. Most think that bringing in Tebow was a terrible decision. Let me pose some questions to them.
A few weeks before the Jets gave Sanchez his contract extension, every analyst was saying the Jets needed to bring in a backup who could push Mark Sanchez. These same analysts said, if Sanchez were to go down to injury the Jets need a backup who could play, and not Mark Brunell. They were also saying it was time for the Jets to stop coddling Sanchez. Here is my question: Did the Jets not do everything you asked?
I for one am not a fan of the Tebow move, but I think its a media created problem. Tebow will push Sanchez and no one will deny that. During his career, Sanchez has excelled when the pressure was on, save the end of last season. I credit that to his team falling around him just as much as him falling. He can’t shoulder all of that blame. If Sanchez were to fall to injury, Tebow isn’t the best QB, but he is a leader. He would lead better than Drew Stanton, I feel like that’s a given. The Jets also showed Sanchez that his time for coddling is over. It is time for Sanchez to put up or shut up. I think this was the Jets way of showing him that. If Sanchez can’t handle Tebow on the team, he’s not and will never be the leader they need. No one is expecting the Jets to reach the Super Bowl this season, but a playoff run isn’t out of the question. If Sanchez is pushed and fight back, then this is a brilliant move by the Jets. If Sanchez is pushed and gives up, no one will blame them for dumping him.
Tebow might be a distraction, but the Jets will always have distractions. Its been the nature of the team since their inception. They are not, and will never be the Giants. No real Jets fan wants them to be. The Jets are the little guys, the underdogs who are tired of being stepped on. Sanchez doesn’t fit that. He is a pretty boy from the west coast, and the Jets are going to see if he can stand with the same tenacity as the working class of New York City.
Remember Broadway Joe? He might have been the biggest pretty boy to ever play, but his knees were worse than any player I know coming into the league. He kept fighting, and when someone pushed, he pushed back. He was tougher than he was pretty, and its time the Jets made sure Sanchez is that way too.
Tim Tebow picked the New York Jets over the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Adam Schefter, Tim Tebow got to decide where he went. Back to the state of Florida where he is a hero, or to New York. He picked the Jets. No word yet on why. The Jaguars aren’t a top team, and don’t look to be for awhile. He has a much greater chance of starting in Jacksonville, but a better chance of a playoff run with the Jets. It’s just an interesting nugget that’s worth thinking about. Maybe Tebow thinks he can help fix the Jets locker room and bring the team together. A mission trip if you will, to the big apple.
The Mark, Rex, and Tim Show In a stunning move, the Jets agreed to trade for former Broncos QB Tim Tebow. The move is currently in question over the language in Tebow’s contract. The contract states that if traded, a team must back pay the Broncos over $5 million. The Jets apparently didn’t read the fine print, and now have problems with it. If they backed out they could have mud on their face, but would that be better than Tebow on their roster? I’ll give you the good perspective and bad perspective on the matter below.
Tim Tebow Locker Room Savior - The Jets locker room last season was anything but unified. It seems like many players on the Broncos roster were apart over Tebow until they met and worked with him. Shortly thereafter they all fell in line behind him. Tebow is a unifying force, and I think that was a large factor in bringing him to the team. If he is able to quell the squall that is the Jets locker room, and have the team play as one then he is worth it. The Jets have talent all over, but the characters don’t always match. If all the talent the Jets had played as one because of a healthy, unified, locker room the little brother in NYC would be dangerous. Tebow would fit perfectly into the wildcat style offense that Tony Sparano put in place in Miami in 2009. The Jets have continue to run their version of the wildcat, and will presumably run it again this season under Sparano. Mark Sanchez openly didn’t like being split out or taken off the field during the wildcat, but that could be remedied. I felt like Schotty ran it at some curious times last season, getting Mark out of rhythm. Sanchez isn’t unathletic. While Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley are more athletic, maybe Sanchez will get worked into the wildcat somehow. Think of this scenario:
Wildcat formation direct snap to Sanchez. Option right, flip to Tebow. Tebow runs right, flips back to Sanchez. Sanchez hits a streaking Chaz Schilens on a post route.
Not too outlandish to be ran, not too outlandish to actually work. I’m no offensive guru at all, and even I can come up with very interesting plays utilizing Tim Tebow. The Jets would be in their best interest to list Tebow as a RB this season. That wouldn’t stop the downside I’m about to mention, but it could help.
WE WANT TEBOW! WE WANT TEBOW! - The immediate reaction of many Jets fans, and football fans all over was, controversy. Last season in Denver, the fans rioted to get Kyle Orton, a better QB that Tebow, benched in favor of Tebow. Sanchez, throughout his career, has slumped and had bad games, and at times, multiple bad games in a row. If that happens this season, the Tebow chants will start. That would be bad for the already downward trending Sanchez. This could be a disaster
Manning Signs with Denver. What of Tebow? Peyton has made his home in Mile High. What now becomes of previous Broncos’ starting QB Tim Tebow? Will he wind up in the AFC East?
New England Patriots: Chance: Moderate to low Reason: New England would be a spot where I’m sure Tim Tebow would love to play for. The Patriots are an organization that is built on contributors not stars. Tom Brady is undeniably a star, but he is surrounded by players who aren’t. He is surrounded by players who come in and contribute and at the end of the day, they are a strong team for it. There is a sense of unity in the locker room. If Tebow were to come to the Patriots, he would almost undeniably be moved from QB to another position. The Patriots have a developmental QB in Ryan Mallett, and he has more potential as a true QB than Tebow. The question is, what position could Tebow play that he would be better at than the Patriots current option?
Miami Dolphins: Chances: Moderate Reason: Miami doesn’t have a real need for Tebow, but I’m not willing to rule them out. The signing of David Gerrard means the chances are lower, but not ruled out. Miami’s ownership wants to put butts in the seats. If they signed Tebow, and attempted to play him at QB it could spell disaster for the team. New HC Joe Philbin is wanting to run a precision passing scheme, like he ran with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Tebow couldn’t do that. They would have to strip their new HC of his power and his scheme for a single player. Miami has a stellar defense, and their offense has so many needs, that putting Tebow into a position he has never played and making him a starter could be beyond risky. He needs time to build skills at a new position if a team wants him to move from his QB role, and Miami doesn’t have that option. Miami is so desperate to make a splash in free agency, I’m not willing to rule this out.
New York Jets: Chance: Low Reason: The Jets have a developmental QB in Greg McElroy. This means if the Jets were to sign Tebow, they would need to move him to another position. Their needs are free safety, pass rusher, and offensive tackle. Tebow wouldn’t be talented enough at any of those positions for the Jets to trade for him and hope for him to start. The Jets locker room needs leaders, and Tebow is undeniably a leader, but how much of a leader can you be from the bench?
Buffalo Bills: Chance: Moderate Reason: The Bills had Tebow on their draft board but opted for CJ Spiller instead. The Bills have no developmental QB, and are looking for big names. Tebow may not be a big talent as far as he NFL in concerned, but as far as fan’s go, Tebow is a star. He has the ability to make non-football fans football fans. The Bills have a very loyal fanbase, but are a small market. Bringing in Tebow could bring more fans in to the Bills. I feel the Bills are the perfect underdog market for new football fans and Tebow followers. The Bills might have trouble finding suitable players to send to Denver to get Tebow, but it is a real possibility. He might not be a step towards the betterment of the team, but he could be a step towards the betterment of the organization.
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