The New York Jets suffered a massive collapse down the stretch last season which cost them a shot at the playoffs. In the aftermath, the Jets aired their dirty laundry to the world, revealing a fractured locker room that backup quarterback Greg McElroy described as “toxic,” and was an all-around circus.
The team responded by bringing in the biggest circus in football, Tim Tebow, via trade with the Denver Broncos to be a backup QB/wildcat/personal protector on punts. Guess who’s not impressed: Tebow’s new teammates.
The New York Daily News talked with more than a dozen Jets players and team officials, and the reviews are less than glowing. “He’s terrible,”one unnamed defensive starter said bluntly. Others were a little kinder with their criticism, saying that Tebow has not improved any of his limited skills since arriving in New York.
Guard Matt Slauson was bold enough to attach his name to his comments, which were highly critical of “The Chosen QB” while supporting starter Mark Sanchez. On the distance between Sanchez and backups Tebow and McElroy: “not even close…We don’t really have a choice.” Well, that’s pretty low praise. What about the backups, though? “We have Greg…and we have an athlete,” Slauson said.
At 3-6 and a perpetual laughing stock, you would think that the Jets would be open to shaking up their lineup and giving some different players the opportunity to play. According to everyone on the team, though, Tebow doesn’t deserve that opportunity.
The consensus seems to be that Tebow is a gimmick, a specialized use quarterback who comes in to run the Wildcat, but who wouldn’t be able to handle to full load of the offense during a game. Tebow supporters will point to the quarterback’s success in Denver last season, but the Broncos completely revamped their offense around Tebow’s skill set, which the Jets don’t seem willing to do.
But surely there’s some chance that the crowd’s thirst for Tebowmania will be quenched, right? “It would take extreme poor play [on the part of Sanchez] like a five-interception game” for Tebow to start, according to a “prominent member of the organization.” “Something where it was just ridiculous. It would take Mark to totally just [censored] the bed and become unglued.”
So if you were holding your breath waiting to see Tim Tebow start for the New York Jets, this is pretty bad news, though not completely unexpected if properly grounded in reality. Tim Tebow will never be the starter for the New York Jets as long as the rest of the team and organization has anything to say about it.