It’s looking more and more likely that Tim Tebow will be inactive for the New York Jets in their home game tomorrow afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals. Rex Ryan was criticized after their brutal Thanksgiving Day loss to the New England Patriots when they didn’t inactive Tebow even though he has fractured ribs. If Tebow is indeed unable to play, third-string quarterback Greg McElroy will be active for the first time in his Jets career.
The Jets selected McElroy in the seventh round out of Alabama in the 2011 NFL Draft. McElroy had a very good college career playing in the SEC including leading Alabama to a BCS National Championship in 2009. It’s been puzzling why Ryan has not turned to McElroy yet because he would seem to be the perfect quarterback to play for the coach.
Rex Ryan wants to run the ball, play solid defense and not have his quarterback turn the ball over. If there is one thing we know about Mark Sanchez; it is the fact that he turns the ball over a lot. Sanchez is playing in his fourth season and has 61 interceptions and 39 fumbles in his career. He has only missed one game which came in his rookie season.
McElroy completed 66.3% of his passes at Alabama while throwing for 5691 yards with 39 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. McElory even defeated Tebow in the 2009 SEC Championship game while Tebow was at Florida. Alabama entered the game as underdogs but defeated the Gators by a score of 32-13. McElroy completed 12-of-18 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown in that game to secure MVP honors.
One can’t question McElroy’s toughness either. He played in the BCS National Championship game against the Texas Longhorns with two cracked ribs he suffered against Florida. He only threw eleven passes in the game and connected on six of them.
The knock on McElroy has been that he doesn’t have a big arm but with the way the Jets play offense they don’t need a playmaker. Former quarterback Chad Pennington didn’t have a big arm either but he won a lot of games because he was smart and didn’t turn the ball over. The Jets could use a vintage Pennington, before injuries of course, and they might have that already on the roster in McElroy.
We know Sanchez is going to be on the roster next season due to the guaranteed money on his contract. This doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be the starter. McElroy played against the best competition in college as he was in the SEC (Southeastern Conference). He won games at a football powerhouse like Alabama and should, at the very least, be looked at to see if he can get the job down on the professional level.