During his first press conference as a New York Jet, Tim Tebow said the word “excited” 45 times with that signature smile that never seems to leave his face.
Tebow, who only touched the ball once in a 30-9 home loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, was asked yet again about his lack of playing time after the game.
“I’m a good competitor and I love playing the game,” he said. “I’m ready and willing whenever they call my number.”
With the trade deadline coming on Thursday at 4 p.m., he has to hope another team calls his number now so he can say bye to the Jets during their bye week. Sure, coach Rex Ryan says the team will use the off week to explore ways in which the team can incorporate Tebow more, but the Jets have no time to explore before they explode.
Ryan should’ve been tinkering with Tebow at the start of the season, not after his team fell to 3-5. He said Tebow would potentially see 20 snaps a game, but he’s only seen a total of 60 through eight games. He’s only thrown three passes and has lined up at receiver enough (four times against Miami) to make you wonder exactly how far the Jets are flying away from reality. Using him as a running back is one thing, but as a receiver? Really?
Either way, Ryan stood by his starting quarterback.
“I think Mark gives us the best chance to win, that’s how I feel,” Ryan said in a low tone on Monday. “Can Tim be successful? Yeah, absolutely, and we need to take a look at that as well. But in my opinion, Mark as the starting quarterback gives, uhh, my football team the best chance to win.”
If that’s true, then there isn’t much more to say about the Jets’ season. Sanchez is only completing 52.9 percent of his passes, which is dead last in the NFL. His 72.8 QB rating is 30th in the NFL.
“It’s tough,” Jets center Nick Mangold said on Monday. “I was there for Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens and that whole business (in 2007). It comes with the territory. New York fans are passionate, and they expect the best.”
First of all, I’m truly sorry for his experiences under Pennington and Clemens. Second of all, this isn’t about New York fans being any more passionate than other fan bases or expecting any better than other fan bases. Any fan who’s hungry for a Super Bowl expects better than Pennington, Clemens and now, Sanchez. Don’t the fans and the players in that struggling offense deserve a chance to succeed with a player that’s proven he can do a lot with little talent around him?
“It’s difficult, especially when you’re dealing with an offense that hasn’t been doing much at any position,” Mangold said. “You just can’t plug somebody in and, all of a sudden, it’s a magic formula and everything is right.”
Maybe it’s a stretch to say Tebow could pick the team up and duplicate what he did in Denver last year, but if he isn’t the “magic formula,” could he at least be a Band-Aid? How many of his teammates believe it was a fluke that a 1-4 dead-in-the-water Denver team turned things around, won a playoff game and made something of its season?
And how does anyone know if it was a fluke anyways? Has Tebow really gotten a chance to show that it wasn’t? At the very least, how can anyone argue that Tebow didn’t show a glimmer of promise considering how little he had played in the NFL? And at this point, that’s all that Jets fans want: a glimmer. It’s better than letting Sanchez manage an uninspired offense for eight more agonizing games just like it was better than letting Kyle Orton do it for 11 more games.
I don’t argue with those that say Tebow hasn’t proven himself in the NFL. He hasn’t. However, Sanchez has had four years to do the same.
Maybe the Jets aren’t the right franchise for Tebow. Outside of the fans and owner Woody Johnson, no one around the organization seemed giddy about the trade in the first place. Sanchez and cornerback Antonio Cromartie initially showed they weren’t thrilled with the move. Jets QB legend Joe Namath said he didn’t like it. After the fans made their feelings known on Sunday, receiver Chaz Schilens took the opportunity to share his.
“That chanting is just B.S. Mark’s the QB,” Schilens told the New York Daily News. “I think the fans are out of place.”
The whole situation makes you wonder if the franchise went for Tebow just so the AFC East-rival Patriots wouldn’t get their hands on another Gator. Does anyone doubt that Bill Belichick would find a way to at least use Tebow in the red zone? That’s something the Jets haven’t done, and they don’t have any legitimate explanation for that.
The trade deadline was extended from 4 p.m. on Tuesday to 4 p.m. on Thursday due to Hurricane Sandy, and trade rumors continue to swirl around the Jaguars. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has done nothing to prove he can be a starting quarterback in the league with numbers that are on par with that of Sanchez.
That may not have been his first choice before but after what’s transpired in New York, Jacksonville is probably one place that would get Tebow “excited” again.