Tuck: Tebow Time In New York

By Mike Tuck
Host, Tuck & O'Neill

This is not an indictment of Mark Sanchez nor an endorsement of Tim Tebow, as much as an obvious observation of a sinking ship.  Mark Sanchez has improved each year in the NFL as his supporting cast on both sides of the ball has gotten worse and worse.  A Jets fan would have hoped he would have improved to a level where he could carry the team and cover up some of those warts.  He has not.

Meanwhile, the Tebow plan, whatever the Jets choose to define that as, has been poorly conceived and executed.  Aside from converting two fake punts, his addition has been more a publicity stunt  and distraction than anything else.  Nobody, aside from his die-hard supporters and perhaps the Jets, really views him a viable alternative to play quarterback and lead the Jets.  There remains a morbid curiosity of what will happen if and when he plays, and plays a lot however.

What stands out to this point is how little they’ve used the bulldozer in short yardage and redzone situations.  Tebow has always excelled in those areas, and it was assumed (at least to give the Jets full credit) that he would be used frequently during those times to justify his addition to the football team.  The addition of former Dolphins coach Tony Sporano on board as the offensive coordinator furthered the speculation that the wildcat would become a fixture in what the Jets do each week.  Tebow has not been use much at all, and therefore has just been the most talked about bench player in the world.

I don’t think Tebow will save New York.  I wrote in the offseason that Tebow and Sanchez are very similar.  I bet that surprises many of you.  Neither can carry this cast of misfits.  The injuries on the offensive side of the ball and weaknesses along the offensive line make this a tough fix and a team doubtful to make the playoffs and with no chance to win a Super Bowl.

The reason I say it is Tebow time is that he can be utilized as a weapon for a team with very few right now.  They’ve scored 70 offensive points in 5 games.  They need to play low-scoring, grind-it-out games to have a chance at winning.  And that means more running, and more Tebow.  He doesn’t need to start, but he needs to play.  If the Jets approach this like a split-QB situation they may have a chance to stay in games.  Their defense isn’t dominant, but it is solid, and special teams have sparked them with two return touchdowns already this year.  Play it close to the vest, like the 2008 Dolphins with Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown taking the snaps.

If Rex Ryan can stay in the playoff hunt, he can perhaps stave off the wolves after his job this season.  It probably won’t be pretty, but at this point it is about survival.  You brought in Tebow for a reason other than photo ops and newspaper cover stories, right?

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