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Published: December 30, 2012
If we were referring to any others professional sports organization, the most unpredictable and preposterous of scenarios rarely take place. But this is the New York Jets, who have a history of doing the unthinkable.
So before they end their disappointing and nightmarish 2012 season, let’s throw some money down on Double Zero (all of you roulette players know how that goes): By the time that they hold their next mini camp at Florham Park, Tim Tebow will still be wearing Kelly green and white.
Not only that, but Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum will all be long gone (as will offensive coordinator Tony Sparano).
Compete madness, you say? Yes, it is, but let’s take an objective look at how this may all play out. Owner Woody Johnson was the driving force behind the acquisition of Tim Tebow, regardless of how many other people in the organization try to chime in on taking ‘credit’ for that, too. He has been the most outspoken about the former Denver Broncos starting quarterback and rained accolades on him on more than one occasion to the media.
“I think that you can never have too much Tebow,” Johnson said to reporters back in August at training camp. Then he followed that up with this in October: “Are we going to keep Tebow? Absolutely. He’ll be with us for three years.”
The circumstances have changed since both of these statements were made, but have any of them brought Tebow down a notch or the rest of the bunch? If anyone has lost credibility with the guy who signs the checks, it has been Sanchez, Ryan, Tannenbaum and Sparano. Tebow has sat idly by and – according who you believe – stated his case to Ryan at best and asked out of the Wildcat at worst. Either way, frustration sets in after a matter of time for all people, even the pious ones.
It’s hard to believe that Johnson will totally wipe his hands with his big offseason get and be influenced by people he is paying good money to that have not produced. He couldn’t have been happy about seeing Tebow collecting dust on the bench and the mounting losses and slapstick play must only have made it worse.
So Johnson has to make some difficult decisions come Monday and Tebow should be be one of them. Just because the media has him signed, sealed and delivered to Jacksonville doesn’t mean that will take place. The boss seems to have a great liking for the young man and may put his foot down on having him stick around.
The possible scenarios all do not sound prosperous, but Tebow in the mix will at least make things interesting and have the most upside. Say whatever you want about the southpaw, but he has that certain intangible that cannot be measured with statistics. He has been a big winner at every level and judging by his 2011 campaign in Denver, that may be the case again in the NFL. Could the Jets have done any worse if Tebow saw some extensive action in the middle or end of the season?
With that said, the biggest challenge in keeping Tebow and having him anointed the starter will be to jettison the hierarchy that set him up to fail. And Sanchez must be moved, too, for obvious reasons. More on that later.
Picture this possibility: Tebow starting in the spread offense (which has become chic in the league nowadays and has worked) with a new head coach such as Andy Reid, a proven winner who can take the best shot that the media can deliver. A new young, hot shot offensive coordinator or someone with experience like Norv Turner is brought in and they draft (and sign free agents) on the offensive side of the ball for once to give Tebow some real weapons. The less than stellar offensive line will look better because of his scrambling and running abilities and the threat of that will help in bringing up a defender to give the receivers a better chance of getting open.
Now look at the alternative: Ryan stays, as does Sanchez, and the same as above goes in regards to the offensive coordinator, draft and free agency. The Jets improve slightly, but Sanchez is still shaky and the new back-up quarterback is a low-risk type such as Matt Moore or Chad Henne (not exactly Johnny Unitas coming off the bench and as much a threat to win the job as Mark Brunell was).
Ryan will be doing more of the same week in and week out, spinning things to sound positive amidst the barren MetLife wasteland. The fans will continue to see right through the boisterous field boss, whose credibility has taken a huge hit this year.
If the latter takes place and the Jets are once again a loser in 2013, then Johnson will surely clean house and have to start over. So he will have to eat some salary regardless – albeit less – than if he made the moves sooner as opposed to later.
However this goes, will the fans still be muttering to themselves, “Same old Jets?” The chances are much greater if Wrecks Ryan and company are the point men for Gang Green.
Photo By Bill Menzel
Tagged with: Credibility, Denver Broncos, Driving Force, Florham Park, Kelly Green, Mark Sanchez, Matter Of Time, Mike Tannenbaum, Mini Camp, New York Jets, Notch, Objective Look, Offensive Coordinator, Offseason, Professional Sports Organization, Rex Ryan, Roulette Players, Tim Tebow, Training Camp, Wildcat, Woody Johnson