Why did the Jets pick up Tim Tebow?
It's a somewhat-rhetorical question with no clear answer. At the onset of the season the team acknowledged that it would seek a legitimate backup who could push Mark Sanchez if need be, an at least subconscious admission that Mark Brunell was in no position to take over for Sanchez should he struggle as many GGN users already knew. The first name called upon was Drew Stanton. The backup for the Lions looked passable in relief for Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill.
4 days later the Jets acquired Tim Tebow and a 7th round draft pick from the Denver Broncos for a 4th and 6th round pick, and flipped Stanton to the Indianapolis Colts for a nominal gain. The flurry of speculation instantly began and never quite died down. A large vocal minority called for or predicted Tebow would eventually take over the starter role. Some saw him as the capable backup that was promised. Mike Westhoff said Tebow would play a large role on special teams. Other staff said Tebow will be utilized in the Wildcat and force teams to waste time preparing for a two-QB system. The more jaded of us condemned the move as a financial ploy to increase ticket sales.
Tim Tebow has not consistently done any of these things. Part of the reason for this is something even the most staunch Sanchez supporters rarely invoke: QB is a passing position and no matter how bad Mark Sanchez is performing, he still gives the team a better chance to win than an option QB who cannot consistently complete passes at any distance.
The other half of the reason is that even if and when Tebow is in a scenario suited to his strengths or is doing well, the coaching yanks him when things are going well and puts him in when Sanchez should be under center. You cannot overvalue momentum, and in regards to Tebow the coaching and FO take the position most likely to kill it. The team drops him in at simple but critical positions like punt protector, and when it inevitably ends in disaster the entire trajectory of a game is changed. Since week 1 the Jets have been so consumed with forcing Tebow into some sort of role...any role whatsoever...that it has neutered Tebow's development at any position. Would any coach reasonably expect Tebow to succeed when he is used so erratically?
This week, increasingly embattled Jets owner Woody Johnson expressed dismay at the teams current record and dismissed any notion that his motive is profit and not building a winning franchise. Unfortunately for Woody, they are more or less interconnected concepts. Woody had this to say:
You guys have been accusing me of this phony story of me being more concerned with PSLs or cash or something else...my job; one, two and three; is to win games. That's why I got into football to begin with. It's not to sell PSLs or to sell hot dogs.
Hot dogs, huh? They say the difference between being eccentric and insane is how much money you have. I accuse the media of fabrication of stories as much as the next Jets fan, but give us a break here. Woody has been talking about personal seat licensing sales ever since he bought the team. Johnson would practically start salivating and wringing his hands menacingly every time someone uttered the phrase "PSL". And I have to be honest with you; when Woody Johnson says his is unconcerned with profit, he is bold faced lying. It doesn't even really matter, as winning and making money in the NFL are practically the same concepts. By claiming he is unconcerned with revenue, Woody undermines his own credibility and insults those of us who he has been parroting the same few things to for years.
So what's the current situation? We have an untradeable, more or less uncuttable starting QB who is easily the most overpaid player in the NFL that we're handcuffed to for another year. The trade deadline has passed, any notion of flipping Tim to the Jaguars or another team was clearly just another pipe dream of those hoping the FO would do something that makes sense. We have coaches that won't make a change no matter how bad thing get and have said as much, and I'm not even sure I disagree. We have a wildcat that is rotated in and out at the least sensible time, every single time. We have a guy that's never succeeded as anything but an option QB being rotated around to countless other positions, and failing.
And now we have a tanking season, and with that, tanking sales. By misusing Tebow like they have ever since March 21st, and by leaving him on the pines even in the situations where it actually makes sense to use him, the Jets are failing even in their alleged ulterior motive of making money. Tebow is nothing more than another hyped name that the Jets took a chance on, and while risks pay dividends they also ruin entire rosters. It could have worked under the ideal circumstances, but the Jets never came close to creating the right atmosphere. By waiting this far into the season to make any change, the Jets ensured that this signing is 100% fruitless. You're not going to sell any PSL's with a 3-6 record, it doesn't matter who is under center.
This indictment starts at the owner and GM and runs right on down to the coaches and players. Woody and Mike Tannenbaum chase a name whether or not it makes sense. How many hyped (and overpriced) names with big upside have we seen signed that probably hurt as much as they helped? Rex, Sparano, and Westhoff completely fail in the utilization of Tebow and when something works for him, they yank him. How many questionable roster or depth chart calls have there been this year alone? The fact that we have people like Wayne Hunter staunchly supported for so long before being successfully replaced by a no-name (while Hunter himself improves with his new team) suggests that the Jets coaches have no clue how to properly use or evaluate the tools they have at their disposal. Neither QB's presence has enhanced the abilities or performance of the other. Personnel issues develop across the board as the team lacks a leader, and other players start ripping Tebow for no justifiable reason to the media.
There isn't a single name in this organization that is not culpable in the huge disservice done to Jets fans and Tim Tebow himself alike. Make sure to come to the next meeting of Misusers Anonymous, hosted weekly at Florham Park. Stick with it and keep coming back.
If you're so concerned with winning first Mr. Johnson, explain to me why you signed Tim Tebow. Or failing that, maybe a member of GGN can sell this one to me. Someone tell me where logic fits in to this years QB equation.