I saw a tweet this weekend from a member of the New York media that read “Tim Tebow runs, the crowd cheers.” Of course, the sarcastic follow up that said “Tim Tebow throws, crowd boos” was more meaningful.
With the monster extension the Jets gave Mark Sanchez over the offseason, there is little doubt that he is the starter in week 1 for this team. So to say there is a “camp battle” that will be ongoing through camp and the preseason is just a dig for ratings and media attention.
But after the dismal performance by both this weekend in camp, it is clear that there is a different kind of battle going on here; which one is worse?
In 11 on 11 drills yesterday, both Tebow and Sanchez finished 1 for 7 on passing attempts. Not exactly what you like to see, even if you are a running football team. In fact, head coach Rex Ryan, who is never a stranger to a good soundbite, added “Yeah, “I thought they were terrific…I hope we can run the ball” with a sarcastic tone.
When it comes to personal likability, Tebow is going to win that contest in a slam dunk, as he would against most players in the league. But as far as on field talent goes, well it’s hard to believe Sanchez is making that much more cash than Tebow. Make no mistake about it, this is New York, not Denver. Fans there have zero tolerance for shortcomings on the field just because you’re a nice guy. They aren’t like some fans in Denver, who many still say would prefer to have Tebow over Peyton. Yes, I’m not kidding. They do exist.
Most teams usually have only one bad quarterback, but New York is big enough for two football teams, why not two mediocre to bad quarterbacks?
As far as popularity goes, Tebow is still beloved, even in the big apple. He shattered Sanchez’ jersey sales record and the fans cheered loudly for him in his training camp debut. But he did hear some jeers after bouncing a couple of throws (as well as taking his shirt off at the end of practice).
Seriously, at this point, one has to wonder what the real plan behind the trading for Tebow is. Are the Jets really planning to use some wildcat plays? Is there any scenario that sees him replacing Sanchez if/when he struggles? Was it simply a move to motivate Sanchez to work harder? He hasn’t had any real competition since day one and many have speculated that this was the problem behind his lack of work ethic.
After a late season meltdown that had public infighting happening in the locker room, Sanchez has been trying to douse the media’s attempts to drum up a quarterback controversy. But as we saw last year, the media is obsessed with the young Tebow and have no plans to simply stop talking about him.
The plans of having two starting quarterbacks, or a 1a and 1b type scenario has never worked out. It isn’t fair to them or the team, as it prevents any real chemistry from developing. However, Rex Ryan responds to those critiques by stating ““I know the history of this league. You always say if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. But tell that to the 49ers when they had Steve Young and Joe Montana. I think they won a few games; I am not really sure.”
The difference is, both of those guys were capable of being big time starters in this league. It’s quite a stretch to say that about these two.