March 23rd, 2013 at 11:06 AM
By Donald Lappe
Tim Tebow, starting quarterback for the New York Jets in 2013? Rex Ryan wants you to believe it’s a possibility. It would be easy to pass this off as some classic Jets spin on a bad situation, but let’s bite and consider it as a real scenario. Thinking about the strengths of Tim Tebow and what the Jets offense will look like this season, it might actually make sense. We’ve been down this road before with Tim Tebow as a potential starter, or even as a somewhat significant part of the Jets offense, with no real cooperation from the Jets.
We will now interrupt your regularly scheduled Darrelle Revis trade coverage to bring you a Tim Tebow story. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan claims that Tim Tebow is currently in the mix for the starting quarterback job. Should we just dismiss this, or is there some credence to that statement?
Tim Tebow can work well in an offense that’s not expected to be explosive. That was evidenced in his famous run with the Denver Broncos, as Kyle Orton wasn’t able to get anything done with the talent around. Tim Tebow didn’t put up much better numbers, but he was able to grind out some wins by chewing up clock and making things happen late in games. It was hard to explain, but it happened and Tim Tebow produced wins.
The Jets aren’t shaping up to be an exceptionally explosive offense in 2013. The return of Santonio Holmes should help, along with some steps forward by Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley, plus the addition of Mike Goodson. But it’s not a group that will necessarily make their quarterback better. The Jets don’t look like they have a quarterback on the roster that makes that group better either, whether David Garrard, Mark Sanchez, or anyone else.
With pressure mounting on Rex Ryan and a talent deficit to deal with, why wouldn’t the unexplainable X Factor be in the mix? The Jets aren’t going to be a team that wants to get in a shootout. They would prefer to lull opponents to sleep and get to the fourth quarter within striking distance. That’s the same gameplan that fueled Tebowmania in 2011.
Beyond that, if Tim Tebow isn’t in the Jets plans for 2013, why is he still on the roster? Are the Jets really holding out hope that some team pops up out of nowhere suddenly willing to trade for Tim Tebow?
That’s extremely unlikely. Last offseason, coming off his playoff run with the Denver Broncos, the Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars were the only teams interested in trading for Tim Tebow. The Jaguars have already made it clear they want no part of Tim Tebow now.
If you want to add to the drama, David Lee is the new Jets quarterbacks coach. While Tony Sparano is the head coach who employed the Wildcat first, David Lee is the true architect. He brought the package with him from the Arkansas Razorbacks to the Miami Dolphins. He could easily design a package for Tim Tebow. Or maybe help put together an entire offensive gameplan.
If you were looking to bet on the starting quarterback race for the Jets, Tim Tebow would be far from the favorite. Still, the other competitors are far from sure things. Mark Sanchez is, well, Mark Sanchez. David Garrard hasn’t thrown a pass in a regular season NFL game since 2010. Is it really that outrageous to think he could stick around as an insurance plan?