Jets dragging Tebow through the mud


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has been abused and misused by his team this season. Photo by: sportiqe / Flickr

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has been abused and misused by his team this season. Photo by: sportiqe / Flickr

Just three years into his NFL career and it seems like a lot of people from around the league are already writing off quarterback Tim Tebow.

Obviously, there is the media who never thought he could be an NFL-caliber quarterback and football fans who never liked him in the first place, thinking Tebow doesn’t belong under center. But the worst offender of not giving this young man credit or a realistic chance to prove himself is his own team, the New York Jets. First the Jets traded for Tebow, giving his faithful an unrealistic hope that the 25-year-old actually might start if the team struggled this season.

It looked as if New York was serious and somewhat committed to Tebow. The hiring of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano seemed like it would be a blessing for Tebow because he has been known to be a fan of the Wildcat offense. The decline of Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was also a lingering implication that left fans optimistic that Tebow would start at some point this season. 

Now the Jets are 5-7. Sanchez was pulled in New York’s recent 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals after throwing three interceptions and backup Greg McElroy came on in relief to pull out the squeaker. Given, Tebow was injured, but it’s already starting to sound like Sanchez is probably done as this team’s starter and head coach Rex Ryan will probably go with McElroy instead of the guy who the Jets gave up two valuable (fourth rounder and sixth rounder) picks for.

Currently in the NFL, a lot of talk about fairness is taking place in San Francisco with head coach Jim Harbaugh electing to start sophomore quarterback Colin Kaepernick over the 49ers’ usual No. 1 quarterback, Alex Smith. The 49ers were already more or less playoff bound when Harbaugh made the decision, but he did it anyway because Kaepernick simply can give San Francisco something that Smith can’t. It seems like the same situation is beginning to brew in New York. However, in the Jets’ case, their quarterback controversy isn’t between the two guys who were thought to be in a quarterback battle at the beginning of the season.

If Tebow is healthy for this Sunday’s slate of games and McElroy starts, then it would be like the Jets are giving the middle finger to Tebow. If Sanchez starts, it’s really no big deal because let’s face it, as crazy as it sounds, this squad for some reason still believes that Sanchez is the future of their franchise. It’s clearly not Tebow with the whole way the coaches have handled his playing time.

This weekend would be the perfect test for Tebow. He plays a weaker Jacksonville Jaguars defense and he’ll have a whole lot more on his side. Tebow is a Jacksonville native and he won a Heisman and two National Championships in nearby Gainsville for the Florida Gators in college. To say the least, Tebow would be comfortable with the start.

But that doesn’t mean it will happen. In fact, if I were a betting man, I would say Tebow will never see the field this season. And the worst part about that, is the guy hasn’t done anything wrong to deserve such treatment. If anything, Tebow deserves the shot because he has had to put up with the circus that is the New York Jets. As soon as Tebow arrived in New York, he had players calling him out. Then a few weeks ago, his own teammates were calling him “terrible” and throwing out the smack talk without their names attached to it.

Even if you don’t like Tebow, you still have to feel bad for him and the way he has been treated by the New York Jets. This situation is one like I’ve never seen. So much negative talk is devoted to the backup quarterback who goes out every Sunday and at every practice with his head held high. The Jets coaches must know something I don’t. Time after time, Ryan stands up for him, but then won’t even consider him to be at the top of the depth chart.

I don’t know why Tebow puts up with it. Many people are probably thinking that he did this to himself because he chose the Jets after it was made apparent that the Denver Broncos were going to trade him after signing Peyton Manning. I’m not buying that at all. I just don’t believe Tebow would have elected the New York Jets, a team that more or less represents the exact opposite of what Tebow is all about. The fact is that the Jets offered two draft picks for him whereas the Jaguars only offered one, so I simply just don’t buy that the decision was truly his.

But for now, Tebow is stuck wearing the New York green and white, colors that have been dragged through the mud by the likes of Rex Ryan and a handful of pre-madonna players. It’s just too bad that they have to drag such a great person like Tim Tebow through the grime with them.

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