Tim Tebow Criticized By New York Jets Anonymously In News Article, Team Favors Mark Sanchez As Quarterback

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Nov 14, 2012 01:18 PM EST
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow drops back to pass against the Houston Texans during the first quarter of their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey October 8.(Photo : Reuters) "

The New York Jets season has been nothing short of a disaster and the acquisition of Tim Tebow has proven to be just as bad for the franchise.

Head coach Rex Ryan has stuck with Mark Sanchez as his starter for the entire season, but as the Jets struggle more and more, Ryan has to deal with questions from reporters and fans on when he will try Tebow as the starter.

The only problem with that? If Ryan chooses Tebow, he might alienate the rest of his team and lose his locker room for the second straight year.

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According to a report from the New York Daily News, a number of offensive and defensive players as well as team officials, all who remained anonymous, said that Tebow has not improved as a quarterback and that Sanchez is the best option at the position.

"He's terrible," a defensive starter told the Daily News.

Although Sanchez has completed a league-low 52 percent of his passes and thrown a league-high four redzone interceptions, Ryan and many players on the team feel he is the best chance for the team to win.

The Jets have used Tebow sporadically on offense as well as special teams, where he serves as a punt protector. Sanchez was visibly frustrated during Sunday's 28-7 loss at Seattle after completing a 32-yard pass and being pulled to the sidelines for Tebow.

Ryan has remained supportive of Sanchez, even with the fans cheering for a change.

"If that day ever happens, then it happens," Ryan said to ESPNNewYork.com. "But with me, I'm never going to waver. I'm not going to make a decision one way or the other in order to save my job. I'm trying to win games."

Jets left guard Matt Slauson commented on the quarterbacks and supported Sanchez.

"It's not even close," Slauson said to the Daily News. "All the other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark. We don't really have a choice."

The Jets are now 3-6 after the loss to the Seahawks and face the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Against the Seahawks, Tebow was 3-for-3 passing for eight yards and ran four times for 14 yards.

"I don't know how many more losses you can spot somebody before you think you can make the playoffs," Ryan said after the game. "It's about a 2 percent chance at making the playoffs with the record we have and we are going to take that shot."

Owner Woody Johnson has said that Tebow will remain with the team for his three-year contract.

"Are we going to keep Tebow? Absolutely," Johnson said to CNBC on Oct. 9. "He'll be with us for three years... I think he's going to be a real valuable asset in terms of helping us win games."

Johnson was also asked if the team would make a change at quarterback.

"Never is a long time period," Johnson told CNBC. "But I see the same things in Mark Sanchez (as) when I first met him. He's still a young quarterback.... (Quarterback) is probably the most difficult position athletically and mentally that there is in all of sports."

Sanchez has been disappointing this season, but not all of it falls on his shoulders. The Jets lack playmakers on offense and are thin at wide receiver after Santonio Holmes was lost for the season due to an injury.

"I've seen better receiving corps in college than we have on our team," another Jets source told the newspaper.

The franchise has put together a subpar roster for Sanchez to work with and a Jets official agreed.

"Look at some of the players he's throwing to," a Jets official said. "It's garbage."

Rex Ryan and coordinator Tony Sparano said in the preseason they planned to use Tebow as a change-of-pace quarterback for Sanchez and also in wildcat formations to try and throw off the opposing defense. So far neither had worked out well, with Sanchez never finding a way to get into a rhythm and the wildcat being mostly unsuccessful.

"We can't win running that s---," one player told the newspaper.

There was also an article from the Wall Street Journal that questioned if Tebow has gotten "too big" to play quarterback in the NFL after bulking up in the offseason.

The article says: "Tebow has added a dozen pounds of muscle, but the extra armor has done him little good this season with the Jets. His most significant contribution has been as a punt protector; on offense, he has carried the ball 23 times and thrown just three passes, including one on a fake punt. Committed to Mark Sanchez as the starter (for the moment, anyway), the Jets have used Tebow so infrequently that they have put his future at quarterback in doubt-a predicament he may have helped himself into by outgrowing the position."

"That is, at 6 feet 3 and 250 pounds, Tim Tebow may be too big to be an effective NFL quarterback."

One player did support Tebow in the article.

"He's a winner," one team source told the newspaper. "If he stays on the field long enough, usually good things happen."

Tebow might be the first backup player in any sport to lead the league in jersey sales. He has been a good soldier with the Jets, downplaying any controversy with Sanchez and also lining up on punts as a blocker and as a returner on kickoffs, but everyone knows that like any other player, he is itching to start.

One player was asked if Tebow could help the Jets win.

"Hell, no!" another starter said to the Daily News. "You got to keep defenses honest. You just can't line up in the Wildcat all the time. That won't work."

Tebow busted on to the NFL scene as a rookie in 2010 after signing a five-year contract with the Denver Broncos, who drafted him in the first round. While not the most polished quarterback, he showed that he could make plays with his legs and lead the team to points and wins.

He started his first NFL game on Dec. 19, 2010, scoring on a 40-yard touchdown run and throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass. Tebow became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for a touchdown of 30 or more yards and run for a touchdown of 40 or more yards in the same game.

The following year in 2011, Tebow began the season as the backup to Kyle Orton, but supplanted him as the starting quarterback in week six against the Miami Dolphins. Tebow led Denver from a 15-0 deficit in the last three minutes to win the game, 18-15, in overtime. Denver became the first team in NFL history to win a game after being down by at least 15 points with three minutes to play in a game.

He started the rest of the season for the Broncos and led them to the playoffs where they faced off against the Steelers in the first round. He hit wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime for an 80-yard touchdown to seal his first career playoff win.

But the off season took some interesting turns for Tebow. After the Denver Broncos announced they were going to sign free agent Peyton Manning, they traded Tebow to the New York Jets.

The addition of Tebow has only magnified the mismanagement for the Jets franchise and shows a team that is not sure who it wants to be. It has an owner that wants to win headlines more than games and a head coach that can't keep his players from sniping anonymously to the press,

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