Tim Tebow's Impact on the New York Jets

Paul SmytheCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos sits on the bench in the second half against the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

From their highly talked about appearance on the television series "Hard Knocks", to the upheaval amongst their locker room, to their chatty head coach Rex Ryan, the New York Jets are one of the most discussed teams in the NFL.

Ryan has guaranteed a Super Bowl victory year after year; and while he did lead the Jets to the AFC Championship in his first two seasons, the Jets failed to even make the playoffs in 2011.

Current Jets starting QB Mark Sanchez has been heavily scrutinized during his entire tenure with the New York Jets, and rightfully so. The Jets traded up from the 17th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft to select Sanchez at No. 5, and he has not been worth anywhere close to that.

He has yet to throw for 3,500 yards in a season and has been a turnover machine, accumulating 26 total turnovers in 2011, tied for second most in the league.

Since the start of the Ryan/Sanchez era in New York, the Jets' average defensive ranking is third; compare that to their average passing yards ranking which is at No. 25.

Stats don't always reveal the absolute truth, but they do in this case. The bright side with Sanchez is he has improved in each of his three seasons, though he has a long way to go.

Enter one Tim Tebow: probably the most debated, most loved and most well-known player in the NFL.

Another first-round pick, Tebow is one of the hardest working, dedicated and passionate players that I believe the world of football has ever seen. His leadership qualities are through the roof, and the game-winning drives he helped lead for the Denver Broncos were about as ecstatic and unconventional as could be.

But, everyone knows Tebow's largest flaw and a huge flaw at that: his inconsistency as a passer. He had the lowest completion percentage of any QB in 2011 at 45.6 percent, and currently has a 9-8 record as a starter.

So.....what's the point in the Jets signing Tebow? 

From the sound of it, they now have two QBs who are far from proven. While this is true, there are a number of benefits and reasons why I believe the Jets want Tebow, and I believe it can do nothing but help.


Challenging Sanchez for his starting spot will never hurt, and if it does it will reveal weakness. Tebow should and will motivate Sanchez, more so than any other point in Sanchez's NFL career.

An incredible leader like Tebow can only help a locker room that is as disregarded as the Jets'. I firmly believe that Tebow's leadership was a main factor in the Broncos' 2011 season, a season that ended after a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Leadership, along with a heavy dose of "Divine Intervention."

Tebow's sheer upside is arguably worth the acquisition. A lot of folks don't see much upside, as his passing skills hinder his potential as a consistent starter. This is a big question mark as his passing does in fact need a TON of work, but Tebow practically has every other quality a team looks for in a franchise QB. If Tebow strives to improve his pass efficiency, I believe he would be a very good QB, especially in the win column.

I would have to assume ticket and jersey sales were and are in mind, which certainly doesn't hurt matters. Tebow had the second best-selling jersey in the NFL this past season.

When Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum was asked why the Jets had interest in Tebow, he responded: "Because (Tony) Sparano and (Rex) Ryan want to run the 'wildcat'; they see Tebow as a dynamic playmaker." Tannenbaum went on to say that Sanchez would remain the starter while Tebow would come in as the second-string QB and be used for special packages.


There are a few things that I can see coming from this:

1. I do see them using Tebow in "wildcat" and similar looking formations; this is basically the fashion in which Tebow had success with the Broncos. Rex Ryan's mantra of a "ground-and-pound" offense and a strong punishing defense will suit Tebow better than most destinations would.

2. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if Tebow becomes the starting QB for the Jets sometime in the near future. With Sanchez's struggles to perform and his inability to lead his team, I don't think it's out of the question whatsoever.

3. The move to get Tebow might be quite irrelevant, and a fail at that. Teams could very well begin to put an end to his rushing success, and he might not ever develop into a consistent passer. Tebow could also possibly cause much unnecessary attention (which would be unwanted by him) and become a distraction in the Jets' locker room.

Basically, there is an array of upside and ways Tebow can benefit the Jets. Plus at the very worst, all the Jets lose is a fourth and sixth-round draft pick. Granted, the Jets do have a history of having a seldom amount of picks in the draft, I just personally think it's worth the "risk" involved.

What's your stance on the Jets' trade for Tim Tebow? Will he benefit them at all? Let us know and comment below.


Paul Smythe co-owns an NFL blog called "From The Pocket". It can be found at www.nflfromthepocket.com. This post was written by John Bleech, who is also a co-owner.