Tim Tebow: Will He Help or Hurt the New York Jets?

Nick Carlo@@carlo2612Analyst IIMarch 31, 2012

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MARCH 26:  Quarterback Tim Tebow addresses the media as he is introduced as a New York Jet at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on March 26, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Tebow, traded from the Denver Broncos last week, will be the team's backup quarterback according to Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, started 11 games in 2011 for Denver and finished with a 7-4 record as a starter. He led the Broncos to a playoff overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round before eventually losing to the New England Patriots in the next round.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Tim Tebow is one of the biggest sports figures in the world, if not the biggest. His skillset and personality have allowed him to become an extremely marketable player in the NFL. His fan clubs are huge, and he is larger than life to them. However, he also has a large amount of haters.

Despite Tebow’s “nice guy” personality, some people despise him. His antics rub some the wrong way, and his critics believe that he has no business being in the NFL. Tebow’s recent move to New York will do nothing to silence those critics.

The New York Jets acquired Tebow from the Denver Broncos on March 22. However, due to many obstacles concerning Tebow’s contract, the deal didn’t become official until March 24. Tebow led the Denver Broncos on an amazing run last season, and ultimately landed his team in the playoffs.

Denver went on to exceed expectations and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. Tebowmania was at its finest, until it came to a halting stop. Tebow and the Broncos were shellacked in the second round of the playoffs by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The Broncos' season was over, and Tebow’s critics were louder than ever. However, both the team and Tebow had high expectations for the future. But all that changed when future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning hit the free agent market.

John Elway and Denver made a serious pursuit for Manning and ended up landing the star. From that moment, Tebow’s days as a Bronco were limited. Within 24 hours, Tim Tebow was dealt to the New York Jets.

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos eludes a tackle from  Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colo
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

This acquisition sent the New York media and fans into a frenzy. Some people loved the move, while many others hated it. The most marketable player in the NFL was coming to the marketing capital of the world: New York.

The acquisition of Tebow raised many questions, but the most common one was this: “what will happen with Mark Sanchez?” Sanchez is the Jets’ current starting quarterback and has held that position since he was drafted with the Jets fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Sanchez was a highly rated prospect coming out of USC, and he planned on taking Broadway by storm.

Despite sub-par statistics, Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship game in his first two seasons. Despite losing each game in gut-wrenching fashion, it was a huge step up from the previous years.

Sanchez and the Jets suffered a large setback last season, compiling a lackluster 8-8 record, and missing the playoffs. Sanchez’s starting job was in question until he landed his contract extension, which basically guaranteed him a spot as the Jets’ starting quarterback through the 2014 NFL season.

However, things changed quickly. The Tebow trade came as a surprise, and immediately put Sanchez on thin ice. Sanchez has a fragile mentality for a quarterback, and despite what he says, he must be a little ticked off about the move.

It is said that he still holds the Jets starting quarterback spot, but that could change quickly. The second that Sanchez throws an few incomplete passes—let alone interceptions—will mark the beginning of the calls for Tebow.

Tebow is the backup quarterback for now, but he might create a good argument to swap spots with Mark Sanchez. This acquisition has the potential to create a huge problem in the New York Jets locker room. This locker room was said to be divided last season, and this move might separate it even more.

With that said, there is some hope with this trade. The risk of bringing in Tebow was indeed high, but the reward is just as high, if not higher.

If the Tebow situation is handled correctly, he will greatly help the New York Jets. That is, however, a pretty big if. It can be done though. The Jets front office will have to make sure that they reiterate that Sanchez is their starting quarterback and Tebow is a special package player.

If they can continually relay that message to the fan base, then many fans should learn to accept that Tebow is not looked upon as a starting quarterback by the New York Jets organization. The media around the Jets will be a circus this upcoming season, but the players need to be strong and not let that get the best of them.

If the social and media aspects are taken away from the equation, the Jets could really make some noise this season. The New York Jets are known for their ground-and-pound offense, but they didn’t live up to it last season.

Many believed that the reason the running game struggled was because of the absence of Brad Smith. Smith played a very versatile role with the Jets, leading the Wildcat formation most of the time.

Smith provided New York’s offense with a great change of pace and also helped the team cash in routinely at the red zone.

Tebow could be like Smith, but a whole lot better. Tebow is bigger, faster, stronger, and has a better football IQ than Smith, in my opinion. Tebow is an optimal option to lead the Wildcat formation. Tebow had one of the best red zone conversion rates last season and he would greatly help the Jets in that area.

He could also change the offense's pace, and allow the Jets to hopefully regain their powerful downhill running attack. Shonn Greene, the Jets current running back, is a solid half back. He can become even better behind Tebow and a useful Wildcat attack. The Tebow move could help improve the whole Jets team for next season, but it won’t be easy.

Some players will have to go through a few growing pains and learn on the run. But if the players ultimately want to win, then they will find a way to make this work. A well used Tim Tebow could be just the thing that could possibly push the New York Jets over the top.