Tim Tebow Trade Will Pay off One Way or Another for the New York Jets

Chris PetersonAnalyst IMay 14, 2012

Tebow came to New York to play QB and to win.
Tebow came to New York to play QB and to win.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Tim Tebow is a football player with many ways to help a team win. He can run, he can throw, he can inspire, he can win and everyone loves a winner, especially in New York. 

The trade for Tebow was a bold move by the Jets, signaling not only the team's dissatisfaction in Mark Sanchez but also its intent on returning to the ground and pound mentality that took them to the doorstep of the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons. 

For now, Sanchez remains the starting quarterback. Yet, unless his play drastically improves, he will not hold off Tebow for long, who accepted a trade to New York precisely because he felt he could beat out the incumbent. 

By all accounts, the Jets have no plans to play Tebow at any position other than quarterback, which dispels the notion of him playing a different position. 

The questions about him being able to throw the football well enough to be a starting quarterback in the NFL are well documented. Yet, Tebow can contribute in so many ways and being an effective passer is just one of them.

Sanchez has been a better quarterback thus far, but his advantage is slight, completing 55 percent of the passes in his career, compared to the 47 percent Tebow has completed. Sanchez has thrown 55 touchdowns compared to 51 interceptions, which represents a very poor touchdown-to-interception ratio, while Tebow has 17 touchdowns against nine interceptions, in 14 career starts.

Despite the below average statistics, Sanchez has compiled a record of 27-20 as a starter. He also guided the club to the playoffs twice, leading the team to four road playoff wins and two AFC Championship games.

The Jets know first hand what Tebow can do.
The Jets know first hand what Tebow can do.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

To reach those heights, the Jets used a formula consisting of good defense, mistake-free play from the quarterback and running the football. Unfortunately, the Jets running game finished 22nd in the NFL last season, putting more pressure on Sanchez, who shrunk under the pressure as the Jets lost their last three games to finish the season 8-8 and out of the playoffs. 

No matter what happens at quarterback, the first order of business for the Jets is to get the running game going again. This is where Tebow can help right away. In 23 career games, Tebow has carried the ball 165 times for 887 yards, a 5.4 yards per carry average and 12 rushing touchdowns. 

The Jets also have former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, who oversaw the wildcat formation in Miami, meaning the wildcat should be re-invented in New York. 

Imagine for the first time, the wildcat formation will be used with a real quarterback in the shotgun, making the pass a legitimate threat, as well as the run.

As a wildcat quarterback Tebow can play 15-20 snaps a game right away. In that role, the Jets can use him as a runner, as a passer, in the wildcat formation, running the option, all things he can do to have a positive impact on the offense, especially on the running game. 

If Tebow is successful in that role and helps reinvigorate the Jets running game, it will put even more pressure on Sanchez to perform and at some point this season, Sanchez must prove once and for all that he is "The Sanchize." If he fails to live up to his billing, then inevitably it will become Tebow time in the Big Apple.  

So while the trade for Tebow will help New York get back to the ground and pound in the short term, it also provides the organization with a long-term alternative should Sanchez fail in his efforts to be the Jets franchise quarterback.