New York Jets Quietly Handling the Tim Tebow Situation Perfectly

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New York Jets Quietly Handling the Tim Tebow Situation Perfectly
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

In 2011, Tim Tebow and the New York Jets were two of the most polarizing topics in the NFL.  Fans of Tebow and the Jets are downright maniacal in supporting their cause while detractors are nearly as fervent.

So, when the two were brought together in a March trade, opinions immediately ran wildly rampant.  

After that first flurry, though, things have been surprisingly quiet for months.

The Jets under Rex Ryan have been anything but controlled and subdued, and they have often been accused of being as concerned with winning the back pages as they are about winning games on the field.

However, at this year's NFL Scouting Combine, Ryan admitted his Super Bowl guarantees were a mistake and vowed to become less vocal as he grew as a coach.

So far, so good.

After the Jets signed Tebow, they were quickly ridiculed for calling a press conference for a backup quarterback, acting as if it was the first time in NFL history a backup was announced at a press conference.  

The media must have forgotten that just three years earlier the Eagles announced the signing of backup quarterback Michael Vick at a press conference in which Vick spoke for about a half hour.

The truth is, the Jets did the right thing.  

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Teams hold press conferences when there is a demand by the media for access to someone.  It is not determined by the position a person plays or where he stands on the depth chart.

Tebow had his press conference, handled it well and then settled off into the background, allowing the offseason to progress quietly.

Along the way, Ryan, Tebow and the Jets have refused to take any bait from media or detractors who insist on painting the Jets as a circus.

Mark Sanchez and Tebow have been complimentary of each other, and other teammates have praised both Tebow and Sanchez as well.

There have been instances where the media have tried to stir the pot by asking teammates about a possible quarterback controversy, but any potentially controversial comments have been coming and going quickly and without much fanfare. 

The Jets and Ryan have accomplished this by being honest and forthcoming about the Tebow situation. 

In recent weeks, Ryan said that Tebow has worked as a punt team protector and then quelled any controversy by saying that Tebow will only work as a backup during a brief three-day minicamp.

Nobody in the Jets' hierarchy has made any bold predictions about how much success Tebow will have in his role; they've just given the facts and moved on.

One other positive has been the fact that Tebow (and perceived malcontent Santonio Holmes) will attend Sanchez's "Jets West" camp.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

One of the main contentions of Tebow-haters has been that the fragile Sanchez will not react well to having the specter of Tebow hanging over his head.  By inviting Tebow to Jets West, Sanchez is sending a message that he is a team player and a mature leader.

Honestly, Sanchez probably had no choice but to invite him, but the image put forth continues the trend of the Jets doing the right thing this offseason.

By no means are the Jets out of the woods with this, though.

At some point, whether it's during training camp, the preseason or the regular season, Tebow and Sanchez will find themselves at the center of some storm.  Jets haters and the media are waiting for the first slip-up or the first sniff of controversy and will pounce with a vengeance.

The Jets have had help staying off the back pages in New York too over the past month.  New York sports fans have been more worried about the Devils-Rangers rivalry and the early-season success of the Mets than what the Jets are doing this offseason.

However, that will all end at some point and the Jets will be the focus once again.  As long as Darrelle Revis isn't holding out, the Tebow-Sanchez situation will dominate the headlines in camp.

If the Jets continue to handle the situation with honesty, humility and conviction, they will minimize the potential for an all-out circus.

It seems that the disappointment of 2011 has forced Sanchez and Ryan to grow up quickly.  

This offseason had the potential to spiral out of control.  Instead, it is hopefully a harbinger of a more disciplined and conservative Jets team ready to focus on gaining more success on the field rather than in the headlines.

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