Why Tim Tebow Doesn't Need to Play to Help the Jets
According to the Jets, Tebow will be the Wildcat quarterback and even play on special teams as a personal protector on the punt team. Of course, there is that whole backup-quarterback thing he has to take care of as well.
While it is certainly possible that Tebow will prove to be a quality complement to the Jets' base offense, the reality is that the Jets are a good enough team to win without Tebow even stepping on the field.
With a defense that will wind up somewhere in the top five and an offense that is much simpler with a defined style, the Jets have a better chance at getting back to their winning ways under Rex Ryan than most would assume. Because of the bad vibe that surrounded the franchise after losing three games in a row to miss the playoffs, it is easy to poke fun at a franchise that has promised to deliver championships and has come away empty-handed.
Looking beyond the Tebow acquisition, the Jets are at least, it not better, than they were eight months ago. The Jets have added a ton of speed to both sides of the ball and will roll with a brand new safety tandem to start the season.
To be honest, Tebow's on-field contributions will be minimal compared to what the new draft picks and free agents will provide. Sure, he could provide a spark from time to time or punch in a goal-line run, but the Jets' season does not ride or die with the success of the Tebow package.
Where then, will Tebow provide the most value?
For a team that had a locker room in "disarray" at the end of the season, Tebow's presence is the perfect antidote for a disease that consumed the Jets' season last year.
Darrelle Revis, the same man who used the term "disarray" back in late March, has raved about Tebow's ability to lead by example, as he told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini:
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Some people have it, some guys don't. It's the passion within, wanting to be a leader, wanting to win. You see it all the time, eating lunch, walking down the hallway. You see it. He's like that cartoon character Zeus. He's one of those guys. He's very positive. He has passion for whatever he does. You can see it on him.
Picture this: Sanchez and Holmes are fighting over spilled milk, Revis is still whining about his contract, and the offensive line is making jokes about Wayne Hunter at lunch, all the while he sits by himself, pushing his food around with a fork.
In other words, a complete and total disaster in the Jets' locker room.
But there is Tebow, grinding away at his craft no matter what his circumstances may be. Here is a guy who literally has a religious following and a fanbase to himself. This is a guy who can complete two passes in a game and get praised in the Monday morning paper.
Still, none of that makes him the least bit complacent—because there he is, working out in the weight room before the offensive linemen get there in the morning.
Oh, and the linemen probably don't need to do much adjusting to the weight levels.
Contrary to popular belief, Tebow has the potential to be a stabilizing force in the Jets' locker room, not a figure that has the potential to tear it apart.
"He would be an answer to (our) locker room problems," one source told the New York Daily News.
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For evidence, one has to just look at what he did to the Broncos a year ago. He instilled so much belief in his team that Brian Dawkins started to believe that he had God-like healing powers.
While I wouldn't go as far to say that Tebow can literally heal the Jets, he can certainly give the selfish players a bit of an attitude-adjustment.
Now, if Tebow had NFL-caliber passing skills and was a legitimate threat to Sanchez for the starting job, the Jets would have a real problem on their hands. But for now, Tebow is the innocent, try-hard guy who will remind every Jets player what it takes to be on an NFL roster in the first place, without really saying much of anything.
Tebow possesses the kind of leadership that cannot be gained from any ordinary backup quarterback.
Maybe that's why he had his own press conference.
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