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Best and Worst of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in Jets Camp

Nicholas SpanoContributor IIAugust 15, 2012

Best and Worst of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in Jets Camp

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    With the New York Jets breaking camp in Cortland, NY on Thursday, it's time to reflect and look back at the past three weeks involving what is arguably the biggest story in all of the NFL.

    Whether it was ESPN's around the clock coverage of camp or just "Tebowmania" in general, it seemed as if the New York Jets were on everyone's television, newspaper, smart phone or computer.

    While there has yet to be any quarrels between the two quarterbacks—Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebowand the Jets haven't even a hinted at a quarterback competition, neither seemed to stop anyone from talking about the two.

    Let's take a look at the best and worst of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in Jets camp.

BEST: Reporter Calls Mark Sanchez "Tim"

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    Okay. Maybe it's not a HUGE deal, but it doesn't make it any less funny. Let's be honest—this isn't the last time this will happen.

    The best part of the whole situation is how cool Sanchez is about it. It's almost as if it's second nature for him already.

    This is far from anything ON the field, but with ALL of the coverage of the two it's always good to lighten the mood just a little bit. I'm just glad no one's feelings were hurt in the making of this video.

WORST: Tim Tebow Runs Shirtless...in the Rain

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    Ah, a "Baywatch" moment in Cortland, NY. The only problem is there are NO beaches in sight, and Tim Tebow forgot his red bathing suit.

    I guess Tebow decided it would be a nice time to cool off after practice and take a few laps in a torrential downpour. Only one thing, Timmy—this is New York. There is ALWAYS a camera around. But not to worry—he took PLENTY of heat from his fellow teammates after the pictures and videos went viral.

    Tebow admits he never expected it to be such big news. I guess he underestimates what the NY media is capable of doing to a half-naked man. Per NJ.com:


    "I mean, I can't tell you how many times probably in Florida or Denver after practice I would do sprints back and forth with that and jog off the field and never think about it again," Tebow said today. "And it would never get reported and now it does."

    Tebow says Mark Sanchez was one of many teammates to give him a hard time about the situation, but he wouldn't let him off the hook. Cough, Mark's GQ Magazine spread, cough.

BEST: Mark Sanchez Unhappy After Fight Breaks out at Jets Camp

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    It's the middle of the summer and these grown men are training day after day with the same faces and in the same place. There are bound to be some tempers flaring, and that is exactly what happened at Jets camp last week.

    Cornerback D'Anton Lynn got a little heated and pushed running back Joe McKnight out of bounds during Monday's practice. McKnight then threw the football at Lynn, the two went at each other and at least 20 players were piled on top of each other. 

    So why is this a Mark Sanchez story? Well, Sanchez stepped up as the leader of the team and let it be known that there is no place for any nonsense at camp and he won't have it. Per NFL.com:

    "There's no excuse for it. There's no throwing a ball at a teammate," the quarterback said, according to Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger. "There's no shoving a guy out of bounds into the signs."

    "One, it doesn't look good and two, it sends the wrong message to our team. We want to take care of our guys," he said. "You throw the ball at somebody in a game, you are going to get 15 yards. I don't know if that's a great habit to get into."

    "Rex will address it. That's his call...But it's not helping us, that's for sure. I don't see how that makes us any better."

    In a move Sanchez seemed to shy away from in the past, he now stood up as the leader of the team and ended it. You have to love that as Jet fans. It's a great way to gain respect from every man in that locker room.

WORST: Media Overkill on Day-by-Day QB Stats

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    I think, by now, just about everyone is on Twitter. Well, for those who are and follow training camp updates from your favorite beat writers, you know what I'm talking about—those damn stats at the end of practice.

    For example: "Final QB stats: Sanchez 7-for-15, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack. Tebow 9-for-12 (2 drops), 1 TD run, 2 sacks, couple of mental errors in red zone." per Rich Cimini ESPNNY.

    Now, this isn't an attack on just Rich here. EVERYONE does it, and it seems like everyone eats it up. Hey, maybe it's just me, but I find this to be overkill. I'm not quite sure what Sanchez's 7-15 on a Sunday practice indicated for a cold, December afternoon game, but hey—it's the New York Jets and people read it!

    For the Jets sake, I sure hope Sanchez or Tebow can put together some solid numbers—like they do in practice—when it counts for real. I'm sure you'd all love to read how Mark went 20-28 for 200 yards and no INT's against the New England Patriots. Just not EVERY DAY in camp.

BEST: Reporter Calls Tim Tebow "Mark"

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    I feel as if this one went a little unnoticed after the Sanchez gaffe, but this is tremendous nonetheless.

    Maybe it's because it was a little further into the interview with Tim, or because it had already happened, but Tim caught it and brought it to everyone's attention.

    I'll say it again, I love the way Tim handled this, much like the way Mark did. I'm sure it really gets to some of these reporters. It's a tough grind up there every day.

WORST: Boomer Esiason Thinks the Jets Should "Cut" Tim Tebow

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    Last Monday on “The Boomer and Carton Show” on WFAN sports radio in New York, former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason made it known where he stands on the whole "Tebowmania" and what he would do to quiet the Jets "QB controversy." Per NY Daily News:

    “You want to know if I were the Jets what I would do?” Esiason said. “I would cut Tim Tebow. I really would. And I’ll tell you why I would,” Esiason added. “Because it’s not in any way, shape or form, I think, benefiting this team."

    Well Boomer, that doesn't seem to make much sense. You can debate until you're blue in the face whether or not Tim is an NFL quarterback or if you'd want him starting for your team, but I don't think there is any argument as to what Tim can bring to your team. Adding the fact that the Jets gave up a fourth and seventh round pick to acquire him just five months ago, what has he exactly done (or not done) in that short period? He has played in just one preseason game.

    Esiason would go on to say that he would keep Tebow, but not because of his abilities as a quarterback. Per NY Daily News:


    “One thing that I would say is because you’ve got a bunch of lunatics in that locker room, as evidenced by the words of Antonio Cromartie,” Esiason said. “The reason you may want to have Tim Tebow on this team, specifically, [is] for one reason and one reason only and that’s the character issue.”

    As you would expect from Tebow, his response to Esiason was very...Tebow-esque. Tebow was asked about Esiason’s comments after practice on Monday. Per NY Daily News:

    “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason,” said Tebow. “I know he was a great player here, and I just wish him nothing but the best in his announcing, and God bless him.”


    “I’ve pretty much heard a lot of it from when I was in high school and they said I couldn’t be a high school quarterback,” the backup QB said. “When I was in college my first year they said, ‘You’ll never play quarterback and you can never win a championship and you can never play in the NFL.'”

    Nothing is going to stop Tim from bringing it every week, so I don't expect him to be overwhelmed by anyone's opinion.

BEST: Added Competition Makes Everyone Better

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    There is no denying that in sports, competition is always better. You cannot get too comfortable or content. You need to be on your game, day in and day out. If you ask many Jet fans, and some "unnamed sources," they will tell you Mark Sanchez got a little too comfortable with the lack of competition the past few seasons. Let's be honest—Mark Brunell, Kevin O'Connell and Kellen Clemens were never going to supplant Sanchez as starting quarterback, no matter how bad he played.

    In comes Tim Tebow, as polarizing a figure in sports today, and out goes Sanchez's ability to lay back and go through the motions. He needs to improve, and it needs to happen fast. He knows this. Jet fans know this. Tim Tebow knows this and most importantly—the Jets coaches know this.

    Sanchez could've done a few things. He could have felt sorry for himself and complained about the trade, or he could use it as motivation and step his game up. So far in mini-camp and training camp, all signs point to the latter.

    Mark entered camp 12 pounds heavier. After playing last season at a smaller 218 pounds, he is now 230 pounds and feels and looks as good as ever. Per the NY Post:

    “I was not feeling my strongest, not feeling my best,” Sanchez said. “I felt like I couldn’t get the power into my throws. I couldn’t use my legs.”

    Thus far in camp, Mark has grabbed the bull by the horns and is establishing himself as the leader of this team. He is energized, excited and it's showing in his game. He is running down the field to congratulate his receivers after a nice catch. He is stepping up to the media, calling players out when need be. He has more zip on his ball, and he certainly looks the part. So far so good.

    Now, only time will tell if all this makes a difference in his play, but the fact that Sanchez has used the Tebow acquisition as motivation to improve himself almost makes the deal worth it. One thing is for sure—if he slips up and continues to struggle, things won't be as peachy as they are now. Tim Tebow will play, and none of this will matter.


WORST: Even the President of the United States Is Talking About the Jets QBs

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    "Ladies And Gentlemen, The President Of The United States of America"

    ...no seriously, Barack Obama is talking about Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets.

    While on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus last week, the president of the United States of America was asked a question about the New York Jets quarterback situation. He wasted no time with him answer.

    "I gotta tell you, I don't like the idea of a quarterback controversy at the start of a season," Obama said. "So if I was a Jets fan, I'd be pretty nervous. Sanchez is not Tom Brady yet, but he led them to the playoffs two years in a row. I think Tim Tebow seems to be a wonderful young man, and he's got just a great winning attitude. He really steps up when things count...but there's going to be a lot of tension in that situation," Obama added. "So it'll be pretty interesting to see how it plays itself out."

    I think that means just about everyone has commented on the Jets quarterbacks. Can you think of anyone who hasn't?

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