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Tim Tebow: 2-Quarterback System Will Not Work for New York Jets

CORTLAND, NY - JULY 27:  Matt Cavanaugh, quarterbacks coach of the New York Jets talks with Mark Sanchez #6  and Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets at Jets Training Camp at SUNY Cortland on July 27, 2012 in Cortland, New York.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2015

There are many different strategies to win in the NFL, but a quarterback combination of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow is not one of them.

The New York Jets have been a very dysfunctional team over the past year. The Jets ended last season in disappointment, with three straight losses and an 8-8 record. Since then, they have made the news for having poor chemistry in the locker room and fighting among one another in training camp.

One thing this team does not need is more distractions.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Jets got when they acquired Tim Tebow this offseason. The former Denver Broncos quarterback won some games last year as a starter, but he will not provide his new team with anything more than a disturbance.

New York's plan is to use Sanchez as the regular starter with Tebow coming in for a Wildcat offense, according to the New York Daily News.

This will not be beneficial—either for the quarterbacks or the team.

Sanchez has struggled at times in his three-year career, but there was little doubt that this was his team. He was steadily improving over that time, increasing his completion percentage, yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating in every year. Last year, he finished ninth in the league with 26 touchdowns.

Now the Jets are taking away one thing that he had all along: his confidence. According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, receiver Santonio Holmes told the media that Sanchez was initially "floored" by the trade for Tebow. Holmes said it "kind of rattled him a little."

There are different forms of motivation, but making your franchise quarterback nervous about his own job is not the best way to get it done. Sanchez will start forcing throws that cannot be made, and it will hurt the team.

As for the Wildcat side of the offense, the Jets have to be careful not to overuse it. The team's last experiment with that type of scheme was successful in 2010 with Brad Smith, but he only had 38 rushes the entire season. It is unknown how many snaps Tebow will get, but it will likely be more than two or three a game.

Tebow's reputation and the rabid fanbase will force the former Florida star onto the field more than a backup should be. This will ruin the element of surprise of the Wildcat and allow defenses to figure out ways to stop it. 

The best comparison to this projected offense is the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles. Donovan McNabb was the starter, but the athletic Michael Vick was used sparingly as a change of pace. Vick averaged only four yards per carry on 24 attempts and completed six of his 13 pass attempts.

It was apparent in the next season when he reached the Pro Bowl and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award that the team did not get the most out of the quarterback's abilities. 

Both Jets quarterbacks struggled in the preseason. Although the play calls were kept simple in order not to give anything away, neither player stood out as someone who could lead this team to the playoffs. The highest quarterback rating between the pair was that of Sanchez in his game against Cincinnati, a game in which he only threw for 21 yards.

This lack of success in a traditional offense forces the Jets to become gimmicky. Considering the two New York QBs combined to complete only 53 percent of their passes last season, this might be the only option.

Unfortunately, neither strategy is likely to help the offense win too many games if Rex Ryan insists on using both men consistently.

 

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