Tim Tebow: Projecting When Jets' Circus Act Will Crash and Burn

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor ISeptember 8, 2012

"You look good holding that clipboard, Mark." Tim Tebow
"You look good holding that clipboard, Mark." Tim TebowJeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Rex Ryan firmly believes the 2012 New York Jets will be the best team he's coached. Or at least he's firmly stating that to be the case.

Jim Corbett of USA Today reported some of the comments Ryan made following some negative press his team has received over the summer.

"I'm not afraid to say it: I think this is going to be an outstanding football team, the best team I've had since I've been here,'' Ryan stated. "I don't know if that's the national perspective, but it's my perspective.''

Methinks Ryan doth protest too much.

Ryan wasn't done, though, as he felt a need to respond to the new moniker given to his team—"The Circus Jets":

The circus thing is kind of a little old for me. If that's the way it is, I think our record says otherwise in the three years we've been together (9-7, 11-5 and 8-8 with two AFC Championship Game appearances).

The experts think we're one team. We think we're different. We'll see who's right.

The experts see a team that had trouble scoring against vanilla preseason defenses and that lacks a clear leader at the all-important quarterback position.

Some analysts also see a team that is lacking talent at wide receiver and has significant concerns at running back. The take is there is little chance this team can make a playoff run in 2012, which draws the ire of Ryan:

If you take a look at our offensive line in terms of No. 1 picks and Pro Bowl status, we have three Pro Bowlers on the line. Nobody else has that.

You've got a string of running backs, who all do something a little bit different, starting with Shonn Greene. You've got receivers who are as gifted as anybody. You've got a new coach who is very, very good, Tony Sparano (offensive coordinator). You have a lot of very good weapons starting with the quarterback (referring to Mark Sanchez).

I believe the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons and at least a dozen or two other teams would question Ryan's assertion on the quality of his receivers.

The Baltimore Ravens will certainly take issue with the statement on the offensive line as they actually meet the criteria. Marshal Yanda, Matt Birk and Bryant McKinnie have all been to the Pro Bowl and Michael Oher was a first-round draft pick.

But hyperbole and factual issues aside, or perhaps in light of them, Ryan has invited the scorn and ridicule.

The Jets traded up in the draft to get Sanchez. He has had mixed results in his first three seasons, but the Jets gave him a vote of confidence with a three-year, $45 million extension.

Then they stripped the confidence with the trade for Tebow. To make matters worse, they originally botched the deal, missing a key contract clause. 

Santonio Holmes recently told ESPN New York that Sanchez was initially "rattled" by the trade.



Recent commentary on why Tebow should be the starting quarterback certainly isn't helping matters.

Say what!? Tim Tebow, not Mark Sanchez, must start. on.nfl.com/TebowMUSTStart

NFL (@nfl) September 6, 2012

Sanchez's apprehension is understandable, as Ryan has said he may get Tebow up to 20 snaps per game:

Tim is going to be a major contributor to our football team. With the Wildcat specifically, the great thing is you don't know if we're going to run it one snap a game or 20 snaps a game—you have no idea.

Every week, it could be different. That's some of the preparation problems he gives you.

Once again, though, Tebow is being used as a sideshow act. He's being trotted out as fluff for which opposing teams need to prepare, but do the Jets expect actual production from him?

The Jets have a bye in Week 9. They will then visit the Seattle Seahawks, who sport one of the best defenses in the NFL. 

This game will be the breaking point in the Jets' season. They need to have transitioned from using their new quarterback as a potential distraction to running an actual offense.

The Seahawks have a stellar run defense, employing one-gap responsibilities that will be able to contain the Jets' ground game. If the Jets want to win this game and make a late-season run, they need to be ready to employ Sanchez as their quarterback and put Tebow on the back burner.

A vote of confidence from the Jets will spur Sanchez in his quest to mature as an NFL passer.

Continuing with the sideshow act will leave opposing fans laughing and the J-E-T-S fans embarrassed. 


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