With four games in the books, the New York Jets are off to a less than desirable 2-2 start. The Jets offense under quarterback Mark Sanchez has been miserable to this point, only averaging 284 yards per game and 20.2 points per game. Those statistics place them at No. 28 and No. 21 in the NFL, respectively.
Since Tim Tebow was acquired by the Jets in the offseason, there have been fans and members of the media calling for Tebow to take over the starting job in New York. As the offense has stumbled and been inefficient this season, the critics of Mark Sanchez and lovers of Tim Tebow have only become louder, calling for Sanchez's job.
Mark Sanchez is the latest victim in the ever-growing fad that is Tim Tebow. From the first day Tebow arrived in New York, people have been saying the Jets need to play Tebow if they want to win.
While Tebow has won at every level he's played at, he is not the answer for the Jets. Here's why starting Tim Tebow would only hurt the New York Jets.
Since Tebow's arrival, Jets head coach Rex Ryan has preached his support of and confidence in the ability of Mark Sanchez to lead the Jets into the promised land. Even as recently as this week, his Thursday midday press conference Ryan said, "Mark is our starting quarterback."
After spending the summer and first quarter of the season preaching his loyalty to Sanchez, what would an abrupt change in policy do for team confidence and team unity? When Tebow first arrived in New York, there was controversy about why he was there while the players showed support for Sanchez.
In the NFL, showing faith in players is something that is valued. If Ryan were to pull the plug this early in the season on Sanchez, who has a lot of supporters within the Jets roster, it would create internal problems. Internal problems would only harm the Jets right now, as well as creating long-term problems. Along with those problems, Ryan's trust with his team would plummet, causing friction and possibly an internal combustion of the entire Jets team.
For any team, a relationship between a quarterback and his receivers is a crucial element of the offense that is often developed early on. The Jets receiving corp took a big hit this week when it was announced Santonio Holmes was done for the season.
With the loss of receiver Santonio Holmes, the Jets are without a strong No. 1 receiver. The Jets are hoping that second-year man Jeremy Kerley out of TCU will develop into a star receiver.
Without a standout receiving corps, the chemistry that was developed over the first four weeks of the season and training camp will become crucial in the success of the Jets' passing game. Through the early part of the season, Tebow has had very little time to develop good chemistry with the Jets receivers.
Sanchez, on the other hand, has been working with the receivers every day and has been able to develop some rapport. The chemistry and trust between a quarterback and his receivers is crucial in an effective offense, as the receivers must trust the quarterback to put the ball exactly where it should be, when it should be there. Tebow has not had the chance to develop this relationship and chemistry, and one has to wonder if Santonio Holmes' strong support of Sanchez is reflective of the entire corps view.
Everywhere Tim Tebow has played, the offense has always been altered to accommodate his athletic ability and lack of passing accuracy. Tebow, plain and simple, is a different type of quarterback than Sanchez is. Teams in the past (Florida, Denver) have altered their offenses to fit around Tim Tebow, something the Jets cannot afford to do.
Implementing an entirely new offensive scheme is something that takes time, not something that can be done in a few weeks. Tebow cannot effectively run the Jets offense as it is set right now. This is one of the main reasons that the Jets tried to implement a Wildcat style offensive set just for Tebow this offseason.
No one can deny Tebow's work ethic and desire to learn and succeed. Sometimes, the harsh reality of life is that people's skill sets will not allow them to successfully do certain things. For Tebow, his skill set as a quarterback will not allow him to run the Jets offense.
The Jets' running game has been almost nonexistent so far this season, averaging only 86.5 yards per game. In order for Shonn Greene and the rest of the Jets backfield to get things turned around, the passing game needs to become effective.
With Tebow at the helm of the Jets offense, the team would practically become one-dimensional. The Jets lack a running back who can take over a game all on his own this season. If the Jets had this type of runner, having a very run-dominated offense would be fine. However, without it, stopping the Jets becomes a much easier task.
In order to have an effective running game, teams that do not have a star running back MUST have an effective passing game to take away some of the pressure. Tebow cannot provide the prowess in the passing game to allow the Jets' running game to prosper.
Despite being 2-2 and having one of the toughest games of the year looming as they face the Texans Sunday, the Jets are still sitting in first place in their division. The Jets have been hit with some devastating injuries recently (Revis, Holmes), but they still have a team that is capable of winning games.
Tim Tebow's presence has always created mass chaos whenever a team starts to decline. However, in the world of sports, a little faith can go a long way with players who are struggling. Whether that vote of faith is in Mark Sanchez or the rest of the Jets' offense, the Jets coaching staff needs to tread carefully in the coming weeks.
A team's morale is something that can make or break a team during adversity. While creating challenges for leaders to overcome is crucial, showing faith is even more so.
If the Jets were to replace Sanchez with Tebow right now, it would create a sense of panic among the players. When players panic, nothing good comes from it. It's time for the Jets to calm down and use the players they have put their faith in for now. The season is young, and pulling the plug on your biggest leader would create more problems than any team wants to handle, no matter who the replacement is.