When the Jets completed the trade that brought Tim Tebow to New York from Denver in the off-season, many believed it was the beginning of the end for starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. Even as the Jets doled out a hefty contract extension to Sanchez to keep him happy and engaged.
Throughout the remainder of the off-season and the first four weeks of the season, the Jets stuck to their guns, keeping Tebow on the bench as Sanchez's primary backup and occasional change of pace option; even as the clamor from fans wanting to see a change in leadership at the quarterback spot rose exponentially.
Three days out from their Monday night tilt against the unbeaten Houston Texans, the Jets are still doing their best to stick with Sanchez, in spite of his horrific performance thus far. Tebow came to New York with much fanfare, but his limitations as a passer have kept him firmly entrenched as the backup.
Even to the point at which the team may benefit from his passionate leadership in the huddle, as opposed to the lack of it under Sanchez.
Head coach Rex Ryan stuck tight to the company line after the 34-0 shellacking the Jets endured at the hands of the visiting 49ers last Sunday. He told the gathered reporters in his post-game press conference that the time for Tebow to start has not yet come. Via the Associated Press (h/t ABC News):
"I just know in my heart, right now, that this is not the time. I think Tim is an outstanding player, and I think Mark is. Right now, I think Mark gives us our best opportunity to win."
Losing wide receiver Santonio Holmes for the remainder of the season to a foot injury definitely won't help Sanchez to keep a stranglehold on the starting gig. But it's possible that with their backs against the wall, the Jets will rally around their quarterback and find a way to win.
Ryan certainly seems to think that's the case.
And regardless of how well the Jets perform through the rest of the season, there's almost no chance that anyone will feel any semblance of pity for them, given their prominent placement at the top of the headlines on a daily basis.
"This is a resilient football team. Woe is me? How many people are going to feel sorry for the New York Jets? I know the answer to that: nobody."
For his part, Tebow has stayed quiet throughout it all, preferring to bide his time and help the Jets in any way he can without vocalizing his frustration.
That said, his patience may be wearing thin, and if New York has a similar performance to the one they put forward last Sunday, it's doubtful that he'll continue to hold his peace.
In the end though, it's doubtful Tebow will have to do any of the talking himself.
When it comes to being promoted to the starting spot, Jets fans and the various media outlets covering the club will do it for him if the team plays poorly enough to warrant a sea change at quarterback.