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Tim Tebow Must Be Given Fair Chance by New York Jets to Win Starting QB Job

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets leaves the field after loss to San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2013

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow was asked by head coach Rex Ryan to do a little bit of everything last season, but rather than making him a sideshow in 2013, the Jets would be wise to give Tebow a fair chance to become the starting signal caller.

Tebow certainly isn't a traditional quarterback and there is no guarantee that he can be a successful player at the position moving forward. The Jets are an absolute mess at quarterback right now, though, and it obviously wouldn't hurt to give Tebow a long look provided he isn't released or traded.

It doesn't appear as though there is much interest on the trade market, so New York may ultimately cut him. If that comes to fruition, then the Jets will be making the move in order to avoid a media circus. From a football standpoint, however, Tebow may very well be the best quarterback option on the Jets' current roster.

Aside from Tebow, the Jets currently have Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Greg McElroy, and Matt Simms. As the old saying goes, if the Jets have five quarterbacks, they really have none. For the most part the Jets already know what they're going to get out of Sanchez, Garrard, McElroy, and Simms, so Tebow is the wild card of the bunch and that should make him the most intriguing option.

Most NFL fans across the league can agree that Sanchez is absolutely awful. He did lead the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010, but that was due more to the defense than his individual play. Sanchez was a nightmare last season as he threw just 13 touchdowns as opposed to 18 interceptions and had a miserable quarterback rating of 66.9. In addition to that, he lost eight fumbles.

The Jets simply can't afford to have their quarterback making that many mistakes, so Sanchez shouldn't even be an option. Although Garrard has had some success in the past, he hasn't played in an NFL games since 2010 and it's hard to imagine that his skills have improved, so he isn't the answer either.

McElroy and Simms are developmental quarterbacks more than anything and don't figure to be anything special at the NFL level. Tebow is far from a perfect player, but his 2011 season with the Denver Broncos should be taken into account. He did some special things and would add some spark to the Jets in terms of leadership and determination if nothing else.

It has to be extremely difficult for Jets fans to get excited about their team this season. With Tebow at quarterback, though, at least the buzz would be present. Maybe he would fall flat and be replaced by Sanchez after a couple games anyway, but the Jets owe it to their fans to give Tebow a shot rather than sticking with what clearly hasn't been working.

Tebow's 2011 accolades are well known by NFL fans, but they're worth mentioning. Although he completed only 46.5 percent of his passes, he had a respectable ration of 12 touchdowns to six interceptions. Tebow was most dangerous with his legs, however, as he rushed for 660 yards and scored six times on the ground.

In addition to that, Tebow beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in the playoffs. It wasn't simply a matter of him managing the game either as he threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in overtime. For everything that Tebow lacks in terms of accuracy and overall throwing ability, he makes up for it with his legs and his intangibles.

If anything, Tebow should be a more attractive option now than he was two years ago as the read option has taken the NFL by storm. Quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick have had a great deal of success as dual-threat quarterbacks. Tebow is more of a single threat, but he has proven capable of beating defenses deep provided his receivers get open.

The Jets are a team that relies on defense more than anything else, so they would be wise to build their offense around the running game. Tebow is the most versatile option in that regard and could at least give New York a chance to win against better teams.

With all of that said, the odds of Tebow getting a fair shot don't seem particularly good. If the Jets do decide to release him, it's quite possible that Tebow won't find another NFL job due to the stigma attached to him. Tebow may not be a great quarterback, but he is the Jets' best option at this point and it's time for the organization to come to that realization.

 

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