Tim Tebow leads by example. Whether he’s staying late to review game film or getting some extra work in with his receivers, the third-year quarterback is always looking to improve. While scouts and experts cast serious doubt on his throwing mechanics and pocket presence, teammates cannot help but respect and admire Tebow’s work ethic and drive to succeed.
With the Tebow era underway in New York, critics contend that his arrival will overshadow incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez and create a growing divide in the locker room. While there’s no ignoring the fact that Sanchez could ultimately be replaced if he continues to struggle; the notion that the Jets front office favors Tebow over Sanchez is just plain hogwash.
The fact of the matter is that Sanchez will be Gang Green’s opening day starter and the job is his to lose. Jets fans, coaches and even fellow teammates are growing impatient with Sanchez’s sluggish development and the front office made a calculated move in the offseason in order to send a clear message to its franchise quarterback. That message was not intended to threaten Sanchez’s job security or to bring Tebow in to compete for the starting position. The message was simple: Sanchez needs to make strides to improve this upcoming season and play with a sense of urgency.
Without a capable backup playing behind Sanchez in his first three seasons, New York’s young gunslinger had a free pass on offense despite his poor decision-making. The coaching staff attributed his mistakes to inexperience, but with Sanchez entering his fourth year in the NFL that excuse is no longer valid. Coming off the most disappointing season of his career, Sanchez and the Jets will have to demonstrate the grit and resolve that carried them to back-to-back AFC championship game appearances.
The prevailing sentiment in New York is that fans and teammates will have to choose a side between Tebow and Sanchez. There is a growing misconception that a rivalry is brewing between the Jets two quarterbacks. In reality, both players have a vested interest in the team’s success and aim to unify the locker room. Head coach Rex Ryan and newly hire offensive coordinator Tony Sparano have carved out a versatile role for Tebow whereby he will be utilized in a variety of packages, situations and at different positions. The creative juices are already flowing as Jets coaching staff devises countless ways to make Tebow an impact player on both offense and special teams.
Only time will tell whether the Tebow experiment will pan out in the Big Apple, but if one thing’s for sure, it will definitely be must see T.V.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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