Opinion Corner: Tebow time again?New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was doomed from the start. Being drafted into a ferocious N.Y. media market, the former sixth overall pick had not only the pressure of that firestorm but also the expectation that he would finally become the Jets’ next great signal-caller — something the franchise hasn’t had since “Broadway Joe” Namath in the late 1960s.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was doomed from the start.
Being drafted into a ferocious N.Y. media market, the former sixth overall pick had not only the pressure of that firestorm but also the expectation that he would finally become the Jets’ next great signal-caller — something the franchise hasn’t had since “Broadway Joe” Namath in the late 1960s.
As if that wasn’t enough, now entering his fourth season under center, Sanchez has had to battle it out this training camp with the most talked about backup quarterback in NFL history.
Tim Tebow — who was traded to the club from Denver in March to make way for Peyton Manning — is currently No. 2 on the team’s QB depth chart.
That won’t last very long, though.
Despite a contract extension in the offseason for Sanchez, it shouldn’t inspire much faith from your coaches and superiors when the team trades for a quarterback that led his team from last place in its division to a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last season.
It’s even more concerning when you think about the overwhelming momentum with the fan base that Tebow carried throughout his tenure with the Broncos.
Let’s face it — beyond Drew Brees- or Tom Brady-like statistics — there was nothing former Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton could have done to save his starting job from Tebow while in the Mile High City. The fans’ desire to see the two-time college football national champion, Heisman trophy winner and first round selection was beyond anything the coaches or front office could do either.
Sanchez will lead the Jets out of the tunnel on Sept. 9 at MetLife Stadium for the team’s season opener.
I anticipate Tebow will be leading them out by mid-season once Sanchez shows the slightest signs of struggle.
Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum can say all they want regarding the former USC standout as their bona fide No. 1 — they’re not going to openly express doubt at this point and take the chance of any media outlet running with a pessimistic quote about Sanchez’s performance.
If and when Sanchez does struggle, however, it will be hardly due to his own failures.
The Jets offensive line is suspect after being arguably the team’s greatest strength during two runs to the AFC Championship game. Right tackle Wayne Hunter has been thrown around like a rag doll by defensive ends this preseason and right guard Brandon Moore’s best years are behind him.
Now with Thomas Jones two seasons removed from signing on with the Chiefs in addition to this offseason’s retirement announcement by LaDainian Tomlinson, you’re looking at an injury-prone Shonn Greene carrying the load for a supposed “ground and pound” offensive attack.
Anything less than stellar play from Greene and backup Joe McKnight is almost certain to leave defenses teeing off on the Jets passing game — something a below-average wide receiver depth chart is far from capable of handling. The decision not to re-sign Plaxico Burress and the failure to bring in a high-prize free agent has left New York with a disgruntled Santonio Holmes and not much else.
The date to look out for is Monday, October 29. That will be the start of the Jets’ bye week — typically one of the best times for NFL teams to make the switch to the backup QB if they’re going to look to provide their club with a spark (i.e. last season when the Broncos made the switch from Orton to Tebow after a 1-4 start).
So come Halloween, we all may have to live through Tebow Time once again.
Willhide is a news writer with The Sun and frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner