With the season circling the bowl, those in the Jets organization are getting a lot less shy about talking about what’s gone wrong with this team this season. Since Tebow has been such a central part of things it’s only fitting that folks are delving into why he was such a problem for the team. Here’s some fascinating anonymous quotes in the Post.
“Rex [Ryan] and Tony [Sparano] had no idea how to use him,” the source said.
A source said the Jets were shocked at how poor Tebow played in practice soon after he arrived. As Tebow struggled, McElroy improved and eventually gained the coaching staff’s backing. So when Ryan decided to give Sanchez the hook this week, his trust was in McElroy.
There was also the “Tebowmania” factor. One source described the organization as “frozen with fear” that Tebow would actually excel, creating a quarterback controversy that would wreck Sanchez’s psyche. Tebow wound up being more effective as the personal protector on the punt team than as an offensive player.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
The way the season has played out, none of these quotes surprise us but pretty much confirm what we already knew. That the Jets couldn’t use him in a conventional capacity and couldn’t get outside the box enough to figure out how to best use Tebow. That the Jets clung to playing Mark Sanchez half out of fear of what Tebow would do on the field and half out of fear of Tebow’s incompetence — which seems hypocritical, cognitively dissonant and thus … very stupid.
I had advocated earlier in the season that the Jets needed to play Tebow more and let him throw the ball more as it would make him a better runner if the safeties feared he’d actually pass the ball. The Jets never took those chains off him completely and because they were unwilling to see outside the box it limited their use of him and their offense. That it took sixteen games for them to give him his first series is also laughable. Even so, they couldn’t just go away from him entirely, which also seemed stupid. If they had no role for him, just say it won’t work and move on. But maybe that’s Ryan’s cheerleader approach shining through again. For as bad as he was by the coaches reckoning, it wasn’t bad enough to warrant calling him out publicly. Tebow wasn’t that effective of a blocker on running plays and was a bad option in the passing game. The Jets coaching staff might have had Tebow foisted on them, but Ryan has always prided himself on using player’s strengths … so it seems odd that he and Sparano didn’t have the vision of how to use him in an effective manner all season.
Now it’s just a matter of seeing how pays the price for it.