New York Jets: Tim Tebow Set Himself Back as an NFL QB
This season, the team that has been in the headlines in terms of football in New York hasn't been the defending champion Giants, but the Jets, and most of the stories haven't been positive.
The Jets' loss to the Titans mathematically eliminated them from any hopes of a playoff spot even though there are two games left to their disappointing season.
Since then there has been a lot of late breaking news from the possibility of Mark Sanchez being traded and Tim Tebow leaving the team in the offseason.
But while there are other questions as to what will happen to Sanchez and to the rest of the team, from the players to the coaching staff, the bigger question is on Tim Tebow -- has he set himself back as a quarterback?
Tebow has had a lot to prove after a season, when despite having one of the lowest quarterback ratings of many starting quarterbacks in the NFL, his clutch plays with the Broncos gave him some respect as a man who can charge his team to a comeback.
His devotion to his evangelical Christianity gave him a huge cult following in the American pop culture landscape. However, things changed quickly. The Broncos let him go for the established and reliable Peyton Manning. Then, instead of joining a team to give him space to improve as a starting quarterback like Jacksonville, he chose to be a backup to Sanchez on the Jets.
If the whole thing was to be a publicity stunt or a way to bring some positive buzz to the team that continues to be overshadowed by the Giants, it turned out to be a disaster. But Tebow could have done other things.
In Jacksonville, he could have had some space to practicing his throwing which has been mediocre. He has quick feet, but even with the vibe surrounding him in the offseason, it was not enough to get him to be a starter even with Mark Sanchez's struggles.
Even though most of the team was hurt and struggling to find consistent rhythm, there was something else of why Tebow didn't get the confidence of his team -- he just wasn't good enough to be a starting quarterback.
If he was good enough he would've been in as starting quarterback quickly right before he had bruised ribs and a few weeks before Greg McElroy replaced Sanchez in their win against the Cardinals before a crowd that for the most part hasn't had a lot to cheer for this season.
So did Tebow come in the wrong place at the wrong time? Well, since Sanchez had signed a two-year deal before Tebow came to town, the Jets were dealt with a pretty big gamble. They had to treat Sanchez with a great regard of attention especially since he led the team to the AFC title game twice though they failed to reach the Super Bowl in both games.
But being a backup to a quarterback with years of experience even with mixed result is a huge risk. By taking the opportunity to go to the Jets behind Sanchez, Tebow didn't run the ball that much and wasn't as efficient being a second-string as Colin Kaepernick, who is now the starting man in San Francisco.
Tebow can still come back and prove himself on another team if or when he does leave. But by being a backup, Tebow may have damaged his credibility as a starting quarterback in the NFL. It's already been a tough season for him after a breakout year.
His new team faltered, he was mediocre in wildcat formations, and he broke up with his girlfriend, actress Camilla Belle. We'll leave that last part alone to himself, but after a year when he was compared to Cam Newton as two of the best new quarterbacks in a generation, it seems that only Newton is close to the new "greatest generation" of NFL rookie quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson) while Tebow is far behind.
Tebow is a great model citizen and a charitable one too. How ever his career ends he'll be a great role model for people in communities across America. He is a good man, but in the NFL every good man has to play great to be accepted as a good player.