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EA Q&A: Vision with Tebow Did Not Materialize

Posted Dec 26, 2012

Happy Holidays to all of Jets Nation!

Matt
Millington, MI
Q:
Why aren't the Jets playing Tim Tebow? It defies reason not to.

EA: The Tebow experiment hasn’t worked the way the Jets or Tebow had envisioned. 

He was brought here to be an offensive package player (Rex Ryan said anywhere from 2-20 snaps a game) and the Jets have had limited success when he has been in the field.  His 3.2-yard per rush average is pedestrian and he has completed six short passes.  Then you throw in the fact that the guy has suffered from cracked ribs the past month and it becomes even more problematic.

The Green & White never brought Tebow in to be a starting quarterback. They wanted him to be their 2012 version of Brad Smith and it really never materialized.  By bulking up in the offseason to take on a special teams role as punt protector, did Tebow possibly lose half a step?

Also I believe the Jets had problems finding out when to insert him into action.  There are a lot of examples, but let’s focus on the second half of the season.  The Jets broke tendency in Seattle on Nov. 11 by having Tebow throw the ball for three short gains.  But there was a key point in the second quarter of a 7-7 contest when Tebow entered on a third-and-goal play that never got off because Dustin Keller was charged for a false start.  Then Sanchez came in on third-and-6 and was promptly picked off by Richard Sherman on a horrible decision.

A week later in St. Louis, the Rams kept their defense on the field on a fourth-down and easily snuffed out a fourth-and-5 Tebow pass to Lex Hilliard.  The next time Tebow saw action on the field was Dec. 17 in Tennessee.  Rex Ryan gave him the entire third series at QB for the first time this season and the Jets hit the stop sign after gaining 23 yards on two plays.  After a punt, the Jets came back on the field and Sanchez immediately threw an INT to Jason McCourty.

If the Jets started Tebow, they would have to scrap their conventional offensive attack.  They clearly are not ready to do that and they want to see what Greg McElory has to offer at the position.  Many folks who cover this team believe the Jets and Tebow will part ways once the season ends.

Carl
Gillette, NJ

Q: Hey EA, can the Jets pull off a trade with 'Niners for Alex Smith? Mark goes back to Cali?

EA:
I don’t say never too much, but I give that fantasy trade a less of 1% chance of happening.  Why do the 49ers make that trade, unloading a high-priced backup for another player who would become a high-priced backup?  They might deal Smith and the Jets could explore trading Sanchez, but a one-on-one swap is not happening. 

Danny L.
Lake Grove, NY
Q:
What or who should the Jets look for at QB next season? Should Rex lose his job?   Would you see him staying on as a defensive coordinator and who would be a prospect for coach?

EA: The Jets certainly have a lot of questions heading into the offseason.  All three of the Jets current QBs — Greg McElroy, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow — are all under contract.  After the football brass is evaluated, the decision makers have to decide what quarterbacks they want to keep in 2013.  McElroy doesn’t make a lot of coin, so I have to think he’ll be back.  The Jets are evaluating McElroy right now and they will see if he is worthy of being in the competition next year.

But many folks think the Jets and Tebow could part ways while the big question will be Sanchez.  Reports indicate he is scheduled to make more than $8 Million next season and that decision demands deliberate analysis.

Once the season concludes, I will be on the move and collecting some information on the passers in the 2013 Draft Class.  I hope to be in Mobile at the Senior Bowl practices and then in Indy for the Combine. 

Longbranch
Boynton Beach, FL
Q:
Would like to know your true feelings about the quarterback situation. Should have the Jets used McElroy sooner or Tebow?

EA: I think they played it right as far as when Sanchez was pulled in game against Arizona in Week 13 and then benched after they were eliminated from playoff contention with that ugly loss to the Titans.

It has become clear that the Jets believe McElroy gives them a better shot to win in a conventional offense than Tebow.   

Russ
Hyde Park, NY
Q:
An ineffective OL has been the demise of this team for over two years. You have put too many fill-ins on the line with disastrous results — poor planning and poor management coupled with denial.

EA: It is never a good day for any offensive line when a quarterback is sacked 11 times — the amount Greg McElroy was taken down by the Chargers in Week 16.  But everyone on the offense was culpable for that outing.  The backs have to help in protection, the receivers have to separate quickly and there were a couple of times G-Mac had to get rid of the ball sooner. 

After replacing Wayne Hunter at RT, Austin Howard has quietly had a solid season.  The linemen did have to make some adjustments in 2012 as they went from Bill Callahan’s zone-blocking scheme to more of a gap attack with offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and OL Coach Dave Deguglielmo.   The run blocking has been mostly very good in the second half, but the Jets now have yielded 46 sacks and that is too many.

The big offseason questions will be at guard.  Both Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson are set to have their contracts expire and it appears there is a good shot that Vladimir Ducasse will move into one of those slots.  Center Nick Mangold and LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson are mainstays and they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

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