At some point, this being New York and this also being Tim Tebow, the carping by unnamed sources was bound to happen.
And now it has.
More than a dozen of his teammates and members of the Jets‘ organization, most of whom requested anonymity, told the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta that not only do they not think he’s the team’s savior, they don’t think he’s very good.
“He’s terrible,” one Jets defensive starter said.
Tebow, who has averaged seven offensive snaps per game, led the Denver Broncos on a playoff run last season and wants to be a quarterback. But players, like Matt Slauson, haven’t changed their minds about supporting Mark Sanchez.
“It’s not even close,” Slauson said. “All the other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark. We don’t really have a choice.”
Coach Rex Ryan has backed Sanchez at every turn and did so again today, saying he’d discussed the Daily News report with his players and defending Tebow. “I think it’s a cowardly thing if you’re not going to put your name to it,” Ryan said. “That’s about as cowardly of a thing as there is.”
Ryan reiterated that Tebow was never projected as the starter. “We never brought him in here to be the starting quarterback,” Ryan said. “We already have a starting quarterback in Mark Sanchez. I thought I was clear on that from the day we brought Tim in here. What we also were clear on is he’s a football player, and we have used him different roles. … He’s done everything he was brought in here to do.”
The Jets acquired Tebow in a trade in March and have used him mostly in the Wildcat and as a personal punt protector. “We don’t look at him as a quarterback,” one told Mehta. “He’s the Wildcat guy.”
Still, with the Jets’ season unraveling at 3-6, could the team possibly go on the kind of run the Broncos had with him as the starter? One source thought it was possible, although he didn’t want to see Sanchez’s time decrease. “He’s a winner,” the source said of Tebow. “If he stays on the field long enough, usually good things happen.”
Getting on the field, just as it initially was in Denver, is the hard part in New York.
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