When Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets before the start of the 2012 season, there was mixed comments about the move. With the poor performance of Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez the year before, many thought Tebow would either be effective in sharing the quarterback position by executing specific designed plays for Tebow or might actually become the starter if Sanchez was to struggle as he did last season.
However, others speculated the trade was more of a publicity stunt to get the Jets in the newspapers and that Tebow would have a very limited role, if any, in the Jets offensive scheme. Regardless, he came to New York with a lot of hype but showed little impact in his first season with the Jets. Now that the Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs and looks like the organization will part ways with Tim Tebow, many are wondering if he will play in the NFL for any team next year as a starting quarterback.
Tim Tebow had a short role as a starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos last season. The team was 1-4 before Tebow became the official starter and with the help of many fourth quarter comeback victories, led Denver to their first AFC West title as well as their first playoff game since 2005.
With a reputation of not being able to pass the ball effectively, Tebow stunned everybody, including the defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers by completing a long pass that led to the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Unfortunately, it would be the last game Tebow would win as a Denver Bronco as they were eliminated from the playoffs a week later by the New England Patriots. Despite his popularity, the Broncos acquired Payton Manning as their starter and traded Tebow to the New York Jets.
Though many felt the signing of Tebow was a publicity stunt, the Jets felt they had an effective plan to use both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in the quarterback position. Tony Sparano, the Jets offensive coordinator, said they had a plan for Tebow in the offense but trying to get Sanchez in a successful offensive groove with Tebow hasn’t been the punch line that it’s been made out to be.
Throughout the season, Tebow’s role was extremely limited and when Sanchez showed signs of struggling as a starter earlier in the season, head coach Rex Ryan refrained from using Tebow as the starter.
Last week, the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention when they lost a disappointing game to the Titians as Sanchez had one, if not his worst, starts of the season. With two games left, the Jets will not start Sanchez for the remainder of the season but instead will give the job to third-stringer Greg McElroy. When Sparano was asked why the Tebow package didn’t work, he responded by saying, “It’s combination of things but I wouldn’t use the words ‘didn’t work’ at all.”
While Tebow and Sanchez ponder what is to become of them, Sparano might be only one of a few people who share his opinion. Sparano also echoed Ryan’s unwillingness to come out and say what the plans were for using Tebow.
He said, “We had a plan going into this thing. But obviously the plan always, at that particular time, was that Mark was the quarterback and Tim would have a role and to what degree the role was, if I remember correctly, it was one-to-20 plays in a game. Some days it was eight, some days it was one, some days it was none. Just predicated on what we saw out there. Tim has worked really hard out here, he’s done a good job, he’s worked hard on the practice field, but that’s where we are.”
One particular use was in the Wildcat and was designed for Tebow in getting a first down. The problem was it was meant for short yardage plays but there weren’t many high-yardage packages built in.
Sparano continued to say, “The way that I think the perception is of the Wildcat is that we had a bunch of these 30-yard gains. That wasn’t the case in Miami, either. In Miami, it wasn’t the case at all. We just did it a lot more, so the 2-yard gains and the 5-yard gains (didn’t stand out), but then the 15-yard gain, I guess that jumped out more than the 2 or the 5.”
Now Tebow is left to wonder what will become of him next season and to make matters worse, looks as though he will be spending the holidays without his girlfriend. According to US Weekly, Tebow has broken up with his two-month girlfriend actress Camilla Belle. Even though they were reported dating in October, not much has been said about the two and the relationship might have been less serious as what others may have thought.
Despite the negatives Tebow has been forced to deal with as of late, the one positive he can maybe take with him is as far as Sparano goes, he had defended his play by not putting the blame on him. According to Sparano, Tebow practiced hard the 15 plays that were designed for him every week, even though the result didn’t pan out in yards, touchdowns or wins.
Sparano said, “Whether or not it’s talent or whether or not it’s coaching staff or whether or not it’s this or that — there can be a million excuses. “At the end of the day he’s played however many plays he’s played and that’s where we are.”
While Sparano talks about the work ethic and play of Tim Tebow, NFL fans, as well as Tebow, can only wait until the start of next season to see what the fate will be of Tim Tebow.
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