EDITOR’S NOTE: UPDATED 3/24/12 AT 9:52 AM/ET — WHEN ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED THIS PIECE WAS MISTAKENLY POSTED UNDER GREG COSELL’S BYLINE WHEN IT WAS IN FACT WRITTEN BY GREG SMITH. THE BY-LINE HAS BEEN CHANGED TO REFLECT GREG SMITH’S AUTHORSHIP. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE ERROR AND ANY CONFUSION IT MAY HAVE CAUSED.
Mark Sanchez’s authority has been undermined by the addition of Tim Tebow, and that is a GOOD thing for the Jets, not a bad thing as many analysts have suggested. If the starting quarterback can’t take the heat of competition, he shouldn’t be in the huddle. Sanchez, in fact, could learn a lot from his new “backup”. My friend Paul, who is a Jets fan and NFL Films co-worker, said yesterday, “Tebow is everything Sanchez isn’t. He has good body language when he makes a mistake and projects confidence at all times.” Paul added, “They both can’t throw. At least Tebow does everything else well.”
My friend Garrett’s opinion: “Tebow doesn’t make bad decisions, just bad throws. Sanchez makes bad decisions AND bad throws.” I agree with the assessments, for the most part. I’m not willing to say Tebow doesn’t make any bad decisions, but he makes fewer than Sanchez. Most important, I believe Tebow will develop into a better passer, while I’m not sure Sanchez will develop into a better leader. Tebow has made dramatic improvements with his throwing mechanics, arm strength, and accuracy since I saw him during Senior Bowl week two years ago, and his work ethic and determination will allow him to continue progressing. Meanwhile, Sanchez has regressed as a player, and his droopy body language indicates that his confidence has eroded as well. In general, a quarterback’s duties are as follows:
- Project confidence and intelligence at all times
- Organize and encourage teammates
- Speak authoritatively and clearly when conveying objectives
- Process detailed information quickly
- Throw and run effectively
- Act like nothing hurts, even when it does
Most anything a QB does falls under one of these umbrellas. By NFL standards, Sanchez is ok at some of them, not great at any of them, and is inferior to Tebow at almost all of them. Right now, Tebow comes up short in #4 and #5. He needs to get better at reading defenses and throwing the football. However, he is elite in the other areas. With a deeper understanding of the passing game, Tebow’s mechanics will improve, which will lead to more accurate passes. I have no doubt that he is a superior athlete to Sanchez, and with more training, can become the superior passer. As for 2012, it is going to be tough for Sanchez to hold his starting job. Forget about Mike Tannenbaum’s assertion – Tebow isn’t merely a ‘Wildcat’ quarterback. He is the kind of player that would accept that role, but wouldn’t be satisfied with it. A QB controversy exists in New York, and it is about darn time. Sanchez has been coddled for too long. He needs to lose the puppy dog eyes, take control of the Jets offense, and beat out Tim Tebow. If he can do that, than he would finally deserve to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets.