Rex Ryan is being coy about who he’ll play at quarterback for the Jets on Sunday in Jacksonville
He could go back to Mark Sanchez. He could stick with Greg McElroy, who won Sunday against Arizona in relief. Or he could turn to Tim Tebow, who’s recovering from rib injuries and was inactive this past Sunday.
The storyline will be massive if Tebow gets the call. He’s from Jacksonville and he won a Heisman Trophy and two national championships in nearby Gainesville. When Denver signed Peyton Manning and looked to shed Tebow, the Jaguars were in the mix with the Jets. But given an option, Tebow ultimately steered the Broncos to New York’s offer.
The Jaguars' defense has the regular incentive to play well. Jobs are certainly on the line for a 2-10 team that regularly gets shredded.
If Tebow plays, the Jaguars' defense can do the organization a huge favor by playing well against him. They can do wonders to silence the Tebow crazies by showing him to be the gimmick he is. If they allow a productive game, or, worse, one of those anemic performances that then finishes with a magical ending, they’ll be pouring gas on a fire.
A new round of talk about how Tebow is the savior the Jaguars need will kick off. The fans who back the guys who are actually on the team -- and will support those who will join them -- will be heading to the medicine cabinet for Tylenol.
I feel certain the bulk of the Jaguars respect Tebow for what he’s done and think he’s a swell guy. Everyone should feel that way about him. The debate is over the quality of his quarterbacking.
That he’s not been able to get on the field for the Jets this year tells us a great deal more about him. If the best a team that wanted him can do is tell us how well he practices, it doesn’t say much for his NFL quarterbacking capabilities.
His fan base remains passionate, however. Any chance for the story to actually get some football carbonation and bubble back up won’t be of any benefit to the Jaguars.
If he starts or appears in relief, it’s in the hands of Jacksonville’s defense to limit the next round of Tebow talk.
If they get a chance, they've got to make him what he is.