Saturday, March 24, 2012
Waiting on Sanchez's reaction to Tebow
By Rich Cimini
Sunday notes, thoughts and observations -- a total of 15, in honor of you-know-who's number:
1. The world waits for Mark Sanchez to comment on his new teammate, Tim Tebow. If he wants to be the leader of the Jets, Sanchez needs to say something -- anything. He can't wait two months, the amount of time that elapsed before he fired back at the unnamed teammates that ripped him after the season. He needs to be decisive. From what I'm told, Sanchez was stunned by the Tebow trade, coming so soon after the contract extension. He never saw it coming. Not many did, but now it's time to take control of the situation.
2. Sanchez, who took a physical beating last season, is taking a different approach to training in the offseason. His California-based trainer wants him to add muscle to help protect him from the wear and tear. As a result, Sanchez is up to 230, five pounds heavier than last season's playing weight.
3. The Jets are taking a lot of heat for the trade, but how about the Broncos? Tebow was their only viable backup. All they have now is a 36-year-old quarterback coming off four neck surgeries and former Bears backup Caleb Hanie, whom they signed Saturday. He proved last season he can't play. Not too smart for the Broncos. Why was John Elway in such a rush to get Tebow out of town? Said one former GM: "Who gives up a (former) first-round pick that just took your team to the playoffs? They should be at a podium, with a cigarette in their mouth, explaining that one." It was the first time in history that a QB, in his first or second year, won a playoff start and changed teams that offseason, according to Elias.
4. I spoke to Eagles WR Riley Cooper, Tebow's old college roommate, and asked (half-jokingly) to give me some dirt on his close friend. "Everybody always asks for dirt on him," Cooper said. "Tim Tebow is the closest thing to perfect as I've ever been around. The only thing I can think of is that he didn't clean up his dishes. He left dishes and cereal bowls all around our living room. That's all I've got for you."
5. Don't be surprised if Tebow has a small role on special teams. Coach Mike Westhoff probably already is scheming up ways to utilize Tebow's versatility. Coach-turned-analyst Eric Mangini said he expects to see Tebow on teams, saying: "When you look at Mike Westhoff and what he did with Brad Smith as a personal protector, I think that’s an excellent role because there’s always the threat of a fake, and it’s going to change the dynamic on that team. That’s the quarterback of the punt team."
6. So here's the short version of the Jets' offseason: They've added two backups (Tebow and WR Chaz Schilens) and a starting safety (LaRon Landry) with durability concerns.
7. I don't have an issue with the Jets wanting to use a wildcat package, but they didn't have to make a trade to find a guy to run it. They have three capable players on the roster -- Jeremy Kerley, Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight.
8. The Jets also acquired Tebow to help in the red zone and in short-yardage situations. But get this: The Jets led the league in red-zone efficiency and, over the final 11 weeks, they produced the second-best success rate (80 percent) in short-yardage.
9. Now we know why Antonio Cromartie is a good cornerback -- he can backpedal with the best of them.
10. Let's do some number crunching: The Jets had to cough up $2.5 million to close the Tebow deal and they ate a $500,000 signing bonus with Drew Stanton, who lasted a week on the roster. With that $3 million, they could've made a strong play for free-agent WR Mario Manningham, who received $3.55 million in total first-year compensation from the 49ers. He would've filled a huge need.
11. That said, the Jets did right by Stanton, trading him to the Colts after Tebow-ing him.
12. The Jets signed Landry, he of the Achilles-tendon troubles, to a favorable contract that provides protection in the event of an injury. It's a one-year, $3.5 million deal. He received a $950,000 signing bonus, a $700,000 base salary and $1.75 million in roster bonuses, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. The roster bonus is paid out on a game-by-game basis. In other words, every time he plays a game, he receives a $109,000 bonus.
13. Landry's attendance in the off-season program bears watching. When he played for the Redskins, he "never showed up," according to former Washington GM Vinny Cerrato. "He only showed up for the mandatory stuff. He wouldn't return any calls." Landry has incentive to show up -- a $100,000 workout bonus.
14. The Dolphins didn't get Manning or Matt Flynn or Alex Smith, so you have to think they really like Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Here's the problem: The Dolphins own the eighth pick; they'd better hope the Browns don't take him at 4. Otherwise, it's Matt Moore vs. David Garrard in camp. Yawn.
15. Arrogance could ruin the Saints. A couple of years ago, they were the NFL's darlings, but they let it go to their head. Sean Payton, thinking he was above everybody, defied Roger Goodell and allowed to the team's bountry program to continue. Payton got his, a one-year suspension. Now the Saints are playing negotiating games with Drew Brees, the face of the franchise. They used to be easy to root for, but not anymore.