The New York Jets officially named third-string quarterback Greg McElroy the starter Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Not only did McElroy jump former starter Mark Sanchez, but the second-year quarterback jumped No. 2 man Tim Tebow, as well.
The latter is perhaps the most fascinating part of this decision. Everyone expected Sanchez to be benched after committing five turnovers -- four interceptions and one fumble -- in Monday’s heartbreaking defeat to the Tennessee Titans. That Tebow won’t get the next shot to lead the Jets is telling.
Here is the blunt truth: New York's coaching staff simply doesn’t believe in Tebow.
Although Rex Ryan and Co. will never say it publicly, they simply don’t think Tebow is any good. To start a 2011 seventh-round pick (McElroy) over a former first-round pick (Tebow) who won a playoff game last January says all we need to know.
The Jets made the much-hyped acquisition of Tebow with high expectations. Not only did New York expect Tebow to successfully run the Wildcat package, but the team expected him to be ready to take over the team if Sanchez faltered. But Tebow has looked awful at every opportunity. He struggled in the preseason, he’s done nothing for the Jets in the regular season, and you have to assume he looks pretty bad in practice after this decision.
Maybe the Jets will catch lighting in a bottle with McElroy. He played well in spot duty against the Arizona Cardinals, but the zany comparisons to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady are silly. Let’s see what McElroy has these next two weeks, as opposed to a quarter and a half.
But what we do know is Sanchez and Tebow are not the answer for the Jets. The organization passing them over for McElroy Tuesday is confirmation that the Jets have finally quit this experiment.
Sanchez is probably stuck in New York for another year due to his guaranteed $8.25 million contract. But Tebow has more flexibility and needs to get out of New York ASAP if he wants to salvage what’s left of his NFL career.