NFL.com – “Failure to Launch” Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez struggled in a preseason opening loss to the Bengals just as the Jets duo of QBs have done throughout training camp.
Other reviews were mixed (good, bad, indifferent) and neither Quarterback blew the socks off of anyone watching the “competition” closely in Florham Park. Very little can be ascertained from the results of Preseason Week 1, but it can give you a glimpse of potential down the road, and the Jets appear yet to have answered one of their most pressing questions of the offseason; how to improve on the 25th ranked team in Offensive Passing Efficiency and 18th in Offensive Pass Success Rate?
The addition of Tim Tebow certainly puts a heavy pressure on opposing defenses with his threat to run on any down, at any moment. Tebow’s strength in the pocket also buys him second chances to find receivers down the field when the first option breaks down. He is tough, determined, and a gritty competitor that will fight you ‘til the end.
But in the end, did the front office management team of Head Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum improve their position enough to catch the New England Patriots in the AFC East, and teams like Cincinnati, Kansas City, San Diego, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Houston or Tennessee? You might as well throw in Buffalo as well. These clubs will be in their division races and could also land one of the two Wildcards playoffs. I don’t think so.
Here are the 3 reasons why.
- See above – the Jets haven’t improved the two most predictive factors to winning in the NFL. Sure, Tebow took the Broncos to the playoffs, but his performance was an anomaly in a division that was mediocre at best. Mark Sanchez ranked 27th in NFL OPE, Tebow 33rd. Denver finished 31st in NFL OPSR with Tebow under center. Regardless of any additions made to the receiver corps (2nd round Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech), a completion percentage of 46.5% does little to improve the performance of that group and doesn’t build upon Sanchez’s 56.7%. You tell me, “Did the Jets improve upon an overall passing game that was a drag on the unit most of 2011?”
- Coach Rex Ryan makes the case for Tebow’s running ability, and Tony Sparano was brought in as Offensive Coordinator with the “Wildcat” in his playbook. No doubt Tebow is a dangerous quarterback when running with the football. The Jets finished 16th in the League in Run Success Rate and Tebow improves a position (Quarterback) that ran for 103 yards & 2.8 average. But #15’s run/pass threat loses a bit of its edge when brought in situationally vs every down. Tebow gained 469 of his total 660 yards rushing on 1st & 2nd down, almost 500 of those total yards from his own goal line to the opponent’s 40. For a player to be utilized in the redzone (19 carries for 73 yds) and 3rd down….hmmm?
- Starting Quarterback Mark Sanchez was drafted 5th overall in 2009 and you don’t take a Quarterback that high unless you’re committed to him….period. Until Hill was drafted, the highest receiver taken was Jeremy Kerley in the 5th round of 2011. Hill has tremendous numbers on paper, but will need time to develop. By trading for Tebow, emphasis shifted in the 2012 draft and the Jets would bypass QB’s Bradon Weeden and Brock Osweiler to select DE Quinton Coples. Not too surprising for a coach who’s drafted #1 his side of the ball every year since hand selecting Sanchez. What Sanchez really needed was a veteran with skills to teach him preparation/work ethic, leadership on/off the field, and push him in Training Camp – all to advance the passing attack, not running the football.
Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy will be the third quarterback, a player yet to attempt a pass in an NFL game. Boise State’s Kellen Moore (DET) would have even been as good a pick to accomplish the three things Sanchez needs most in the Jets 2012 Training Camp. Though just Preseason Week 1, the Jets quarterbacks compiled 12 of 20 passing, 97 yards, 0 TD’s & 1 INT, 5 sacks.
The development of Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback of the New York Jets is over. Can someone tell me how the Jets have gotten better at the position or what the plan is going to be?
Preferably not the “media guide” answer…