I have been a very open critic of the House of Tebow from the moment he was drafted. His fundamental flaw, largely bypassed thanks to a throwing motion too ugly to ignore, of an inability to make quick, correct decisions appeared to doom him in my eyes. In his epic run of miracle finishes as a Bronco in 2011, the flaw was in abundant evidence of every game, right up until the final moments when defenses would loosen their coverage, allowing his inaccurate or late passes to find a receiver without needing to work through his progressions. When he could quit trying to think and just play, he became unstoppable.
So, it is with a little bit of irony that it was the incompetence of others that led to his release from the Jets this morning. The Jets got the worst of both worlds from signing Tebow – all the scrutiny and attention and none of the game performance. However, this was their own fault, not Tim’s.
The Jets traded for Tebow early last season after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, yet in the 6 months leading up to the season they never devised any schemes to leverage Tebow’s unique skills. This wasn’t some last minute addition to the team; the coaches had all summer to develop plans for using both players. What exactly did Sparano and Ryan do all summer? Was Ryan distracted by all the women wearing sandals?
The Jets’ coaches may have believed that Mark Sanchez has the tools to become a top-flight quarterback in the NFL but if you are going to sign Tebow and the Skip Bayless-led circus that comes with him, at least find a way to use his skills. Who signs a guy to a multimillion dollar deal just to be a punt protector?
Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan lack either the imagination or intelligence to take advantage of Tebow. I have always said that Tebow is the ultimate 3rd down and 3 quarterback. Yet, after a few failed attempts at bringing him in and then calling the same plays they would have with Sanchez under center they abandoned the experiment completely. Whether afraid of bruising Mark Sanchez’s fragile ego, or just due to sheer ineptness, Tebow was relegated to the bench. And, setting aside Tebow, I think Sanchez’s ego was irrevocably shattered when his name became synonymous with the word ‘butt fumble’.
I hold no ill will toward Tebow or the Jets. In fact, their epic failure actually confirmed my expectations prior to the season. I love being right. But in the end, the Tebow experiment with the Jets wasn’t doomed by Tebow’s failures; it was doomed by the failures of his coaches.
Tebow still has his same flaws – a poor windup and a slow decision making. But it wasn’t his shortcomings that ended his time in New York. It was the shortcomings of his coaches. If anyone deserves to lose their job for the catastrophe of his time with the Jets, it isn’t Tebow, it is the coaches who failed to do their jobs.