Over 40 years have passed since quarterback “Broadway” Joe Namath made the bold prediction that came to fruition when the New York Jets won the Super Bowl in 1968. However, with the recent signing of quarterback Tim Tebow, the Jets are in for their most unpredictable season ever.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan is also one for predictions. He predicted confidently last year that his Jets team would win the Super Bowl. His personality – though ego may be the better word to use – is strong in the eye of the public as was Namath’s. Though the media paid as much attention to Ryan’s prediction as they did to Namath’s, Ryan’s was nowhere close.
The Jets finished the 2011 season with an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs.
In his first two seasons as the Jets head coach, Ryan seemed to have his team and their fans believing in his system. After becoming the head coach in 2009, he helped lead the Jets to two consecutive AFC Championship games. The Jets fell short in both of those games and failed to reach the Super Bowl.
This past season was the most turbulent for the Jets during Ryan’s tenure. Along with the disappointment of missing the playoffs, rumors of locker room turmoil surfaced and the inconsistency of quarterback Mark Sanchez drew criticism from sports analysts and fans alike.
So what player do they trade for to ensure that this upcoming season goes smoother? Tim Tebow.
There may be no other player in the league that is as unpredictable on a weekly basis as Tebow. What was predictable about his game as a quarterback for the Denver Broncos was that he was rarely attempted over 20 passes per game. The unpredictable aspect was the significance those few completions had in the late stages of a game. Tebow always seemed to come up big in pressure situations.
Though he possesses plenty of intangibles that coaches love like the desire to win and being a natural leader, Tebow also brings with him a demand for his presence. This doesn’t come from Tebow himself, but rather from his legion of supporters. “Tebowmania” will invade the Big Apple, and with it will come a demand for playing time from his fans.
Ryan and the Jets staff have stated that they will have special packages in which they will use Tebow in their offense. The challenge they have is finding the right balance of playing time for Tebow. If his playing time is limited, Tebow and his fans will begin showing dissatisfaction with the Jets coaching staff. If he is brought in frequently, Sanchez may begin to question the team’s trust in his abilities as a leader.
Though Ryan and Tebow will have their fair share of the pressure this season, Sanchez will unarguably be the person most under the radar. If the Jets start the season as sluggishly as the Broncos did this past year, well, ask Kyle Orton what happens next.
Granted that Broncos fans have been very critical of their starting quarterbacks since John Elway retired, New York is by far a larger market area than Denver is, and the microscope will definitely be on the play of Sanchez.
What the Jets did by acquiring Tebow was draw even more attention to a dysfunctional team. The Giants Super Bowl victory has now taken a backseat to the Tebow trade. Perhaps ego played the biggest role in the Jets trading for Tebow. Ryan must full-heartedly believe that he can showcase Tebow’s skills in a way that will not only satisfy the fans and the team, but also in a way that will lead them to the Super Bowl.