So much for any hope Rex Ryan had of spending a quiet week with reporters discussing the New York Jets‘ next opponent.
Several players and other Jets employees were extremely critical of backup quarterback Tim Tebow‘s abilities in a New York Daily News story in Wednesday’s editions, with a starter on the team’s defense even calling Tebow “terrible.”
Beat writer Manish Mehta wrote that he talked to “more than a dozen Jets players and members of the organization” about Tebow’s potential to get more out of the disappointing Jets offense than struggling starter Mark Sanchez. The answers were not positive.
“We don’t look at him as a quarterback,” one starter said. “He’s the Wildcat guy.”
Left guard Matt Slauson, the only critic who was willing to be quoted in the story, dismissed Tebow and third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.
“It’s not even close,” Slauson said. “All the other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark. We don’t really have a choice.”
One source, described as “a prominent member of the organization,” didn’t sound like he expected to see Tebow under center this season.
“It would take extreme poor play. … like a five-interception game. Something where it was just ridiculous,” he said.
Another veteran starter was asked if the Jets could win with Tebow as their starting quarterback. He asked the reporter if he “had to” answer the question.
Many in the media continue to clamor for Ryan to bench Sanchez in favor of Tebow, despite the fact the coach hasn’t given any indication he’s even considering such a move. Tebow comes in for an occasional Wildcat play, gains a few yards, then jogs back to the Jets‘ sideline in favor of Sanchez. So far, that’s all the brain trust of Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has been able to come up with during this 3-6 season.
Tebow, who took over the Denver Broncos‘ starting job after several games last season before coming to the Jets in an offseason trade, has handled the situation with class. Sanchez has been a stand-up guy, too, but he has done little on the field to inspire all his defenders.
“Look at some of the players he’s throwing to,” a Jets official said, according to Mehta. “It’s garbage.”
Oh, by the way, the Jets play the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. In case anyone was wondering.