Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/30/12
Considering all the media attention the Jets garner, one would think they were the team from New York that just won the Super Bowl last year.
 
However, this is New York and the city that never sleeps always loves a juicy story to pounce on. Whether the Jets are anything more than an amusing sideshow worthy of nothing more than back page covers remains to be seen.
 
Last season was certainly a strange one for Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and the rest of the dysfunctional Jets. After emerging to the AFC Championship match on back-to-back seasons, the Jets held an enormous amount of anticipation and were seen as more of a legitimate contender than their cross-town rivals.   
 
Yet while the Giants found the strength and will to shock the world (again), the Jets faltered under intense pressure in a toxic clubhouse that fell apart. It ended up being another lost season for a team that bowed out with numerous questions unanswered.
 
As Gang Green prepares for an upcoming season, they are once again stealing headlines with the arrival of media darling Tim Tebow. As the Jets look ready to redeem themselves, let’s take a look at the best and worst case scenario for upcoming season.
 
Mark Sanchez

Best Case Scenario:  It may be now or never for the Sanchize to step up and become a leader.

Sanchez, who has always been coddled by the Jets, now faces a challenge he has never faced before: job security. Yet, despite the gargantuan buzz surrounding his new back-up, Sanchez has handled the situation seamlessly so far which shows great maturity. Bringing in Tebow may serve as a wake-up call to Sanchez to step up his performance on the field and become a charismatic talisman the team can rally around.

Despite his struggles with turnovers, Sanchez had career highs in yards and touchdowns last season which shows that his skills are improving. Sanchez will reduce his turnovers, become more accurate, and will develop a good rapport with Tebow who’ll be used often in the red zone. In the end, Sanchez should only care about winning and if he keeps his starter’s role by playing well, most Jet fans will stand by him.
  
Worst Case Scenario: While Sanchez has handled the Tebow situation well so far, training camp just started now so the harsh reality of losing his role may continue to get worse.

Sanchez has always been depicted as being sensitive and the number of people clamoring that Tebow should be the starter will grow with each gaffe he makes. While Coach Ryan has been adamant that Sanchez will be his starter for Week 1, the likelihood that he will remain the starter is worrisome.

Sanchez has always carried great potential and ability but when the Jets needed him last year to lead them after the defense and running game struggled, he faltered with 26 total turnovers. There is no denying that once the season commences, the media and fans will jump on Sanchez as soon as he begins being a liability on the field. Plus in an offense that looks set to run the ball again more often and win by with a strong defense, Tebow may be the better option than Sanchez.

Overall, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if we saw Sanchez lose his job during the season which may effectively destroy any confidence he has of playing in New York.         
 
Tim Tebow
  
Best Case Scenario: There are two kinds of scenarios that would be great for the Jets.

Right now, Ryan and the rest of the organization want to use him as a specialty player capable of pounding the ball which we know he’s capable of. The Jets would love for their system to work where Sanchez improves as the starter and Tebow can be used in the red zone and on third down plays. Any scenario where the Jets need to fight for yards, Tebow will be brought in as a valuable piece. Under Coach Tony Sparano’s offense, expect to see some wildcat plays with Tebow charging forward or blocking.
 
On the other hand, the Jets would also benefit from knowing that, if Sanchez struggles, Tebow is ready to become the starting QB. His accuracy truly needs to improve as he’s looked like an amateur in the pocket at times. However, Tebow perseveres when others doubt him as he led the Denver Broncos to the postseason and to a win over the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. The Jets are hoping that Tebow’s magical ride doesn’t stop under the bright lights of NYC.
  
Worst Case Scenario: The Tim Tebow experiment becomes an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions which the Jets should have saw coming.

Bringing in Tebow was not a vote of confidence for Sanchez, who cringes when the pressure is at its highest. Many fans are upset that, while the Giants prepare to win, the Jets prefer to be talked about endlessly by the media. In a clubhouse that gloriously fell apart, Tebow isn’t exactly a figure who is easy to cope with. Much like the Broncos players who felt they didn’t get enough credit for their wins, certain players on the Jets will undoubtedly direct their scorn towards Tebow as well.
 
Also, another major factor that is a cause for concern is that Tebow is walking into uncharted territory in New York. At the University of Florida and Denver, Tebow was a beloved figure no matter what because of what the media built him up to be. However, most New Yorkers won’t be as patient and are quickly capable of turning against athletes. If the Jets struggle and fail to make the playoffs partially because of Tebow, many fans will cry that he’s only a distraction that is getting in the way of what the team is supposed to be striving for. Right now, the arrival of Tebow is a glamorous affair full of excitement and anticipation. Yet, in a city that only cares about what players have for them recently, the situation could turn quite ugly for Tebow in the blink of any eye.



  
Running Backs 
  
Best Case Scenario: As the Jets revert back into a ground and pound offense again, Greene really needs to become a more consistent and explosive player.

Greene has played better when the Jets were in the playoffs than in the regular season which shows he has struggled to meet his potential. However, in Sparano’s offense, he’ll get the ball a lot and have his chance to become an elite running back. He amounted to over 1,200 total yards from scrimmage and that will only increase this year.  
 
For Joe McKnight, he’s always had the speed but he hasn’t put it all together to become a dependable option. As the favorite for the back-up, McKnight is primed to be an effective change of pace from the bruising runs by Greene. His work ethic issues will become a thing of the past as he’ll be reinvigorated in Sparano’s wildcat, running-oriented offense.  
  
Worst Case Scenario: Both Greene and McKnight will continue to frustrate.

Greene has never shown he can become a No. 1 RB as he lacks vision and the ability to dodge defenders. McKnight will disappoint with his opportunities and will become relegated to special teams duty as either Bilal Powell or Terrance Ganaway will be more incorporated into the offense. With Tim Tebow taking away touchdown runs in the red zone, Greene and McKnight may become frustrated that their efforts can’t be awarded with scores.     
 
Wide Receivers 
  
Best Case Scenario: Santonio Holmes will move on from his issues with his teammates and the New York media and play like an elite receiver.

He did score 8 touchdowns and, as the team’s best receiver, he’ll continue to lead the team in yards and scores because of his fantastic speed. As a veteran, he will help mentor raw rookie Stephen Hill who is already expected to start up alongside him. As Sanchez improves, Holmes will benefit as the explosive deep threat to catch defenses off guard in their conservative offensive game-plan.
 
As for the Jets’ other receivers, rookie Stephen Hill will immediately excel lining up alongside Holmes. He has ideal agility and size and has enough talent to succeed in the NFL. Chaz Schilens is expected to be the No. 3 WR because he has shown moments of promise in his career with the Raiders. He’ll get over his chronic injury issues and will give Sanchez another solid option to throw too.
  
Worst Case Scenario: Holmes will continue to be a cancerous figure on the field and in the clubhouse.

Holmes has struggled to be on the same page with Sanchez and having Tebow as a starter will frustrate him more. Holmes is their best WR but his 654 receiving yards last season was a disappointment and it won’t improve with who the Jets have in their pocket. If the team struggles out of the gate, expect Holmes to be a difficult figure for the team that desperately needs harmony. At worst, he could get benched again for being an enigmatic figure that doesn’t produce as often as he should and for being a persistent distraction.  
 
In regards to the other receivers, Hill is extremely raw and unproven. If the Jets expect him to be the second best receiver, it would be a huge gamble to put that much responsibility on a player who hasn’t taken a single snap in the NFL. Schilens has been seriously injury-prone which has derailed his career so far and it will only continue to hamper him in New York. Overall, the Jets may need to acquire another receiver during the season if Schilens gets injured and Hill disappoints out of the gate.
 
Wayne Hunter
  
Best Case Scenario: Last season, offensive tackle Wayne Hunter became a focal point of ire for Jets fans as he continued to be pushed around by elite pass rushers. Hunter struggled protecting the blind side for Sanchez who paid the price often by taking numerous sacks. Yet, the Jets’ coaching staff continues to support the veteran who has played with the Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Jets since 2003. If Hunter doesn’t improve, the Jets are hoping that their new acquisition, Carolina Panthers OT Jeff Otah, can be a valuable replacement after recovering from his injuries.
  
Worst Case Scenario: Hunter continues to struggle which leads to Sanchez and Tebow being pressured from the blind side early and often.

Otah, who had a fantastic debut season in 2009, has been plagued with injuries since and his deal with the Jets can be nullified if he doesn’t pass his physical. Even if Otah becomes a Jet, the injury-prone OT may not have enough opportunities to perform on the field.    
 
Defense        
  
Best Case Scenario: If the Jets are going to win the Super Bowl, they need their defense to become one of the best in the NFL again. In order for that to happen, rookie Quinton Coples needs to become an elite defensive end similar to the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul. Bart Scott needs to improve from last season as age began to catch up with him. Scott can also be influential as a mentor to rookie linebacker Demario Davis represents a future leader of the Jets defense. In regards to the secondary, cornerback Antonio Cromartie must get better after a disappointing season last year. With Darelle Revis, the Jets must hope that the contract issues goes away as he continues to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
  
Worst Case Scenario: For it to go horribly wrong for the Jets, Coples becomes a draft bust after not showing enough motor and drive. Scott will get worse with age, Cromartie will continue to be beaten by elite opposing receivers, and Revis’ contract issues will end up being just another distraction on this team.             
 
 
 
         
 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Pacers accuse Lakers of tampering with Paul George

Report: Anquan Boldin abruptly tells Bills he's retiring

Todd Bowles blames O-line for Christian Hackenberg’s poor preseason outing

Justin Verlander implies baseballs are juiced

Blake Griffin: I could see LeBron going to NYC before LA

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ric Flair's daughter says WWE legend 'getting better'

NBA confirms Lakers under investigation for tampering

Report: Le'Veon Bell may return to Steelers by Labor Day

Report: Savage 'firmly in control' of Texans' starting QB job

Jaguars send message with latest unofficial depth chart?

Hackenberg gets Wikipedia treatment after brutal sack

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker