Originally posted on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 3/21/12

A couple seasons ago we had a drinking game. If the Dolphins were playing (and you have the misfortunate of having to watch) take a drink every single time you hear the term “wildcat.” That season, if you played that game, you AND Ronnie Brown would be drunk by the end of the 2nd quarter. We tried to do it last season and were sober all game. The wildcat went the way of some other trends in the NFL. And I, for one, was glad to see it go.

Fast forward to this offseason (we need another word cause the NFL truly does not have one of those), the Jets have acquired former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano to run their offense and now Tim Tebow to…to…well, isn’t that the question? What exactly do the Jets want Tebow to do? Of course it’s possible that the Jets acquire Tebow as a true backup. A guy that only gets 2nd team reps and only plays if the starter cannot. But this smells like something more. Actually, it’s not a smell…it’s more like a stench.

Last year, to “motivate” Sanchez Rex Ryan started giving over-the-hill-no-chance-in-hell-he’d-ever-play-wasn’t-that-good-when-he-did-play back up QB Mark Brunell some of Sanchez’s reps. When the media and bloggers (including myself!) pointed out how effing ridiculous it is to try to motivate a starter by giving reps to someone who hasn’t a chance in hell of taking that person’s job the Jets pretended as though the change in reps was just par for the course and nothing to worry about.

Except people did worry. They worried that Sanchez wasn’t mentally tough enough to deal with all the pressure of being an NFL QB in a major media market. Fast forward to the end of the season and the Jets had a complete meltdown with the first of the strong rumblings coming after safety Eric Smith took a bad angle and couldn’t tackle Tebow costing the Jets an opportunity to win the game. When the season was officially over anonymous receivers named Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress couldn’t wait to criticize Sanchez. Next thing you know there were fingers being pointed everywhere and the Jets drama was dominating the news cycle with 8th string QBs giving us the 411.

You’d think a team that had gone through all of that would take the low key approach to fixing the mess in their franchise. But not the Jets. They first pursue Peyton Manning and after being brutally rebuffed make an odd gesture to Mark Sanchez by extending his contract unnecessarily — and without much extra money added to it. So basically they began yet another exercise in just plain being insulting. They barely waited a week before they jumped into the Tebow fray announcing the deal was done before reading Tebow’s contract and finding out they’d have to add another 5 million to price. Yet another embarrassment. But not to be discouraged they ended up going through with the deal anyway.

The Jets’ acquisition of Tebow put the guys over at Fifth Down in the mood to reminisce:

…and the Jets did what the Jets do Wednesday, cannonballing through another off-season, the splash wide enough and high enough to mask a team with serious deficiencies.

Here came the same team that traded for Brett Favre and Santonio Holmes, that signed Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson and Plaxico Burress and every other big name it could land in recent seasons. Here came the Jets to trade for Tim Tebow, international star and mediocre quarterback, the latter of which their roster already has in volume.

I’m 100% sure that Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones are currently speechless at the Jets’ incompetence.

Joe Namath has been given a platform to express his frustrations and for once he’s on Sanchez’s side. Says Sanchez should be “angry” at what the Jets are doing.

In fact, everyone is talking about Sanchez. MARSHA MARSHA MARSHA!

What about the rest of the team? If the Jets aren’t sure about their QB why should anyone else be? Before Braylon Edwards was unceremoniously booted out of New York he took issue with Sanchez calling himself a leader since his play wasn’t up to bar (in Braylon’s eyes). They recovered from that and worked well together for the rest of the season. Last year it seemed pretty clear that Sanchez was not the Jets’ only problem, yet they have chosen to undermine him and him only yet again. You can forgive their tepid attempt to bring in Manning’s elite play, but bringing in Tebow who some believe is good enough to be a starter in the NFL provided a team is willing to play to his strengths? If Sanchez so much as coughs, get ready to suffer through the likes of Skip Baseless (no typo) and Peter King egging the Jets on to bench Sanchez and start Tebow.

At which point we could remind them that Sanchez has been quite the winner in his few seasons with the Jets but no one will give a damn cause Tebowmania rots brains faster than chronic wasting disease.

If Sanchez is a scapegoat for the organization he will be a scapegoat for linemen that can’t protect (as he was last season), receivers that put in minimal effort to receive (as he was last season), and any number of other issues the Jets have on offense. It’s as if the Jets don’t realize that the QB himself is NOT the only person on a team with a vested interest in knowing who the QB will be.  The Jets are so concerned about whether or not they want Sanchez they’re creating an environment where everyone including Sanchez would rather be somewhere else. Or maybe that’s the plan. Maybe they want to make him so uncomfortable he gives up and they have no choice but to start over.

Problem solved!

Unless Tebow becomes your starter. It might look like Tebow can handle anything but this is the guy that walks around singing and damn near drawing butterflies in the turf when the game is on the line. His NFL SoundFX was the absolute most childish display I’ve witnessed since Randy Moss fake-mooned fans. NY media might very well eat him alive.

NFL expert Adam Caplan said “Anytime a team admits they are bringing in a QB to run the wild cat, they are waiving the white flag on a real offense. Enjoy.”

There’s a reason you can’t play the wildcat drinking anymore cause gimmicks don’t work long term. Either you have an offense or you don’t. If the Jets don’t think that their players look at this mess and start feeling like a dark cloud is forming over the upcoming season they are just as crazy as reporters who refer to a 9 and 7 starter as someone who “just wins.” By the way, a couple of Tebow’s Broncos teammates admitted to NFL network anonymously that they felt Tebow got too much credit for their work and that they hated the fact that they couldn’t keep up score for score with teams who had real QBs. Surprise surprise.

I would never say that Sanchez is great. We know he’s been shaky quite often but we also know the offense had other issues. Overall,  I think the jury is still out on Sanchez the same way it’s still out on Matt Ryan, Matt Cassel and to a lesser extent Matt Schaub. But when an organization is doing everything it can to make a player’s life difficult it’s fair to question the mental state of those who run the team and not just the one who passes the ball.



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