Friday, November 16, 2012

Tebow, Woody Johnson and the Jets mess

The New York Jets are 3-6.in last place in the AFC east, heading to St. Louis to meet the Rams Sunday afternoon. The Jets have lost of their last three games and unless something magical and unexpected happens on the football field, the 2012 Jets season is a disaster. The Jets are in trouble both on and off the football field. The center of the Jets ills the off season decision to acquire Tim Tebow.

The Jets picked Tim Tebow up from the Denver Broncos along with the Broncos' 2012 7th round draft pick, in exchange for the Jets' 4th and 6th round picks. The Jets introduced Tebow to the New York media March 26, a press conference the team was forced to move to their practice facility to accommodate the more than 150 media requests. At the press conference Jets special teams’ coordinator Mike Westhoff, suggested the Jets planned to use Tebow on special teams.

Nine games into the Jets 2013 season Mark Sanchez remains the Jets starting quarterback. Nine games into the Jets 2013 season confusion better describes the Jets, and the roles Sanchez and Tebow are playing during games. Sanchez is the Jets quarterback for most of the team’s offensive plays, the problem Tebow has taken an average of seven snaps in Jets first nine games and no one seems to know when Tebow is going to take one of those seven snaps. One of the biggest issues there seems be no there is no rhyme and very little reason.

One of the challenges the Jets face with Tebow, the New York media. With six major daily newspapers, three all-sports radio stations, the Jets can’t hide from the media.

Wednesday, Tebow was blasted in a The New York Daily News story. Citing unnamed teammates, more than a dozen members of the Jets told the Daily News Tebow was a terrible quarterback.
Jets coach Rex Ryan in the line of fire made it clear in a Jets team meeting he wasn’t happy members of his team were talking about a teammate behind that teammates back.

“Did I address it? I absolutely addressed it,” Ryan said of the meeting. “Because I think it’s a cowardly thing. If you’re not going to put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of a thing as there is.”

Tim Tebow won a Heisman Trophy and led the Florida Gators to a national championship at Florida. Tebow was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. Tebow became the Broncos starting quarterback mid-way through the 2011 season. The Broncos made the 2011 NFL playoffs, won their first playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, before losing in the second round of the 2011 NFL playoffs to the New England Patriots.

Tebow was a key to the success the Broncos had on the football field, he earned the respect of his teammates.

“I’ve had criticism somewhat my whole life playing football,” Tebow said. “You got to do your best at handling it. On one side, you try to make it motivate you. But . . . it always has somewhat of an effect on you. You’re human. It’s not always fun having people saying negative things about you, but you try to be stronger from it. It always has made me stronger in the past and it will continue to make me stronger.”

The Jets acquiring Tim Tebow in a trade was a disaster from the moment the Broncos decided they had to unload Tebow. The Broncos had two choices after Peyton Manning signed with the team – release Tebow or trade him. Broncos’ general manager John Elway did what he had to do; he made the best possible deal for his team. Tebow and the Jets were never the right mix.

“That’s not who I am,” Tebow said. “I’m more secure in who I am as a person, as a football player than that to look and wonder or wonder why. . . . I don’t need to stop and wonder why. That doesn’t help me. That doesn’t help you do anything. (It) just makes you think about it more. It can be a little frustrating or saddening, but at the same time, you’re always motivated to go out there and keep working.”

It’s likely Rex Ryan had little if anything to do with Tebow ending up on his roster. The Jets have had ticket selling issues since the Jets and the New York Giants moved into MetLife Stadium at the start of the 2010 season. After the Giants won the Super Bowl in February the Jets must have believed they had to make a bold move to garner awareness. Media pundits believe Jets owner Woody Johnson was behind Tebow’s arrival in New York, Johnson’s rationale – Tim Tebow would help sell tickets for the Jets.

Johnson who hasn’t spoken with the media since the Jets season opening win, threw Ryan and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum under the bus earlier week, after speaking with the media Thursday during the team’s practice.

"I didn't sign up for a 3-6 season," Johnson said. "We haven't had one of these in a while. I'm not happy about it, yet I'm optimistic that some of these things can be corrected.”

Johnson’s quelled any rumors he had played a role in the Jets picking up Tebow from the Broncos.

"This, I really want to clear up," he said. "You guys have been accusing me, this phony story of me being more concerned with PSLs or cash or something else. My job – one, two and three -- is to win games. That's why I got into this to begin with. It's to win games. ... It's not to sell PSLs or to sell hot dogs."

What is taking place on and off the field with the Jets has little if anything to do with Tim Tebow. Tebow appears to be an average NFL quarterback with amazing leadership qualities. Once the 2012 NFL season ends Tim Tebow will but released or traded by the Jets, his likely destination, the Jacksonville Jaguars where Tebow will be appreciated regardless of what he does as a football player.
Ryan and Tannenbaum will both be fired once the season ends unless the Jets turnaround their 2012 season – on the football field.

Tim Tebow’s arrival in New York has been a disaster on the football field. Off the field the decision has been both a distraction and an embarrassment. More than anything else, Tim Tebow represents a terrible business decision by the New York Jets.

For Sports Business News this is Howard Bloom

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