The first step is admitting you have a problem.
After almost four full seasons, Jets head coach Rex Ryan did as much in Week 13, benching QB Mark Sanchez, his overcoddled, overpaid former first-rounder, for the first time in an underachieving career that would look even worse if it weren't for the talent around him his first two seasons.
The second step is coming to believe that a power greater than one’s self can restore sanity.
Gang Green heads to Jacksonville in Week 14, a certain hometown of the most publicized backup QB in NFL history, who some actually believe is God’s quarterback.
Do not pass step one, Rex.
Sanchez remains light years ahead of Tim Tebow as a QB, and since he finally recognized Sanchez doesn’t give his Jets the best chance to win, Ryan wouldn’t seriously consider turning to Tebow, would he?
Not on the heels of another former national champion, Greg McElroy, getting the Jets a “W” on Sunday with his tidy relief appearance?
The entire Jets organization is in a major state of regression. The talent level has depleted dramatically and Ryan’s brashness has become somewhat of a punch line as his club has nosedived. This is an opportunity for Gang Green to exhibit the understanding that it is ready to get the arrow pointing up again.
Is McElroy the man with the ability to lead the revival? I highly doubt it, but highly doubting is better than knowing unequivocally that neither Sanchez nor Tebow is that guy. What do the Jets have to lose by either confirming McElroy isn’t, or, maybe – just maybe – being pleasantly surprised to find that at least a game manager won’t continuously burn his team the way Sanchez has done time and time again?
Sanchez has 67 TDs and 81 turnovers in four seasons with the Jets.
What about all the wins from Sanchez and Tebow, you say?
It’s simply not sustainable. We’ve already seen that with Sanchez as the defense has started to break down and Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum have failed to adequately stockpile the offense with the proper weapons to be successful.
Turning to Tebow – if he’s even healthy – runs the risk of something inexplicable happening again: Tebow doing just enough to win a few games and winning the hearts of Jets fans, much like he did to a large portion of Broncos faithful.
Denver football czar John Elway was Pro Football Weekly’s midseason executive of the year because he pulled the Houdini act of getting his Broncos out of an impossible situation by finding the one QB that would enable Broncos fans to immediately move on from the gimmick that is Tebow.
But last I checked, there are no first-ballot Hall of Famers out on the street for Tannenbaum to swoop in and sign after the season. There is no Andrew Luck or RG3 that he is going to somehow land in the draft. With apologies to Matt Flynn and Matt Moore, they aren’t saving the Jets like Manning did the Broncos.
Thus, now is the time to ensure that the QB of the future isn’t buried on the Jets’ depth chart. Gang Green has spent too much time going in reverse with Sanchez and more recently Tebow. Ryan has finally gotten the club back to neutral. That was the hard part. Starting McElroy Sunday is the easy part.