NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After Sunday’s ugly 28-7 loss in Seattle, all indications pointed at a long, long week for Jets starter Mark Sanchez.
But instead, with the calls for a change at quarterback as loud as ever, Tim Tebow has suddenly found himself on the hot seat.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll labeled him as a “distraction” on Monday. The following day, Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw called New York’s acquisition a “huge mistake” on WFAN radio, saying Tebow brings “chaos” and “just can’t play.”
And now it’s coming straight from the Jets’ locker room.Sure, Sanchez has taken his fair share of lumps. But you could argue the Tebow talk has been just as bad, if not worse.
“He’s terrible,” an unnamed starting defensive player told the New York Daily News.
Daily News reporter Manish Mehta spoke with over “a dozen Jets players and members of the organization,” and said the general feeling “is that Tebow is nothing more than a gimmick.”
“We can’t win running that s—,” an anonymous player said of a Tebow-led offense.
One teammate even said “nobody” wants Tebow to start under center.
“Did I address it? I absolutely addressed it,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday. “Because I think it’s a cowardly thing. If you’re not gonna put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of thing as there is.”
After last season, several unnamed players and members of the Jets organization ripped Sanchez for his performance and work ethic to the Daily News.
“I don’t think we have the same problem,” Ryan said. “First off, I’ll say this. Even back then I think that was probably a little more over-exaggerated … I don’t think it existed the way it was portrayed to. But I do recognize there was something wrong there — and I’ve made it my personal agenda to go out and fix it.”
This time, with Tebow on the receiving end, it wasn’t all anonymous. Jets guard Matt Slauson said when it comes to the current situation at quarterback, the team doesn’t “really have a choice.”
“We have (third-stringer) Greg (McElroy) … and we have an athlete,” Slauson told the paper.
Ryan said he had “no problem” with Slauson “because he put his name on it.”
“I don’t agree with everything Matt said,” Ryan said. “I think it’s interesting. His comments — my understanding is — were made much earlier this season than they were — it’s not like it was just a recent comment.”
It was an ugly read. One player said you can’t depend on “miracles,” referring to Tebow’s stunning stretch with Denver last season. A “prominent member” of the Jets organization said for there to be a change, Sanchez would have to “totally just s— the bed and become unglued.”
Rex pointed to the team’s success in the punting game with Tebow as personal protector, and insisted he “absolutely” wanted No. 15 on his team.
“He never came in here to be the starting quarterback,” Ryan said. “I thought I was clear on that.”
The Jets’ receiving corps also got blasted in the Daily News piece. One Jets source suggested to the paper that Sanchez’s targets don’t compare even to the personnel on some college teams.
“It’s garbage,” said another.
WFAN co-host Boomer Esiason, who has been critical of Tebow’s play from the get-go, said Wednesday that the backup just doesn’t have the skill set to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
“I think this team is coming together,” Ryan said. “Could this galvanize it? I don’t know. Maybe so. … This team in my opinion is not going to be pulled apart by outside people.”
“We’ll see if there’s no cracks in the armor or whatever, we’ll find that out,” he added. “Maybe we’re not there right now. But I believe we will be.”
Your thoughts on the anonymous blasting? Be heard in the comments below!