Tim Tebow was called "terrible" by an anonymous New York Jets teammate this week, setting off a firestorm of criticism of the Jets and even more confusion of what the heck is going on with Gang Green. Here is some of the reaction.
Tebow said he felt "frustration and I guess some sadness" after a New York Daily News report that quoted many in the organization who were highly critical of Tebow — off the record.
"This is something I can’t control," Tebow said (via the Daily News). "I can control my attitude, my effort and my work ethic. Those are things that will never change based on what anybody says. … I’ve had criticism somewhat my whole life playing football. You got to do your best at handling it. On one side, you try to make it motivate you. But at the same time, 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."
Since Tebow wouldn't say it, we'll say it for him. Maybe he is a terrible practice player, and maybe he would amount to a terrible first-stringer in a sport putting more and more of a premium on volume passing, accuracy and the ability to tilt the scoreboard with big plays down the field.
But Tebow has plenty of company for his misery here. If you rattled off all the Jets who have been worse at their jobs than Tebow has been at his, you'd need more time to assemble the list than any defensive coordinator has spent on the abomination that is Tony Sparano's version of the Wildcat.
Sparano? Terrible. Rex Ryan? Terrible. Mike Tannenbaum? Terrible. Mark Sanchez? Terrible. The wide receivers? Terrible. The pass rush? Terrible.
Woody Johnson, owner and guardian of all things Tebow? Beyond terrible.
"Our view of the trade was, he's a weapon, there's no doubt about it," he said. "We brought him in as an additional weapon for our offense ... That was the vision and the thought process for making the trade.
"We're 3-6. That's the lens I'm viewing everything through. We're 3-6, and he's done some good things. I hope he'll contribute more over the last seven games."
"Something's got to change," Jets running back Shonn Greene told Yahoo! Sports. "When you get to the point where you're 3-6, and losing and losing, a couple of guys are like, 'Oh, what would happen [if Tebow played]?' But guys at the same time have faith in Mark, so it's kind of an up-and-down thing. "You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time you want to win games. We're not here to protect people's feelings. If you want to win games, you've got to try something. If somebody's not getting the job done, you see if somebody else can do it. It's the same with coaching, or any position. You don't mean to belittle someone or say 'he sucks.' That's just the harsh reality."
Out of all of this noise, it was Ian O'Connor of ESPN New York who really hit the nail on the head when he wrote that the real issue isn't Tebow, the real issue is how bad the rest of the Jets are.
The team is 3-6 and, basically, it stinks. They have no passing game. Nobody knows if Mark Sanchez can actually play because he has nothing to work with. Their supposedly great defense can't really stop anybody. Their head coach is a joke. Their owner loves the back pages more than he does winning games. The GM keeps making moves that make the team worse.
So, all the noise and the headlines are about the terrible backup quarterback who doesn't play. Tebow, though, is not the problem.