New York Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez said Thursday he is "not really worried about" being replaced by Tim Tebow.
"I don't feel threatened to lose my job at all anyway. It's no different if it's Tim, (Mark) Brunell, or Kellen (Clemens), that doesn't change," Sanchez said Thursday. "I'm really not worried about it."
Ah, but it is different. This is Tim Tebow, not a washed-up Brunell or a never-was Clemens.
Jets' head coach Rex Ryan can keep insisting that Sanchez is the answer at quarterback for Gang Green. Sanchez can keep insisting that everything is fine, that his confidence isn't shaken, that he isn't looking over his shoulder wondering when Tebow will take his job.
Fact is, if he isn't he should be.
Through four games Sanchez is the only starting quarterback in the NFL completing less than 50 percent of his passes (49.2 percent). His passer rating is 69.6, and only rookies Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins and Brandon Weeden of the Cleveland Browns are worse.
SB Nation New York's Jason Pafundi wrote earlier this week that the Jets should stick with Sanchez behind center:
If you just look at the numbers, there is no reason to even debate Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow to be the New York Jets starting quarterback. But Monday morning quarterbacks and Florida Gator fans and 20-year-old girls look at the fourth-quarter comebacks and the game-winning drives with no regard for this basic fact: Sanchez is a better quarterback than Tebow.
And if you believe that fact, then there is no way you can have Tebow under center at any point this season.
Well, I beg to differ. And last time I checked I'm none of those things Pafundi mentioned. I know I'm not a 20-year-old girl!
Pafundi is absolutely correct when he says not all of the problems the Jets have on offense are his fault:
How can Sanchez succeed with no wide receivers, no running game and an offensive line who gives him no time to throw, leading to the rushed, inaccurate and sometime mind-boggling passes he sometimes uncorks?
That last statement, however, is why Pafundi is also wrong.
The Jets have no play-makers at wide receiver with Santonio Holmes gone for the season. They don't have a big-time tight end. They don't have a breakaway threat at running back. Sanchez himself is not an elite quarterback.
The only real play-maker they have on offense is Tebow. And he can't make plays consistently as the personal protector on punts. Or as a decoy at wide receiver. Or getting a half-dozen or so snaps as a 'Wildcat' quarterback. Tebow can make plays on his own. That is something no one else on the Jets' offense can do.
We saw what Tebow could do last season when he was with the Denver Broncos. He took over a 1-4 team, got them to the playoffs and won a playoff game.
No, he isn't a true NFL quarterback. He throws terribly. But, what is the difference really between the 49.2 percent of passes Sanchez is completing and the 46.7 percent Tebow has completed in his career? Not enough to justify saying Tebow can't be the quarterback because he can't throw.
What Tebow has done, both in college and the NFL. is win. Somehow, some way he wins. Not in any way that makes NFL people happy, or that they even understand. Because he shouldn't, he doesn't have a true quarterback skill set.
He does it, though. And the Jets need to give him a chance. They are going nowhere -- fast -- if they stick with the staus quo.