Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow? Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez? Tim Sanchez or Mark Tebow? Who the heck is going to play quarterback for the New York Jets, anyway? And does it really matter?
Joe Montana says Sanchez "is a better player." Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms says the Jets should go "all in" with Tebow. "If you're going to go in, then hell, go all in," Simms said. "How do you do this two ways?," Simms said.
Fact is both guys are going to play. Sanchez definitely not as much as he wants to play. No starting quarterback wants to share the snaps. Tebow not as much as he would like, either. After all, he is Tim Tebow and despite the fact that he will say all the right things you know he wants to be on the field full time.
The Jets will introduce Tebow, nominally their backup quarterback, today in what will likely be the biggest press conference ever held for a 'backup' quarterback. Tebow, of course, is a backup like no other.
Jets coach Rex Ryan says Tebow will be a "major contributor" who could play as many as 20 snaps per game.
The question is, can a two-quarterback system work in the NFL? Maybe, but there certainly isn't much evidence to support that. Can you remember the last time quarterbacks successfully shared the job? Y.A. Tittle and Charlie Conerly did it with the New York Giants in the early 1960s, but I can't think of any successful quarterback tandems in the modern NFL. Yes, Jeff Hostetler won a Super Bowl as the Giants backup quarterback, but he was only playing because Simms had suffered a season-ending injury.
Usually, if you have two quarterbacks playing it means you really don't have one guy you believe whole-heartedly in. Jets owner Woody Johnson can talk all he wants about how much faith the organization has in Sanchez, but if they really were fully behind him then Tebow would not be having a press conference as a Jet Monday afternoon.
Steve Serby of the New York Post argues that the Jets have diminished Sanchez and made it virtually impossible for him to succeed.
Sanchez deserves better than this, no matter what you think of him as a quarterback. Sure he needed to be pushed, but not by a magnetic force of nature who unintentionally and inevitably will be breathing relentlessly down his neck, who will be pushed toward the playing field by a howling gale of hero worship and curiosity.
Today is another reminder that the Giants make sound, informed football decisions.
The Jets too often make knee-jerk, look-at-us! decisions.
Serby is right, of course. The Jets have won the headlines -- for now and the foreseeable future. Will they win anything else? History says probably not.