Tebow not a popular option at quarterback in the Jets' locker room
Part of the reason Ryan doesn't feel the need to make a quarterback change is because the team's locker room doesn't believe Tebow can be an NFL signal caller. The New York Daily News spoke to over a dozen Jets players and members of the organization, none of which supported Tebow as a starting quarterback.
"He's terrible," one defensive starter told the Daily News. Not only is this unnamed player a starter on the league's 24th ranked scoring defense, he was also probably on the field when Tebow drove 95 yards to score the game winning touchdown with 1:06 remaining against the Jets last year. Unless this guy is Antonio Cromartie (who's playing sensationally at cornerback), he's got to watch who he's calling "terrible."
Another unnamed member of the organization said, "Now we're depending on miracles? You can't play that way." What exactly warrants the tag of a "miracle" these days? Tebow went 8-5 as the starter in Denver last year. When something happens eight out of thirteen times, I don't generally consider that a miracle.
We finally have a player who allowed the press to state his name, Matt Slauson, who told the Daily News, "It's not even close. All the other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark (Sanchez). We don't really have a choice." It seems Slauson contradicted himself a little bit at the end there. Which is it, Matt? Are you confident in Sanchez because you believe he can lead you to wins, or is it just because you have no other quarterbacks to turn to?
Tebow's most criticized attribute is his accuracy/completion percentage. He completed 46.7% of his pass attempts last season, which I agree is abysmal, but is Sanchez really that much better? The Jets' starter is completing only 52% of his passes this season, and that's not an outlying number - Sanchez's career high in completion percentage is 56.7%, which would have him 31st in the league should he have done that this season.
In addition, Sanchez is averaging 6.3 yards per pass attempt, compared to Tebow's 6.4 from a year ago. Tebow may not complete as many of his attempts, but he gets just as many yards - if not more - out of them.
Tebow has only thrown the ball six times this year, and a couple of them have been out of fake punt formations. However, he's still completed five of those six throws, and his one incompletion came on a beautifully thrown deep ball that was dropped by Jason Hill against the Texans.
I don't think anyone outside of Antonio Cromartie thinks the Jets have a shot at the playoffs right now, so I don't see why Rex Ryan wouldn't want to give Tebow a shot while he still has a chance to salvage the season. I didn't like Mark Sanchez being picked 5th overall in 2009, and I still think it was a big mistake. He's not the long term answer, so don't worry about hurting his confidence down the road.
You can say what you want about Tebow, but his 2011 quarterback rating was better than Sanchez's is right now, and that doesn't even take into consideration the wonders that Tebow does for the run game. I'm not saying Tebow is definitely going to be a great quarterback, but he has all the attributes that you can't teach, and if anyone can work hard and learn the teachable skills (accuracy), it's him. Keep in mind, Tebow has less than a season's worth of regular season starts - he's still essentially a rookie in terms of starting experience. Jets players need to back off of this guy and give him a chance, because he's the only one they've got.