On his conference call with the media Wednesday night, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was insistent that Tim Tebow’s role with the Jets was going to be that of a backup quarterback who can run the Wildcat.
The mantra Tannenbaum kept repeating was that every team in the league needs a backup quarterback and that’s what they were going after when they made the deal for Tebow. In an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike Thursday morning, however, Tannenbaum sang a slightly different tune when it came to Mark Sanchez’s job security. Tannenbaum was asked about his vision for how much the team will use Tebow packages.
“If our offense is sputtering and we have, say, three three-and-outs and we roll this out there and it’s successful, who knows?”
Brad Smith’s name came up during that call, which suggested that the Jets thought Tebow would play a change-of-pace role similar to the one that the former Jet played during Sanchez’s first two seasons. That’s what we’ve seen from several teams since Tony Sparano broke out the Wildcat in Miami and it isn’t a situation that creates much in the way of a quarterback controversy. That’s not what Tannenbaum outlined during the radio interview, though.
What he’s suggesting is a much more fluid situation that could start with Sanchez and end with Tebow in any given week. Replacing an ineffective Sanchez isn’t a problem in and of itself — the Jets could have used another option last season — but having weekly referendums on the starting quarterback job isn’t going to do much to lessen the circus-like atmosphere around the Jets.