Leave it to the New York Jets to start a quarterback controversy some four months prior to training camp.
Most NFL teams will wait until the start of pre-season or even the regular season.
But the Jets do things differently than any other team, even if it means leaving their supposed starting quarterback with a controversy and headache he did not start.
Acquiring Tim Tebow opens not only one can of worms, but so many that you could start of fishing bait store and be set for life.
First and foremost, the question that begs to be asked: is New York big enough for both Mark Sanchez and Tebow?
The answer is a resounding no.
It is not good for the team and not good for either quarterback. It probably is worse for Sanchez, because he obviously thought that was his team, considering the Jets gave him a hefty, two-year contract extension of $20 million three weeks ago.
Whether he tries to or not, Tebow can walk into a room and suck the air out of it, with his larger than life personality that is fueled by his serious religious beliefs and of course, his famous Tebow-ing.
(Now, how many quarterbacks have had their name turned into a verb? We certainly haven't heard about Manning it or Unitas-ing a victory or Sanchez-ing a play, have we?).
For all his flaws and inconsistencies, Sanchez has acquitted himself well in his first three NFL seasons, guiding the Jets into the playoffs in two years. Remember, it takes years for quarterbacks to develop (remember Eli Manning?).
Tebow led the Denver Broncos into the post-season with his amazing heroics and his run-and-sometimes-gun game, but his arm is suspect for NFL-caliber QB's (47-percent completion average last season). Besides, if the Broncos really felt he was the quarterback of the future, they would have kept him and not signed Peyton Manning for millions.
Sanchez vs. Tebow is a train wreck waiting to happen for so many reasons. It's only a matter of time.
Every time either player picks his nose will be questioned.
The New York media is known for putting its teams under the microscope. Imagine how much scrutiny Sanchez will be under when the Jets lose their first game, or when he throws a key incompletion or gets intercepted.
Heck, it could happen at his very first practice in July if and when he fumbles a snap from center.
And imagine the fan reaction when Sanchez makes his first mistake. "Tee-bow! Tee-bow!" is what we'll be hearing from the Met Life Stadium stands in East Rutherford, N.J.
Unlike baseball where you can have one, two or even three aces on a pitching staff, you can only have one real No. 1 QB on a football team.
It has been tried before in the past and it has proven to be a failure.
In the sixties, Daryl Lamonica regularly came off the bench in relief of Jack Kemp and save the Buffalo Bills’ hides. Lamonica eventually was dispatched to the Oakland Raiders, who became an AFC powerhouse under the man known as "The Mad Bomber."
In 1971, the vaunted Dallas Cowboys, under legendary coach Tom Landry, tried to use two quarterbacks on alternating plays as Roger Staubach and Craig Morton shared the position for a game. It resulted in a ton of yards, seven turners and a loss. Needless to say it was a colossal failure and no one since has copied such an insane strategy.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said Tebow will be used on a spot basis, in a wildcat offense the team loves so much. The Jets used Brad Smith, a highly successful college quarterback himself, as a QB in that set-up two years ago and it was quite effective, but Smith isn't Tebow (then again, who is?). Tebow comes with a reputation; some observers might say a lot of baggage as well.
But what happens if Tebow is too effective? What will that do to Sanchez and the Jets?
The worse-case scenario is dividing a locker room already with major chemistry problems even further. We all know there will be a Mark Sanchez camp and a Tim Tebow camp.
Neither guy deserves that.
No team wants that.
No team can win with that.
History tells us so.
The Jets obviously think otherwise.
Sanchez vs. Tebow is a train wreck waiting to happen.
It's just a matter of time.
Michael Lewis has covered sports for more than three decades. He can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com.
Michael Lewis has covered USA soccer for four decades. He is the editor of BigAppleSoccer.com and can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com or via twitter at @soccerwriter.
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