Another storm coming to the East Coast. This one is Tim…as in Tebow

Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow

As the East Coast takes a beating from Hurricane Sandy, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.  May they reclaim their lives and livelihoods and return to everyday life just as soon as possible.

To those in and around New York, I add a caution: Be prepared.  Because, there’s another storm coming in its path.  And this one is high pressure and slow moving.  It’s been brewing for months now and we’ve seen it coming for weeks.

You know how tropical storms are named, right?  Alphabetical and alternating gender?  Well, the next one is male…and it starts with a T.  That’s right…it’s Tim.  As in…Tebow.  And it’s not going away quietly.

Here’s where we’re at…The New York Jets go into their bye week at 3-5.  Their best offensive and defensive players are out for the season.  Quarterback Mark Sanchez can’t seem to do anything right.  Head Coach Rex Ryan has never been an outspoken proponent of backup Quarterback Tim Tebow, and has in fact, taken every opportunity to support Sanchez as his starter.  In the meantime, the chants for Tebow are getting louder and more frequent each week, hitting a new crescendo during Sunday’s 30-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins at home.

Seeing as this is an election year, and everyone wants to blame someone…is Jets owner Woody Johnson to blame for all of this?  It was Johnson after all, who wanted to pursue Tim Tebow when the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning and chose to release him.

If you believe the reports, Tebow was offered a choice: Jacksonville or New York.  Many people (myself included) thought Jacksonville was a no-brainer for Tebow.  The Jaguars were a young team with some veteran talent, in need of a quarterback and leader.  Tebow grew up near Jacksonville, played for Florida, where he won a national championship for the Gators and the Heisman Trophy for himself (the first sophomore ever to do so).  He already had a fan base and could fill EverBank Field immediately, rescuing the Jaguars from the days of empty seats and blacked out games.  It was perfect.  Maybe, too perfect.

Tebow instead chose the Jets.  A team that had unsuccessfully pursued Manning, then recommitted to their current (albeit shaky) quarterback, Mark Sanchez, by signing him to a three year contract extension.  Maybe Tebow felt like the Jaguars (under new ownership and a new coach) were unstable.  Maybe he wasn’t ready to go back to Florida.  Maybe, as some have suggested, he felt like the bright lights of Broadway could shine a bigger spotlight on his true love, his faith and his foundation.  Whatever the case, Tebow chose the Jets.  And the rest is history (actually, more like reality television) being written week by week.

So what happens next?  Is there a standoff between Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson?  Is the cure for what’s ailing the Jets someone who isn’t yet on the roster?

All I know is this…you don’t get to be a millionaire (or in Johnson’s case a billionaire) by investing in something and dumping it before giving it a chance to show its worth.

I’m not saying Tim Tebow is the savior of the Jets.  But for the love of God and all things holy…let’s find out!  What do the Jets have to lose at this point?

Woody Johnson, 1.  Rex Ryan, 0.

Now brace yourselves…the storm is coming.


Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 4: The One With the Real Refs

Week 4 of the NFL season welcomed back the regular officials to standing ovations in every stadium.  It was a honeymoon of sorts…into about the second quarter of every game.  Then they were the same old refs we love to hate.  The games went faster though and I’ll take bad or missed calls by someone who knows the rules any day.

There are a few lingering questions this season and week 4 certainly didn’t put them to rest.

The first, “What’s wrong with the New York Jets?”  Or better yet, “What isn’t wrong with the New York Jets?”  They lost their best defensive player, Cornerback Darrelle Revis last week.  This week they lost Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes, arguably their best offensive player.

And they lost Tim Tebow.  He’s not hurt, they just can’t find him.  On the bench.  Seriously, though…what happened to Tebow Time?  You’re losing 34-0 at home.  And getting booed.  That is the secret recipe for Tim Tebow.  That’s where the magic of Tebow Time happens.  Did Rex Ryan not watch the Broncos last year?

It was speculated that with Sanchez’s confidence at an all time low (how is that even possible when you’re dating Eva Longoria?), Jets Coach Rex Ryan doesn’t want to add to the pressure and create a quarterback controversy.  But he does want to win, right?  During the post game press conference on Sunday, Ryan was asked about the Jets’ quarterback situation and replied, “I think Mark’s the answer.”  Alrighty then.  Think is not know though.  And if you’re worried about Sanchez’s feelings, maybe you should have thought about that before you pursued Peyton Manning, then brought in Tim Tebow in the offseason.  Just saying…

Let’s move on to Dallas.  The Cowboys are another team no one can figure out and they also lost badly at home this week.  Yes, five turnovers will do it.  But I’m only putting half of those on Tony Romo.  Dez Bryant gets two.  And they can share one.  Romo is a very good quarterback who needs some more weapons.  But don’t say that word around Dez Bryant.  And don’t even start with the quarterback controversy.  Kyle Orton?  Please.

I am going to go out on a limb here and call a coaching controversy in the Cowboys’ near future.  I like Jason Garrett, but it doesn’t appear to me that he has the control or confidence of his team right now.  You know who does?  Rob Ryan.  In fact, towards the end of the game on Monday night, Ryan had to tell Garrett to challenge a call he wasn’t aware he could challenge.  The only complaint I have about Ryan is he cut his hair and looks a little less badass now.  Anyway, keep an eye on this one.  You heard it here first.

And for depressed Cowboys fans, there is this…

Speaking of quarterbacks on Monday Night Football, who saw Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler blow off his offensive coordinator, Mike Tice on the sideline?  Cutler was on the bench after one of few unsuccessful possessions against the Cowboys and Tice sat down next to him with his clipboard.  Cutler got up and left.  Then walked away from him on the sideline.  I am no Mike Tice fan.  But I am no Jay Cutler fan either.  And don’t give me the whole, he’s just a competitive guy thing.  Being respectful costs nothing.  But being an ass can cost a lot.  I’m not talking about how great Jay Cutler’s arm looked, am I?  See…

So there you have it, week 4.  A coiffed Rob Ryan and a skinny Rex Ryan?  Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the Cowboys and Jets…


Bold Predictions for 2012 NFL Season: Cutler Cracks a Smile, Brady Attempts the Impossible, and Eli Loses Some Weight…

Here we are…the preseason is behind us.  The regular season is before us.  And I have a few bold predictions (ten to be exact) for the 2012 NFL season:

10.  Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler will be more likable as a dad.  I didn’t say he’d be a better quarterback, but I do think fatherhood will soften his edges and make him a little more personable, or at least a little more human.  Hey, that commercial he did for The NFL Store was almost funny.  See?  It’s already working.

9.  On the other hand, fatherhood WILL make Tony Romo a better quarterback for the Cowboys.  He put a lot of pressure on himself (some deservedly) the last few seasons, but now seems happy and settled.  That will translate to the field in confidence, that he has someone to come home to…and it’s not Jessica Simpson.

8.  We will discover that Rex Ryan is a better coach when he’s overweight.  Maybe it’s the diet.  It’s possible he’s a little light-headed these days.  I mean, claiming this is the best Jets team he’s ever coached?  That may be more bold than his pre-preseason Superbowl predictions.  He must be seeing something in practice that we’re not.  Namely…touchdowns.

7.  We will learn why no one wants to coach (or play) in Miami.  If you watched Hard Knocks, you’re already half way there.

6.  We will discover that there was indeed something magical about Peyton Manning’s hands under Jeff Saturday’s butt.  Both will have decent seasons, but neither will be able to replicate what they had together in Indianapolis.  Seeing as they’re both playing in outside stadiums now, that’s mostly warm hands and a warm butt.

5.  Tim Tebow will become the starter for the New York Jets.  I don’t know when, but it will happen.  And when it does, the skies will part, the angels will sing, and Skip Bayless will crown him MVP…all before he completes his first pass (just before halftime).

4.  With the Patriots light on receivers, Tom Brady, upon suffering two Superbowl defeats to Eli Manning, will attempt to do the very thing wife Gisele Bundchen claimed he could not…throw the ball and catch it himself.

3.  Eli Manning will finally prove that he is an elite quarterback after all, and is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Manning family.  Wait, didn’t he do that last season?  Forget it then.  Eli will find new joy playing for the Giants, without carrying a 230-pound monkey on his back named Peyton.

2.  After two weeks of fumbled calls, Father Goodell will finally open his checkbook and sign the NFL officials to a new contract, just in time for week three.  The replacement refs will miss the call, report to work, and flag the league for too many men on the field.  They will try to reverse the call, but won’t remember what it was.

1.  And for my last bold prediction of the season…Terrell Owens and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson will fall in love (no, not with each other) and ride off into sunset, never to be heard from again.  I know.  I pushed it too far with that one.  Damn, it was a nice thought though…wasn’t it?

Here’s to the 2012 NFL season.  The clock is down to hours…and they’re ticking away.


Are the J-E-T-S a J-O-K-E?

They have the most talked about quarterback duo in the National Football League.  Their training camp was a virtual media circus, due mostly to Tebowmania.  We saw everything from stealth wildcat practices to pictures of Tim Tebow running shirtless in the rain.  Sports media and ESPN in particular has been widely criticized for the amount time they have devoted to the Jets and the quarterback contest between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.  A tandem which has so far produced 0 touchdowns this preseason.  That’s zero. Zilch. Nada.

That ought to quiet the Jets talk.  Ha!

We know, we know…you can’t jump to conclusions in the preseason.  You can’t take everything (or anything) too seriously.  Preseason is about experimenting, trying different players in different positions, and setting the roster.  But certainly, one of the most important decisions Head Coach Rex Ryan and his staff will be asked to make is…who to start at quarterback.  And the fact that neither Sanchez nor Tebow can seem to find the end zone, is going to make that decision all the more difficult.

A third of the way into the second quarter of Saturday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants, Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz had more yards than the Jets offense.  For a while, it seemed like the Jets were getting more offense out of their defense.  At one point, I wondered what would happen if they left them on the field and subbed a quarterback in.  The Jets are the only NFL team in the preseason without a touchdown.  The St. Louis Rams…touchdown, the Jacksonville Jaguars…touchdown, the Indianapolis Colts…many touchdowns.  Quarterback Drew Stanton, who the Jets traded to Indianapolis (as a backup to Andrew Luck), had a touchdown in the Colts Sunday night game against the Steelers.  Wonder how the Jets are feeling about that now?

How serious should we take all of this?  Well, to be fair, with the holes they have in their offensive line (especially at right tackle), it’s almost unfair to judge any Jets quarterback right now.  Sanchez was sacked three times against the Giants (four really, but one was nullified by a penalty).  Even Tebow looked a little (dare we say)…frustrated.  He was sacked repeatedly himself and under constant pressure when he wasn’t running (for his life).

Coach Rex Ryan says he is bothered, but not concerned.

“We don’t need to be at our best right now. We need to be at our best opening day.  I’m confident that when we get going (in the regular season).  We will be.  I’ve seen some encouraging signs.  We’re heading in the right direction.”

Hopefully, the right direction eventually leads them to the end zone.  So to answer the question, “Should we be concerned that the Jets haven’t scored one touchdown this preseason?”  My answer is simple…

“Only if you’re a Jets fan.”


O ba…ba…bama and the Jets…

President Obama has a lot on his plate these days.  Defending the free world, creating jobs in a struggling economy, a challenging reelection campaign, how to fit a game of golf in, and last week he added armchair football coach to that list.  Specifically, the Commander-in-Chief questioned the quarterback strategy of the New York Jets.

An admitted Chicago Bears fan himself, the President was asked about the Jets during a call-in to a radio show in Columbus, Ohio.  He told 97.1 The Fan (via ESPN NY), “I gotta tell you, I don’t like the idea of a quarterback controversy at the start of a season,” Obama said.  “So if I was a Jets fan, I’d be pretty nervous.”

A slimmer (and now quieter) Jets coach, Rex Ryan, refused to take the bait.  During his Friday press conference, Ryan told reporters, “I’ll say this, I respect President Obama and I respect the fact that this is his opinion.”  Wow.  A changed man, indeed!

Jets owner Woody Johnson, a prominent Republican and contributor to the Romney campaign, has yet to respond.  Although, we can certainly imagine what he has to say about it.  Maybe he agrees with Ryan, who thinks it’s a good sign for the Jets and the NFL.  “It’s amazing.  This is the President of the greatest country there is, and he’s talking about the New York Jets football team.”  He…and everyone else.

Or, maybe Woody Johnson is waiting until the end of the season, hoping his team will have the opportunity to visit the White House, shake hands with President Romney, and list his team as one more thing Obama was wrong about.

Stay tuned.