Rex Ryan Sticks With Mark Sanchez Over Tim Tebow – For Now

Tim Tebow is in the wings for the New York Jets, but for how long? Mark Sanchez has been less than expected, to say the least. But coach Rex Ryan, fresh after his team’s 34-0 debacle against San Francisco, is resisting the calls for Tebow and sticking with Sanchez.

“I think (Sanchez) is definitely our guy,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to get into the what-ifs, this, that or whatever. I just know in my heart, right now, that this is not the time (to change).”

Which is different from saying there is no need to change. Anyway, after six months of simmering, Sanchez-Tebow has reached a full boil, with Sanchez coming off three straight poor performances.

Even Jets owner Woody Johnson, appearing on a Bloomberg TV political show, was asked about the quarterback situation.

“It’s a question that will be asked more frequently if this progresses, because this is unacceptable playing,” Johnson said.

Johnson was referring to Sunday’s 34-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers  one of the worst offensive performances in Jets history. It marked only the fourth time in team history that the Jets were shut out with fewer than 150 yards of total offense, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

And Sanchez is hearing it.

Ryan acknowledged Sanchez has to raise his game, but he wasn’t about to bail on his hand-picked franchise quarterback.

“Do I think Mark has the talent to be an excellent quarterback? I do, absolutely,” Ryan said. “We just have to find a way to get that done. … Right now, I think Mark gives us our best opportunity to win.”

“It’s (the media’s) job to push the panic button,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “(The media) would change it from week to week. I don’t think we’re at that point yet. Mark is our quarterback. We believe in him and the team will rally around him. … You just don’t jump ship after a couple of weeks without playing the type of football you want.”

What makes this controversy different from others is that Ryan has the ability to increase Tebow’s role without having to bench Sanchez, thanks to the Wildcat package. Ryan didn’t want to get into that discussion, but it’s a possibility.

So far, Tebow hasn’t been on the field for more than three consecutive plays, but he could get an entire series if the Jets feel he could provide a spark. That hasn’t happened yet.

In four games, Tebow has played in only 32 snaps on offense, including 18 at quarterback. The ballyhooed Wildcat, hyped all summer by Ryan, has flopped. Tebow has rushed nine times for 38 yards and has attempted only one pass, a 9-yard completion.

Ryan conceded the Wildcat has been a disappointment.

“We haven’t been as successful at running the Wildcat as I thought we would,” Ryan said. “I think that’s fair to say, but without question, I’m not ready to give up on (Tebow).”

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