The much-talked about but barely used Tebow was passed up as the Jets’ starting quarterback for Mark Sanchez, whose four interceptions Monday night in a 14-10 loss to Tennessee sealed his place on the bench.
Instead, Greg McElroy was coach Rex Ryan’s choice to supplant Sanchez. McElroy, a seventh-round pick last year out of Alabama, threw the winning touchdown in a a 7-6 win Jets over Arizona on Dec. 2. Ryan had pulled Sanchez from that game late in the third quarter.
However, he went back to Sanchez for the next game, repeating his mantra that the former USC start gave the team its best chance to win. It did not work out that way.
The decision is a significant blow to Tebow, who has done all asked of him, but is now No. 3 on the depth chart. A source did tell ESPN that
Sanchez has a league-high 24 turnovers, including 17 interceptions. His two-year turnover total is a staggering 50.
Ryan said “I told Mark we needed to make a change. He respected my decision.”
As for McElroy, Ryan said: “I want to put Greg out there. I’m going to put Greg out there. In my opinion, that’s what’s best for our team. . . had a lot of conversations” with people in the organization, but it was ultimately his choice. “This is my decision and solely my decision. . . “I liked what I saw from Greg against Arizona,” Ryan said. “I like what I see on the practice field.”
It’s unclear how the benching will impact Sanchez’s future with the team. He signed a contract extension last March, through 2016, and is due an $8.25 million guarantee in 2013. It means he probably will be back in 2013, although it’s hard to imagine him in a starting role.
No telling about Tebow.