2011 QB’s: Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Kevin O’Connell, Greg McElroy (IR)
2012 Changes: Added Tim Tebow, G.J. Kinne and Matt Simms. Lost Mark Brunell and Kevin O’Connell
In 2011 Mark Sanchez drew a lot of criticism for his inconsistent performance on the field. Despite the bashing from the NY media he still posted his best year as a Jet. He had better numbers than Eli Manning did in 2007 when the Giants went on to beat the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Brunell should have never made the team last year so it is a relief that he won’t be back. He never challenged Sanchez although he was a great mentor. The guy performed awful when he did see the field so thank god Sanchez stayed healthy last year. Kevin O’Connell never really had a chance in his two years with the Jets. That speaks volumes that the player in question isn’t cut out for the NFL. Greg McElroy was a preseason all-star in his rookie year. Unfortunately he broke his thumb and was placed on IR to preserve a roster spot for another player. He could definitely be a solid #3 QB and a reliable #2 in the future if he survives the cuts in August. He made waves in January when he called out his team on the air and spoke poorly of the locker room environment. It will be interesting to see if the staff and players will overlook this or if he will be shunned out of the way from day 1.
Over the last few months the Jets traded for Tim Tebow and signed two undrafted free agent quarterbacks in G.J. Kinne and Matt Simms. I doubt Simms will make the team, the Jets are just letting Phil Simms son have an extended audition as a sign of good will. This is the type of stuff Rex loves to do. G.J. Kinne will clearly battle Greg McElroy for the 3rd QB roster spot. Tim Tebow is enshrined as the #2 QB and will add a lot to the Jets from other positions. If he didn’t come with the fanfare I would say that the Jets got a steal of a trade to land him for a 4th round pick. He is gifted in the game to say the least but something tells me that the Jets have something a little less conventional planned for him.
All in all the Jets didn’t have to address a requirement for a new QB but instead needed to optimize the effectiveness of Sanchez in 2012. Tebow is surely an upgrade over Mark Brunell. The best thing that he brings to the team is the threat to start at any moment. I bet Sanchez will practice and prepare much harder with a real threat sitting right behind him. One thing is for sure, if the Sanchez starts off slow in 2012, this team will have to operate under incredible amounts of outside pressure for a change in QB. Never has it been so imperative for Rex and company to start off on the right “foot”.