First, Rex Ryan made headlines when he was spotted with a tattoo on his arm that depicted his wife wearing nothing but a Mark Sanchez jersey. Now, a former Jets coach is speaking out on the club’s use of Tim Tebow.
Mike Westhoff conducted an interview with “The Joe Rose Show” on 560-AM WQAM in Florida on Friday morning. Westhoff recently retired after 12 seasons as New York’s special teams coach, but had a lot to say about the way the Jets handled the backup quarterback.
“It was a mess,” Westhoff said. “It was an absolute mess. You can say it however else you want it: it was really a mess. I was very, very disappointed.”
When the Jets acquired Tebow, Rex Ryan stated that he could play up to 20 snaps per game. That was never the case, as he threw just eight passes in the entire 2012 season, and ran 32 times for 102 yards. Tebow’s lack of playing time left Westhoff at a loss for why New York even traded for Tebow in the first place.
“To be honest, I don’t think anybody has really answered that question: Why did we do it?” he said. “I honestly don’t know. I know we didn’t practice it. We didn’t practice it in training camp. We were going to unveil it. Well, I’m still waiting for the unveiling. And it didn’t’ happen.”
Tony Sparano was let go on Tuesday after one year as the team’s offensive coordinator. He engineered the wildcat offense as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and was expected to utilize Tebow in the package this season. That rarely happened, and Tebow was relegated to a role on special teams as a punt protector.
Westhoff was perplexed why Tebow was only a minimal part of the Jets offense. Mark Sanchez started all but one game for New York at quarterback, and was one of the worst signal callers in the league. He threw 18 interceptions to just 13 touchdowns, and finished the year with a 66.9 passer rating.
New York went 6-10 in 2012, and tied the Buffalo Bills for last place in the AFC East. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired, as well as most of Ryan’s coaching staff.
With the Tebow experiment seemingly failing in New York, there have been rumors that the organization will try to trade the quarterback. In 2011, he led the Denver Broncos to a division title and a playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported late in 2012 that it was “a virtual certainty” that Tebow would play for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. That report was shot down on Thursday afternoon, when Jacksonville GM David Caldwell said he couldn’t “imagine a scenario” in which Tebow would be on the Jaguars next season.
If the Jets can’t find a suitor for Tebow, they might just release him and make the former Heisman Trophy winner a free agent. He wasn’t used much in the wildcat package, and Greg McElroy was given the start over Tebow when Sanchez was benched.