By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
As the date approaches for the opening of Jets camp, we are going to take a look at each position and how it will shape out in training camp.
This week, we start with quarterbacks, which has been the talking point of the Jets’ offseason, both due to the trade for Tim Tebow and the struggles of Mark Sanchez.
Here is a breakdown of the current quarterbacks on the Jets’ 90-man roster heading into camp:
Starter: Mark Sanchez
Sanchez is the clear-cut starter, whether Tebowmaniacs like it or not. Sanchez struggled as the Jets tried to be more of a pass-first team last year, which led to offensive coaching overhauls in an effort to simplify the offense and get Sanchez back into the complimentary role that got the Jets to two straight AFC Championship appearances.
Working in Sanchez’ favor is that the offensive coordinator Tony Sparano preaches tempo in his practices. When I visited minicamp in June, Sparano was constantly pushing the offense to get in and out of the huddle in a hurry, which works in direct correlation with Sanchez’s strengths: for all of his faults as a quarterback, he has always excelled in up-tempo, two-minute situations.
Backup: Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow’s role is going to be in the Wildcat package and even perhaps as a personal protector on the punt team, in addition to being the primary backup to Sanchez.
As much as some want to believe that there is a legitimate competition for the starting job in New York, the reality is that Tebow is about one-fifth of the passer that Sanchez is. It will take a massive collapse on Sanchez’ part for Tebow to seize the starting job this season.
Third String: Greg McElroy
McElroy spent the entire regular season on IR after suffering an injury in the final preseason game against the Eagles.
In the time that McElroy did play, he was rather productive and showed more arm strength than expected. While he does not any great physical traits to suggest that he can eventually be a quality starter, he is more of a “gamer” that could be a solid career backup and get a team through a stretch without their starter.
The son of the Giants’ legendary quarterback, Simms showed enough in rookie minicamp to earn an invitation to training camp. Simms does have a strong, talented arm but he can be careless with the football. If he does make the team, it will likely be on the practice squad to develop and eventually compete with McElroy for a roster spot.