New YorkJ ets quarterbacks Tim Tebow, left, and Mark Sanchez, stand together on the sidelines during Sunday's game against the Chargers. Tebow spent almost the entire season waiting for a chance that never came with the Jets.
The Tim Tebow saga with the New York Jets continues to get stranger.
On Wednesday, several media outlets, including ESPNNewYork.com and Newsday, reported that Tebow’s private coach, Steve Clarkson, criticized the Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez, one week after Sanchez’s new coach, former NFL QB Jeff Garcia, blasted Tebow.
Clarkson went so far as to say the Denver Broncos may have intentionally traded Tebow to the Jets instead of the favored and hometown Jacksonville Jaguars just to see him fail in the Big Apple.
“I think he was purposefully sent to New York,” Clarkson said in a teleconference with several media outlets, according to the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger. “From my standpoint, you send him to a situation where you have instability with your coach — you don’t know if he’s coming or going. You have a fragile-minded Mark Sanchez at quarterback.
“You stick Tim Tebow in there and you kill two birds with one stone. So if you’re Denver, you’ve got to be thinking, ‘We send him to New York, we basically kill an opponent and, at the same time, Tim Tebow doesn’t come back to bite us in the proverbial butt, if you will, because he’s not going to make it out of there.’
“You send him to Jacksonville, all of a sudden he’s got that fanbase behind him and all of a sudden he’s doing what he’s done all his life, that’s win games. That would put a lot of ill-will towards your organization. There’s a lot of politics that go on with it. I think Timmy was just unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Clarkson also said the Jets refused to allow Tebow to master the entire offense.
“I think in Tim’s case, they walked him into New York and said, ‘We’ve got four plays for you. You execute these four plays and that’s all you’re going to get,’” Clarkson said. “Well, when you walk on the field and that’s all you practice, and you don’t get any meaningful reps and you walk into a game and basically the defense is telling your offensive line basically where the ball is going to go, it’s pretty depressing and it doesn’t give you much room for hope.
“I would hope whoever, wherever he ends up that they give him an opportunity, and I think if they do they’ll be pleasantly surprised. I think the guy still can play.”
Tebow worked with Clarkson for several days last month in Arizona, including losing 12 pounds, down from his 250-pound playing weight that the Jets requested Tebow to play at.
In Clarkson’s opinion, Tebow’s mechanics and fundamentals are back up to par.
As for Sanchez, he hired Garcia to teach him the West Coast offense. Garcia criticized Tebow and the Jets, saying the team should have traded him or released him before this week’s start of workouts.
“Having Tebow there doesn’t bring anything positive,” Garcia said. “It just brings distraction. For Mark, the main competition is going to be David Garrard and Greg McElroy.”
The Jets will likely release Tebow soon, perhaps either before or right after the upcoming NFL draft. He still has one year left on his current contract. He apparently is not letting the controversy affect him: he was the first player to report for the Jets’ offseason conditioning program.
“I would hope wherever he ends up, they give him an opportunity to play, because if they do, they’ll be pleasantly surprised,” Clarkson said. “I think the guy can still play.”