|Tebow's frustration mounted when Hill took him down in the second half. (US Presswire)|
Human beings are not a patient species. It only takes a mention of Monday morning's Tim Tebow - Mark Sanchez coverage to create a frustration-and-anger-fueled aneurysm inside my brain. The actual television coverage devoted to Tebowmania is itself the type of thing lawyers drool over when concocting insanity pleas for murder suspects.
But, ironically, one person does remain patient throughout the insufferably redundant and repetitive coverage of the Jets: Tim Tebow. Or maybe did is a better word, because on Saturday night, Tebow's team-friendly and platitude-filled demeanor began to crack.
That's not necessarily the case when it comes to locker room behavior, since Tebow will almost always be able to handle questions about backing up Mark Sanchez, his throwing (in)accuracy and playing the role of personal punt protector with the greatest of aplomb.
On the field, though, things were ... different. Tebow entered Saturday night's game in the second half with the outcome already obvious: he'd lead the Jets to a few touchdowns against the Giants second-string defense and we'd have a week's worth of excessive depth-chart drama on our hands. And even though Tebow's first possession ended in a Jets field goal, it would/could/should have been more, thanks to Tebow badly underthrowing a wide-open Stephen Hill on a second-and-20 pass attempt.
NFL Network, showing a reply of the play in question, aired what looked like All-22 footage. The screencap's below, with Hill (dark circle) and Tebow (light circle) highlighted.
|Hill couldn't have been more open and Tebow still underthrew him. (NFL.com)|
How open is Hill? Well, there's literally no one within five yards of him. And there's no defender within range of Tebow either. Your average guy at a tailgate could throw the ball 35 yards in the air and hit Hill for a touchdown. Tebow badly underthrew him and, as you can see in the reaction on the Jets "highlights" video at NFL.com, then frustratingly waved at Hill, instructing him that he should've come back to the ball. After the game, Tebow was asked about the throw and said it was "both" his fault for the underthrow and Hill's fault for not coming back to the ball.
Tebow also admitted that after seeing the pictures of the play, he shouldn't have the ball as low as he did. You think? Look, it's not easy to be the quarterback and with the Jets, it's not easy to be the backup quarterback. But Tebow not acknowledging that throw was his fault -- when it quite clearly was -- and lobbing blame on a rookie receiver in a postgame presser is a decidedly frustrated act, even if Tebow tried to limit the usage of these particular f-bombs.
"No, I don't think you can get frustrated," Tebow said when asked about the offense's failure to score a touchdown thus far. "We haven't even played a real game. When the regular season gets here then that's when it's for real. We've got to continue to show improvement and get better every day.
"There's no reason to get frustrated, we just have to go and get better."
OK, that's fine. And it's very Tebow-riffic of him to say that. But first, how are the Jets going to magically flip the switch on their offense? If your answer is "the Wildcat," I urge you to see a doctor.
That's primarily because the Jets are precipitously thin at the skill positions on offense, and it's making it increasingly difficult for either Sanchez or Tebow to succeed on offense, as verified factually and statistically by New York's touchdown-less performance through two preseason games. But a bigger problem for the two-headed monster of a quarterback is the utter lack of protection provided by their offensive line.
As you can see, Hill came off the edge completely unblocked (what would you say you do here, Joe McKnight?) and the result was predictable:
Immediately after this play, Tebow popped up and started gesticulating wildly. That sort of thing will happen when you get soured on the way Tebow did above. Tebow's been sacked plenty in the past and it's not his usual move to melt down on the offensive line.
Asked about the angry in-game behavior, Tebow claimed a bit of amnesia but finally admitted what's becoming obvious: he's frustrated.
"I'm not sure what play exactly," Tebow said. "(I was) probably just frustrated. We want to get on the same communication and have it run smooth, everyone being on the same page."
The frustration was apparent to the Snoopy Bowl winners too putting the pressure on Tebow too.
"The frustration was written all over him," defensive tackle Carlton Powell said after the game. "He was already upset so it didn't take that much."
Powell, in case you care, isn't exactly a defensive-line stalwart for the Giants. He signed with them last week and has one tackle. In his career. That's how obvious the frustration's become with Tebow.
Look, this is the sort of thing that can happen when you shock the world and help a team overachieve to 8-8, a division title and a stunning playoff win over the Steelers, only to get traded in the offseason, moved into a backup role, given an introductory press conference and have the entire world scrutinize your every move within an offense that's relying on keeping a gimmick group of formations secret until the games start counting.
There's an overwhelming amount of pressure -- both internal and external -- on the Jets and no false fronts of confidence are going to make everyone look like other way when the team's quarterbacks spend a Saturday night against the defending world champs either on their backs or visibly upset at the offensive's ineptitude.
Come Monday morning, that pressure's only going to increase. But instead of wondering which quarterback might win the Jets job, the questions are going to be whether or not the any of the Jets quarterbacks can get the job done. It sure hasn't looked like it thus far, and the result was that Tebow's starting to look just like the rest of the world when it comes to the matter of the Jets offensive woes.
He's frustrated. And it's hard to blame him.
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