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Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum says owner is not pressuring for Tim Tebow to start

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
The Jets certainly aren't getting less awkward. (CBSSports.com, via AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com)

Adding to the dysfunction in what already is a circuslike atmosphere, we told you about a report earlier this week that stated that Jets owner Woody Johnson could “push” coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum into giving Tim Tebow a start at quarterback.

“Two people who know Johnson, and know how he runs his football operation, believe he will push his football people to start Tebow," ESPN New York's Rich Cimini wrote Tuesday.

But the organization now is pushing back and saying Johnson is not putting pressure on those in charge of Jets' personnel.

"There isn't," Tannenbaum told ESPN Radio, via the Newark Star Ledger. "Rex, Woody and myself, we talk all the time. We have a great relationship and we have a good, robust debate about what's best for the team, but playing time is always going to be driven by Rex. We'll talk to Woody about what we're going to do ... but Rex is in charge of who plays."

Which is good news, I suppose. If a coach is in danger of being fired (and eventually does get the ax), it's better to go out on his own terms than on his owner's quarterback wishes.

The problem that Ryan faces is that neither of his quarterback choices are ideal. Sanchez might be a better quarterback than Tebow, but he doesn't have any elite playmakers around him for it to matter. And Tebow might be a winner, who led the Broncos to the AFC West title last year, but he also doesn't have the conventional quarterbacking skills that allow him to succeed in the league long-term.

No matter who starts, the lack of offensive talent at this point, especially with Santonio Holmes gone for the season, would hinder most of the league's quarterbacks.

And it's telling what Tannenbaum said when he was asked if Sanchez was a great quarterback.

“It depends on how you define greatness. I define the success of a quarterback by wins and losses and we've won a lot of games with Mark and Rex and that's proved to be a winning combination,” he said. “With that said, I think Mark would be the first one to tell you those turnovers against San Francisco were disappointing and hurt us, and he missed some throws."

Listen, if a quarterback's greatness was defined by wins and losses, Vince Young would garner much more respect. And if Tannenbaum really believes that line, maybe the Jets should start Tebow after all and see how great he'd be in New York with a run-down offense and a disappointing defense.

If the Jets were to win in that scenario, maybe Tebow would be considered a great quarterback. And Johnson a genius.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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