|Revis says New York's locker room is in 'disarray right now.' We're not sure how Tebow fixes that. (AP/Getty Images)|
For the Jets, this offseason has been about fixing all that went wrong in 2011. It's a long list that was punctuated by wide receiver Santonio Holmes quitting on his teammates during the Week 17 loss to the Dolphins that effectively ended any chance New York had of sneaking into the playoffs. Instead, they ended with an 8-8 record and a locker room full of issues.
A brief recap of the last three months: since Ryan's end-of-year press conference the day after the season's inglorious conclusion, third-string quarterback Greg McElroy went on radio and referred to the Jets locker room as "not a fun place," anonymous teammates called Mark Sanchez "lazy," former teammate Kris Jenkins also took some shots at Sanchez (that led to Ryan, center Nick Mangold and owner Woody Johnson all coming to Sanchez's defense), running back LaDainian Tomlinson suggested that the wide receivers are responsible for "Sanchez is lazy" remarks to the media, and cornerback Darrelle Revis called the team issues "real deep" before noting that Ryan had no idea how bad things really were.
Ryan has since pledged to fix all this, although we're not sure how adding the Tim Tebow media circus will help.
On Tuesday, Revis, during an appearance on SportsCenter, provided a status update in the form of a word association game. For the phrase: "locker room," Revis responsed: "Disarray right now."
So in Revis' mind -- and despite Ryan's promise to rectify the problems that derailed New York's 2011 season -- nothing's changed.
"There were a lot of things going on with guys wanting the ball," Revis said via ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus. "When it's like that and you're losing, it gets a little bit more frustrating, that's all.
"People were just trying to find ways to win. Santonio [Holmes] wanted the ball. It wasn't negative, I think he wanted to be the guy who wins games for us. And then it blew up out of proportion and then it was Santonio is not siding with Mark, and it just blew out of proportion. And then [then-offensive coordinator Brian] Schotteheimer was in the mix of it too with the play-calling."
Sanchez and Holmes have since made up ("A bigger deal was made about it than it needed to be -- we've kind of laughed that off," Sanchez said earlier this month) although CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco is skeptical that next season will be much different than 2011.
Revis, meanwhile, has a ton of respect for Tebow. He also thinks that Tebow is exactly what Sanchez needs.
"I think [Tebow will] have a big impact on [Sanchez] in terms of just trying to maybe push him a little bit more," the cornerback said. "Not to say that Mark needs to get pushed, but in a way that, you know, Tebow is a winning quarterback. Mark is a winning quarterback, too; you got to understand that Mark took us to two AFC Championship Games."
Here's the problem: When Sanchez struggles next season (and he will -- not because he's Sanchez but because all QBs struggle), public opinion will be firmly behind Tebow to replace him. And for all that's virtuous about Tebow, don't expect him to stand up and proclaim that "Mark is the starting quarterback and I'm not interested in answering questions about me taking over that role." It didn't happen in Denver and Kyle Orton was shown the bench and eventually the door. The Jets have assured and reassured us that Sanchez is their guy so maybe there's nothing to worry about. But Broncos coach John Fox made similar comments about Orton last summer.
For his part, Revis understands that Sanchez will be under intense scrutiny and wants to dispel the rumors that the Jets' quarterback is anything but vigilant in his preparation.
"I know Mark personally," he said, "and he’s there. We're there sometimes at 7 p.m. -- two hours after work -- in the cold tubs and the hot tubs and he's going over his playbooks, so I know Mark works hard. That’s no question about it."
Training camp is four months off. We'll no doubt here countless stories about Sanchez and Tebow until then. And at some point during the season, we'll almost certainly hear that the former should be benched for latter. For an organization looking to "fix" the locker room, this seems like the exact wrong way to go about it.
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