There was a juicy debate on ESPN on Christmas Eve morning.
No, it was not on “First Take.”
But yes, it was about Tim Tebow.
During the Monday morning edition of “SportsCenter,” a panel of analysts discussed Tebow’s role – or lack thereof – during the New York Jets’ 27-17 loss at home to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Coach Rex Ryan named Greg McElroy as their starting quarterback for the game after Mark Sanchez came up short in Tennessee last Monday night. And all McElroy did was get sacked nearly a dozen times.
Adding fuel to the fire that has already enveloped the embers of an already torched season, Tebow claimed, according to sources, that he wanted no part of the Wildcat offense if he was not going to start the Jets’ home finale. This is why you saw wideout Jeremy Kerley work the Wildcat during the game (and in the process, pick up a better QB rating than any of the Jets’ three quarterbacks, as well as the Giants’ Eli Manning yesterday) and not Tebow.
Anyway, part of the four-person “SportsCenter” panel debating “Tebow no-go” was Merril Hoge, who has been known to have less than positive things to say about Tebow in the past. Days before his trade to the Jets, Hoge said Tebow’s “IQ as a football player is not very good.”
Well, it didn’t take a genius that Hoge was far from Tebow’s foxhole in this situation, as well.
“To me, it smells like three-day-old fish,” Hoge said. “I think he’s phony as a three-dollar bill, because at the end of the day, what have I heard, that he would do ‘anything, at anytime you asked me to do it, I’ll do it.’ And all of a sudden, now that’s unacceptable? That’s also, ‘now, I want to play quarterback, or I’m not gonna play Wildcat’?… If [the Jets] said, ‘Listen, you’re just gonna play Wildcat, and [McElroy’s] gonna play our quarterback, Tim Tebow, being the teammate that he is, accepts that, because he says ‘I’ll do anything for the team.’ That’s all I’ve ever heard about him. Well, I think this now shows really what he’s about.
“He got mad because he wasn’t going to be the quarterback,” he continued. “So he’s… now sulking…There shouldn’t even be a story coming out of here, if he did what the coaches asked him to do. He got upset because he wasn’t going to be the starting quarterback.
“If you are for the team… then, guess what, whatever that coach makes that decision, sure, you can be upset, but you still do what you can for the team. You don’t make a rift, you don’t sit there and argue, you don’t take yourself out, ‘well, don’t play me on the Wildcat’.”
After Adam Schefter makes an excuse for Gang Green (“it was a culmination of a full season of frustration and disappointment, where basically, he thought that he would get the chance to be the number two [quarterback]”), Hoge says this:
“Here’s what happened in New York. Okay? They didn’t realize how bad Tim Tebow was. Once he comes in there, and they got to see the sampling, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ okay? Not only can he not play quarterback, he’s not really a good football player, either. He’s an okay football player.”
He then had a warning for the NFL franchise in Tebow’s hometown that is all but a lock to acquire the quarterback next year.
“Jacksonville Jaguars, beware,” Hoge exclaimed. “If you think you’re gonna bring Tim Tebow in there to change your organization around, and bring a wind in there, and bring fans in there, you are crazy. The only way Jacksonville’s going to bring their fans back, you bring a winning organization together. This guy, he’s not going to win for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is not going to do that. All he would do is set the franchise back further, if that is a possible feat, because this organization is down as far as you get. The last person they need is a guy like this. Now that we’re starting to see even his true colors… then he has not proven he is good enough to be a starter in the National Football League. If he had shown that, the New York Jets would start him.”
Something tells me Merril Hoge isn’t going to be getting any Christmas cards from Tim Tebow apologist Skip Bayless this year.