Reaction: McElroy out, Sanchez in

December, 27, 2012
12/27/12
2:39
PM ET
Cue the calliope music. The Jets' quarterback-merry-go-round is spinning again.

Just when you think the demoralized Jets will go quietly into the offseason, they drop a bombshell. Rex Ryan walked into Thursday's news conference and began by saying, "You may not believe this, but ..."

Something I've learned from 23 years of covering the Jets: When a news conference starts that way, you can forget about that feature story you had planned. For a moment or two, I thought Ryan was kidding, but there was no "gotcha!" moment.

I flashed back to Jan. 3, 2000, when then-PR director Frank Ramos walked to the podium at a news conference and, instead of introducing Bill Belichick as the next coach of the Jets, declared that Belichick had an announcement to make. You know what happened next.

On Thursday, Ryan didn't pull a Belichick and submit his resignation, although there are many fans who wish he would have. This was about a quarterback change. Four days after getting pounded by the Chargers, Greg McElroy told the trainers he had a headache. That meant a possible concussion, and that was all Ryan had to hear.

He scratched McElroy, elevated Mark Sanchez to the starting job and dissed Tim Tebow for the 54th time. This kind of stuff only happens to the Jets.

So let's get this straight. Over the past four weeks, the Jets have gone from Sanchez to McElroy to Sanchez to McElroy to Sanchez, bypassing Tebow at every turn.

With each non-endorsement of Tebow, the Jets make themselves look bad. They don't trust him to play quarterback, and they pulled him from the Wildcat package because he complained and wanted out.

Can someone remind us why they traded for him? The Jets have turned this into an utter embarrassment. If Sanchez can't finish Sunday's game against the Bills, you get the feeling they'd prefer Jeremy Kerley over Tebow. What next -- will they re-sign Matt Simms to be the No. 2 QB for the final game?

Clearly, the Jets are afraid of Tebow, afraid that he'd succeed. That, of course, would fuel a chorus of second-guessers, fans and media types screaming that Tebow should've received a chance earlier in the season. The Jets want no part of that cauldron.

So Tebow sits, and we all watch the madness unfold. McElroy isn't the only guy with a headache.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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