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WEEI » This Just In » Cole on M&M: Jets 'afraid' to play Tebow
Thu, 12/20/2012 - 1:11pm  

Cole on M&M: Jets 'afraid' to play Tebow

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, in an interview on the Mut & Merloni show, suggested that the Jets' reluctance to play Tim Tebow at quarterback in the final games of the season is illogical. Cole suggested that the decision to go with Greg McElroy over Tebow (with Mark Sanchez benched) represented an instance in which perception and public relations won out over good decision-making. 

"I think they’re afraid that he goes out there, and he plays well enough for the fans and he puts on a show, that all of a sudden people want to keep him. That’s the only thing I can think of, because otherwise, you put him out there, see if you can get him to play well, you dummy up a game plan so that he looks good for a couple of games and then turn around and try to trade him for a fourth- or a fifth-round draft pick," said Cole. "That would be my strategy with it, but I think this management group, this coaching staff, is probably afraid of its own shadow at this point in time, and they don’t even want to do that. They want to go straight to McElroy."

Still, Cole suggested that Tebow has brought some of this decision upon himself through his inability to acknowledge and thus address the warts in his game. 

"[The Jets have] seen Tebow. They’ve seen all the problems with his game. They know that he’s not in a position right now in his career where he’s willing to listen to fix what’s wrong with his game," said Cole. "He’s going to have to go out there on the market and people are going to have to tell him the ugly truth, which is, you can’t do these things right now. You can’t read a two-deep coverage. You can’t read when we go from this zone to that zone. The only thing you can read is that when people rush you, and blitz you, that you can get out of the pocket, escape and throw over the top of the defense.

"When that happens, you look really, really good. But short of that, when you play against a standard two-deep coverage, what the Patriots did to you in the playoffs last year, that is a clear indication of the direction that you’re going."

Cole also explained his recent criticism of Patriots coach Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 12-yard line against San Francisco in Sunday night's 41-34 New England loss. 

 

"Absolutely, I felt they should have punted," said Cole. "I totally agreed with fourth-and-2 in 2009. I thought that was a really smart play in 2009. ... Especially when your defense was that bad, and you put the ball in Brady’s hands for a two-yarder to win the game [and] 99.99 percent of what Bill Belichick has done is absolute brilliance, without question.

"In this one, however, because of the position on the field, if you fail in that one, you’re giving up the field goal automatically. You’re at your own 12-yard-line. That all of a sudden makes it a two-score game with two minutes left, even if the only thing the 49ers do is take a knee three times before they kick the field goal. All they want to do is make sure you burn your timeouts.

"If you watch the way the 49ers had been playing the second half, once they went up 31-3, they weren’t playing to score, basically, for the rest of that game. They were just trying to burn clock and hadn’t done it very well," he continued. "If you punt it away and get it out to, like, midfield, the opposite 45, the 49ers, based on what they’re doing, are going to run it at least two times to try to burn your timeouts. Maybe they take a chance and throw it one time, and you still get the ball back with about two minutes left. And you still have the two-minute warning on your side, but you still get the ball back with at least a minute fifty-one left. I’ll take my chances with that one."

Still, Cole made clear that he continues to view Belichick as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, second perhaps only to former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs. 

"[Belichick] is going straight to the Hall of Fame. He’s maybe the first or second best coach in the history of the league, and the only guy I would think about who is maybe better is Joe Gibbs, because Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, and that’s an amazing accomplishment," said Cole. "Other than that, Belichick is the greatest coach of all time. I just happen to disagree with going for it on fourth-and-1 because of the field goal."

To listen to the interview, visit the Mut and Merloni audio on demand page. For complete Patriots coverage, visit weei.com/patriots.




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