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The Tebow Madness Has to End

Lack of discipline off the field shows when Jets are on the field

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Oct 11, 2012  |  Updated 8:52 AM EDT
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Rock Stars: Then and Now

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The Jets have handled Tebow questions with all the grace of a bulldozer.

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It is a presidential election year, which means that watching cable news leaves you hearing people get very heated about things that no one will think about again until 2016. 

One of those things is message discipline, i.e. everyone on a campaign making sure to make the same points about the same issues over and over again so that no one in the media gets to write a process story instead of one about what the candidate wants them to write about.

Going rogue is something that can hijack the entire campaign and it rarely bodes well for the candidate. 

Jets owner Woody Johnson is a massive fundraiser for Mitt Romney and he seems to appear on television stumping for the Republican candidate every day, so you would imagine that he has heard something about message discipline at some point in the recent past. It makes you wonder why he's so hellbent on making sure that his organization has none of it. 

Every day, the Jets have several different people talking and sending several different messages that don't coalesce into anything even close to resembling an organized philosophy about how to move the team forward. On Wednesday, and plenty of other days this season, the issue causing problems for the Jets was Tim Tebow. 

Johnson went on CNBC, ostensibly to discuss matters other than the Jets backup quarterback, and said that he anticipated Tebow being with the Jets through the end of his contract in 2014 while also saying that the team was committed to Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback.

A little while later, at his press conference, Rex Ryan said Sanchez was the starter "this week" and that Tebow had no more guarantee of being on the team for his entire contract than anyone else. 

Johnson also thinks Miller Lite is less filling, while Ryan will give you a good five minutes on why it tastes great. The left hand doesn't know or doesn't care what the right hand is doing because that's become standard operating procedure for the Jets. 

If all of this was just a rapidly less entertaining sideshow and the Jets were showing no signs of it hampering them on the field, then you just shrug your shoulders and let it go on unchecked. But when the Jets waste timeouts and pick up 12 men on the field penalties every game, you know that their lack of message discipline is just a facet of the team's overall lack of discipline. 

It's hard to imagine that any team can win when they have no interest in being a disciplined, controlled organization that prepares itself for any situation. From the trade to the chatter to the fact that the Jets don't even use him, the entire Tebow saga has exposed the Jets as a totally undisciplined team that doesn't take even a moment to consider the ramifications of its decisions. 

It has to end. That doesn't mean cutting Tebow or starting him or anything other than simply answering questions about him by saying that the team will make its decisions based on what's best for the football team. 

No colorful comments, no inane ramblings and no more of anything that shows off, revels in really, just how terribly managed the Jets are from the top down. It probably won't make the Jets any better on the football field -- it certainly won't make them worse -- but it will make it a bit easier to get through a week without wondering if this whole thing is just an elaborate farce. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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