When Bill Walsh traded for Steve Young in 1987, he was an immediate threat to Joe Montana and the two had a frosty relationship in the six years they were together in San Francisco.
Back in 1991, Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler became embroiled in one of the great quarterback controversies of all time in Giants training camp: It’s the only time quarterbacks who had each won a Super Bowl for the same team then competed for the starting job.
Tim Tebow’s trade to the Jets last year created an instant controversy, although he never presented a serious threat to Mark Sanchez because he has trouble throwing a ball that doesn’t sail over a receiver’s head or nosedive into the dirt. Even so, Sanchez clearly resented his presence, but he did concede that if Tebow had a flat tire on the side of the road, “I’m not going to just blow by him. At the same time, I’m not sending him gifts on his birthday.”
There’s nothing like a good quarterback controversy to liven up the summer. Sanchez vs. Geno Smith will be a hot one. The only quarterback intrigue in New England is whether Tebow even will make the team.
Tom Brady’s reaction to Tebow signing with the Patriots last week? Yawn would be a good way to describe it, even if Brady would probably enjoy anybody who takes the focus off him. He was asked last week if he worries about Tebow becoming a distraction.
“I don’t worry about much these days,” he said. “I’ve been around long enough to see all different kinds of things happen — trades, people being cut, guys joining the team, all the media attention with what happened in 2007, post-Super Bowls, tough losses. It comes with the territory. I think everyone is prepared to deal with some level of different things that happen on a daily basis and to be mentally tough enough to push through and still be able to do your job at a high level is most important. That’s really what you owe the team is to show up every day and do your job the best you can.”
Brady has won three Super Bowls, tying him with Troy Aikman. They are one behind Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most ever. Brady has started five Super Bowls, tying him with John Elway for the most. He is married to a supermodel, is adored in New England and is not about to care about Bill Belichick signing Tebow.
“I don’t really make decisions or transactions — whether we cut players or sign players or trade players,” he said. “My reaction is very much like everyone else on the team, just trying to focus on what I need to do and what I needed to do to be a better player. Certainly, any time a new teammate comes in, you welcome them, try to do whatever you can to help them fit in and understand what we need to do.”
Of course, Tebow will not challenge Brady. Belichick has often gone with just two QBs so I would not be surprised if Tebow doesn’t make the team. But it doesn’t hurt that owner Robert Kraft has said he’s hoping Tebow makes it after claiming he’s never met a nicer person.
One thing to keep in mind: Brady will be 36 in August and Belichick has to be thinking about his eventual successor. So, perhaps he wants an opportunity to work with Tebow for a full year to see if he can work a miracle and turn him into a special quarterback, which may be impossible. In the meantime, Tebow is also behind Ryan Mallett on the depth chart.
Brady didn’t offer much of an analysis when asked his thoughts about Tebow.
“I never was around him much,” he said. “Anyone who has played in the NFL has a high level of talent to make it this far, to play this long over the course of an entire life to get to this point you obviously have to be talented. I have a lot of respect for everyone that plays and certainly what I’ve seen him do in the past.”
Heck, he would probably even stop if Tebow had a flat tire.
WILD WEST FEUD
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Tom Brady has three Super Bowl wins on his resume and little reason to worry about Tim Tebow.
The feud between Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh started in 2009 when Harbaugh called for a late two-point conversion in Stanford’s 55-21 victory over Southern Cal.
“What’s your deal?” Carroll said when they met on the field after the game.
Now Harbaugh is with the 49ers and Carroll is with the Seahawks, they just might have the two best teams in the NFL and the feud is escalating with Harbaugh’s critical comments last week about five Seahawks being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs (a sixth, Richard Sherman, who played for Harbaugh at Stanford, got his suspension overturned on appeal) since 2011.
After questioning whether some of the Seahawks suspensions were for Adderall or really for something else, he took a shot at Seattle when he was asked how he addressed the problem with his players.
“Has no place in an athlete’s body. Play by the rules,” he said. “And you always want to be above reproach. Especially when you’re good, because you don’t want people to come back and say they’re winning because they are cheating.”
Then, he said, “Because if you cheat to win, then you’ve already lost, according to Bo Schembechler,” his college coach at Michigan.
After Harbaugh’s assessment, Carroll said the team has “set into motion a really clear mindset to take care of business and treat this situation that is around the league very seriously. I don’t know about commenting about anybody else’s team, but as far as we’re concerned, we feel like we’ve addressed it directly.”
The 49ers reportedly are among 10 teams without one PED suspension from 2010-13.
TENDER, NOW EXTEND
Victor Cruz gave up his leverage when he signed the $ 2.879 million tender offer Friday. If he hadn’t, the Giants could have reduced the offer to $ 630,000 on Monday, as per the CBA. Cruz elected not to take that risk, although it would have been out of character for the Giants to mess with him like that. And while the intent on both sides is to still work out a long-term deal, Cruz’s bigger hammer before signing the tender was being able to hold out without getting fined. Now, if he holds out, it will cost him $ 30,000 per day. Usually, I back the players in these matters. But sources say the Giants’ offer is about $ 8 million per year with $ 15 million-$ 18 million guaranteed. For an undrafted free agent who made $ 990,000 over the last two years, and was more productive in 2011 than 2012, that seems pretty fair. Of course, you can’t blame Cruz for trying to squeeze every last dollar out of the Giants, but ultimately he would be foolish to play for the tender, risk getting hurt, and then having his market value severely reduced when he’s an unrestricted free agent after the season.
LATE HITS …
– Bill Belichick raised his game last week attempting to downplay the arrival of Tim Tebow, but that didn’t stop the Patriots from trying to cash in on a little Tebowmania. They quickly made Tebow game jerseys available — your choice of the blue home jersey or white away jersey — with his new number (5) on their website. Price: $ 99.95. I’ll take one of each.
– Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has given his playcalling duties to offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Garrett’s game management skills and his playcalling have been surprisingly poor, so now he can concentrate on how to properly run a game from the sidelines without having his head buried in a play chart. Although Jerry Jones has been supportive of Garrett, if he doesn’t become a better head coach soon, he won’t be the head coach much longer.
– It may be at least five years away, but the NFL seems intent on placing a team in London, whether it’s the Jaguars or another team or an expansion team. London is a great city, but I anticipate a lot of pushback from players who are told they are being relocated to another country.
– The toboggan run that will be on Super Bowl Boulevard on Broadway during Super Bowl week next year may actually move faster than traffic on a typical night in the city.