Instructor takes shot at Mark Sanchez

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Forget about the quarterback competition. Maybe there should be a quarterback-instructor competition.

One week after Mark Sanchez's recently hired coach, former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, unloaded on Tim Tebow, Tebow's instructor responded Wednesday by criticizing Sanchez and the New York Jets.

Steve Clarkson, a private coach who has worked with many NFL quarterbacks, conducted a conference call with reporters. He presented a conspiracy theory, saying the Denver Broncos traded Tebow to the Jets -- not his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars -- because they knew he'd fail in New York.

"I think he was purposefully sent to New York," said Clarkson, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. "From the standpoint: You send him to a situation where you have instability with your coach -- you don't know if he's coming or going. You have a fragile-minded Mark Sanchez at quarterback. You stick Tim Tebow in there and you kill two birds with one stone. So if you're Denver, you've got to be thinking, 'We send him to New York, we basically kill an opponent and, at the same time, Tim Tebow doesn't come back to bite us in the proverbial butt, if you will, because he's not going to make it out of there.'

"You send him to Jacksonville, all of a sudden, he's got that fanbase behind him and all of a sudden, he's doing what he's done all his life: That's win games. That would put a lot of ill will toward your organization. There's a lot of politics that go on with it. I think Timmy was just unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Only one problem with Clarkson's take: It's revisionist history. As Broncos vice president John Elway has explained many times, Tebow was given the choice between the Jets and the Jaguars.

Clarkson accused the Jets of undermining Tebow by now allowing him to master the entire offense.

"I think in Tim's case, they walked him into New York and said, 'We've got four plays for you. You execute these four plays and that's all you're going to get,' " Clarkson said. "Well, when you walk on the field and that's all you practice, and you don't get any meaningful reps and you walk into a game and basically the defense is telling your offensive line basically where the ball is going to go, it's pretty depressing and it doesn't give you much room for hope. I would hope whoever, wherever he ends up that they give him an opportunity, and I think if they do, they'll be pleasantly surprised. I think the guy still can play."

Of course, he does.

Tebow and Clarkson aren't nearly as close as Clarkson indicated, according to a source, who said Clarkson "sought out" the quarterback and "begged" Tebow to work with him. They trained together for only a day-and-a-half, the source said, not three days as previously reported.

"He was just looking for publicity," the source said of Clarkson. "The entire thing smells."

Clarkson also said he worked on Tebow's throwing mechanics and footwork. He's confident Tebow is fixed.

Garcia, hired by Sanchez to teach him the West Coast offense, made national headlines last week with sharp criticism of Tebow, saying the Jets should've traded or released Tebow before the team's offseason program began this past Monday.

"Having Tebow there doesn't bring anything positive," Garcia said. "It just brings distraction. For Mark, the main competition is going to be David Garrard and Greg McElroy."

The Jets have been trying to trade Tebow, a nonfactor last season, but no team publicly has acknowledged any interest in the popular backup. If they can't trade him before or during the draft, the Jets are expected to release him.