Jim Kelly roots for rocky times in Jets camp
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • June 30, 2012 @ 3:01pm
Just like the rest of America, legendary Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly was perplexed when the New York Jets traded for Tim Tebow to use as a backup for incumbent starter Mark Sanchez. The only difference is this: people listen when Hall of Famers give analysis.
“As a Buffalo Bills fan, I hope there’s so much turmoil during training camp, I hope Tebow plays great, he pushes Sanchez, and all of a sudden the locker room is coming apart,” Kelly told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network’s Total Access. “They open with the Buffalo Bills first game of the season in the Meadowlands, so this could be very exciting.”
This news is noteworthy not only because it stirs up off-season drama in perhaps the NFL’s most boring month, but because Kelly’s not your typical retired Hall of Fame quarterback.
Kelly has been linked for years as the eventual successor to current Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson, who turns 94 in October. Channel 2 Sports Director Ed Kilgore noted in an article heavy on anonymous sources that Kelly remains in prime position to purchase the Bills as part of a larger investor group in order to keep the franchise in Buffalo—and that scenario falls nicely in line with what Wilson seems to want as well.
In terms of Kelly’s comments on Thursday, he didn’t say anything that hadn’t already been speculated to death in the media. Of course it’s going to be a media circus in New York, and of course egos will clash in 2012. The Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969, while their neighboring Giants have won twice in the last five years.
Kelly’s not the first Hall of Famer to bash the Jets’ addition of Tebow—the Jets’ ‘69 Super Bowl winning QB wasn’t a fan either, if you recall.
“I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there right now. ... I’m baffled,” Joe Namath told Michael Kay in an ESPN Radio interview March 22. “They’re kind of mixed up over there. I’m talking about the folks that are making the decisions. ... Come on. This is crazy. I don’t know what it’s about. It appears the Jets are trying to grab headlines once again just by making noise.”
The Buffalo Bills experienced a similar situation this off-season with the signing of free agent quarterback Vince Young as a clear backup to starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. Western New Yorkers were leery of the move, questioning what the presence of Young would do to Fitzpatrick’s confidence and how the incumbent would react to fans campaigning for a QB switch after a loss. Still, what’s happened in Buffalo isn’t close to the magnitude of the NYJ situation, and as Buffalo Rumblings’ Brian Galliford articulated well, the grumblings of Bills fans may not carry over to the locker room and front office anyhow.