Tim Tebow: What New York Jets Need to See from Polarizing QB in Preseason

Hector DiazAnalyst IAugust 14, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets runs downfield on punt coverage against the Cincinnati Bengals during a preseason NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 10, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Critics have been quick to proclaim New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow the heir apparent to Mark Sanchez. Head coach Rex Ryan has repeatedly stated that Tebow is the backup to Sanchez, as noted by USA Today.

What Ryan is more interested in is the intangibles that make Tebow a great player, not the skills that make him a decent quarterback. 

This is evident in Tebow’s use on special teams, and now the wildcat. 

Look for offensive coordinator Tony Sparano to implement Tebow in the hit-or-miss formation. To be fair, Sparano did have some success implementing the wildcat during his tenure as head coach of the Miami Dolphins

Tebow has had his own experience with the wildcat in his short career. During last season, it was almost a sure bet that a Tim Tebow-led offense would run the ball rather than pass it. According to NFL.com, Tebow only averages about 15 pass attempts per game, which is significantly less than most other starting quarterbacks in the league. 

Don’t expect the wildcat to be used much, if at all, during the preseason. The New York Times reports that the Jets' coaching staff is being secretive with how they implement the formation.

With regards to how the Tebow-led wildcat will be used, head coach Rex Ryan said, “the great thing is, you don’t know if we’re going to run it once. You don’t know if we’re going to run it 20 times, 50 times, whatever. That’s up to us.”

This means, of course, that there will be no changing of the guard during the preseason, since Tebow will not have an opportunity to showcase his entire repertoire, barring an injury to Sanchez. 

The Jets will need to see if Tebow’s experience running the ball last season can translate well in the Meadowlands. 

Perhaps if the wildcat proves to be successful in regular season, then Tebow may eventually get his opportunity at Sanchez’s starting role. 

That’s not to say that Tebow will be void of any passing opportunities in the preseason. He still has the ability to show that his arm has improved, but Tebow has never been the traditional passing quarterback, so we can only see so much of what the Jets have in store for him.

Until then, the legendary Florida quarterback will simply have to make do with what the coaching staff gives him and be patient.