With the New York Jets turning over a new leaf going into the 2012 season, one of the biggest questions about the team is how exactly the Jets will utilize Tim Tebow.
An aspiring NFL quarterback, Tebow’s actual quarterbacking is still a work in progress. However, the 24-year-old brings so much more to the table than your average passer.
He’s got dynamic quickness and agility for a man his size, at upwards of 245 lbs. He’s got the ability to make a man miss as a ball-carrier, and also the strength and power to drive forward for extra yardage.
While the Jets have been coy thus far in training camp about exactly what Tim Tebow’s role will be on offense, they did show off a little bit of what they have in store for him this week, with their goal-line packages.
Tebow drew rave reviews from coaches and teammates for his work in goal-line packages Thursday, the first time in camp that Tebow’s red non-contact jersey was rendered meaningless.
Jets coach Rex Ryan proclaimed to his defense that Tebow was “live” for the goal-line drills, meaning they were free to tackle him full-speed instead of treating him like your ordinary practice quarterback.
At least, that’s what the defense was hoping to do, in theory.
In four snaps in the goal-line drills running the second-team offense, Thursday, Tebow rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another against the Jets’ second-team defense.
One of the plays was out of the Wildcat formation, something the Jets have excelled in years past when Brad Smith was the triggerman, a package they hope will be reinvigorated by Tim Tebow.
“We saw a little bit of what he can do, what he brings to the table,” Ryan said. “When we start doing more Wildcat things, we’ll all be excited Tim is here.”
Last season, under the quarterbacking of Mark Sanchez, the Jets were one of the most efficient red zone offenses in football.
The Jets led the league in red zone efficiency and they were tied for the league lead with touchdowns on 80-percent of their goal-to-go situations.
While many would say that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, the Jets don’t see it that way. The way they see it, the addition of Tebow in short-yardage and goal-line situations can only make the Jets harder to defend.
Even Sanchez, who may potentially get subbed out of the game in certain goal-line situations, has been supportive of the idea, noting that the most important thing at the end of the day is winning the game.
“Whatever we have to do … It doesn’t matter,” Sanchez said. “We’re in the business of winning. It’s fine with me. …We have to be selfless, myself included. That’s the most important thing.”
While Tim Tebow sees himself as a quarterback and hopes to have a future in this league as a starting quarterback, he understands that his role is whatever the coaches tell him his role is.
“If [the goal-line package is] something they want me to do, I’d be more than happy to do it and try to do it to the best of my ability, and hopefully do a pretty good job at it,” Tebow said.
Nobody knows exactly what tricks the Jets have up their sleeves for the talented, versatile Tim Tebow. But it’s certainly exciting to see what they have in store.
Tebow is the type of player who works best in smaller doses, and without the pressure and responsibility of being a starting quarterback, the Jets hope to maximize his efficiency. It’ll definitely be fun to watch.