Miami, hailing from a city which is no stranger to hurricanes, left behind on the field of MetLife Stadium scattered remnants of a ruined Jet team that even Sandy would envy. The NFL mid-term grades are in, and at 3-5, the Jets face a daunting retooling effort, attempting to pick up the pieces of what appears to be a shattered season.
Does it get any worse than being blown out in your own house by a backup QB to a rookie starter? Dolphin first year QB Ryan Tannehill has played with composure, but his 76.5 QB rating is not exactly setting the league on fire. Unfortunately, the Jets are unable to call in FEMA to help them salvage their obliterated season, but they can call on someone else.
Prior to the New England Patriots game, Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan stated using Tim Tebow at running back in his injury riddled offensive backfield was ‘a possibility’. The perfect scenario for this possibility arrived when the Patriots all but gift wrapped the game to the Jets by coughing up a kickoff with 2:01 remaining in regulation (thanks to a lightning quick Gillette Stadium clock operator in no hurry to reach the two minute warning).
Inserting Tebow and lining him up behind Jets QB Mark Sanchez would have created multiple offensive possibilities during the critical drive against the Pats. Instead, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano replaces Sanchez with Tebow, who runs up the gut for a momentum crushing two yard gain. Predictably, the Jets failed to move the sticks and relinquished a golden opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of their bitter rivals.
Tebow is listed at 6’ 3” and 236 pounds, runs a 4.7 forty yard dash and can probably throw a block. He is built like Larry Csonka, who was the starting fullback on the NFL’s only undefeated Super Bowl champ. Tebow is taller and heavier than another great, ex-Jet FB John Riggins, who played at 6’ 2″ and 230 pounds. With such comparisons, Tebow’s large frame is well equipped for the fullback spot.
With several Jet running backs taking up residence in the infirmary, what is the coaching staff waiting for? At the Jets’ disposal is an able bodied athlete who has the size, speed, strength and college running experience. Tebow averaged over 830 yards rushing during his final three seasons at the University of Florida, so he is no stranger to running with the pigskin. Why not give Tebow 12-15 touches out of the backfield to take some pressure off the beleaguered Sanchez?
Tebow at fullback will add a much needed dimension to the offense, such as halfback option passes, quarterback options, flea flickers and laterals. Opposing defenses will be guessing if Tebow will run, pass, block or even lateral back to Sanchez. The Jet offense currently has as much element of surprise as a cheesy April Fools’ prank.
Off the field, inserting Tebow into the running back slot will solve a nagging problem which has plagued the Sanchize. It will send a message to the Jets’ fourth year signal-caller (whose confidence is shaky as a first time bike rider) the Jets are actually HIS TEAM. By smothering the quarterback controversy, the team can curb the carnival atmosphere and concentrate on winning games.
It seems Tebow was picked up and plopped down on a coaching staff which has little clue on how to effectively use his skills. Sanchez’ arm and and unproven receiver corps are not capable of carrying the Jets. Suffice to say, this Jet version was not built to fly via the passing game.
Jet fans heard a lot of talk about ground and pound during the off-season. With mounting injuries and a bye week at hand, the perfect opportunity exists for the coaching staff to design QB Sanchez/RB Tebow schemes to attempt to bewilder opposing defenses. With Tebow, they first must realize an integral piece has been dropped in their lap. With a potentially tanked season, moving Tebow to fullback to see if he can strut his stuff is one of very few salvage operations available to the team.
Who knows? With Tebow in the backfield, the possibilities could be endless for Ryan’s ravaged gang green.