When the New York Jets traded for Tim Tebow, it was immediately assumed that he would be featured as the team’s “Wildcat” quarterback and placed in special packages. The team confirmed that belief almost immediately after the trade was official, but now, it is being reported that they may have even more plans for Tebow.
Per ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, the Jets plan to use Tebow as a H-back, fullback and running back, in addition to his reps as a package quarterback. On top of his roles in the backfield, special teams coach Mike Westhoff plans to use Tebow as the “personal protector” on the punt team.
At the annual league meetings, Jets head coach Rex Ryan told the media that Tebow could see the field for up to 20 snaps a game. At first that seemed like an unreasonable number, but with his multiple roles it is not out of the question.
If Tebow truly does see his role as a rusher and blocker increase, it should come as no shock. No team uses the “Wildcat” offense regularly as a part of their offense in the NFL these days. With the Dolphins, Tony Sparano used the offense wildcat only 3.7 plays per game. For the Jets, they ran the gimmick offense only 2.7 plays per game with Brad Smith.
For Tebow to maximize his role in the NFL, he needs to be open to playing multiple positions. This could outrage those infected with Tebowmania, but if they truly wish for him to succeed in the league, this will be a strategy that is in his best interest for his long-term future.
As for the Jets traditional offense, expect them to return to the “Ground and Pound” from early in Mark Sanchez’s career. The offense will play into his strengths and should help him continue to mature as the team’s starting quarterback.
“You guys will be really surprised by what Mark’s going to do this year,” said Jets offensive lineman Matt Slauson. “The way we’re going to be running things plays right into Mark’s strengths, running the ball. It’ll be very similar to what we did in Rex (Ryan’s) first two years, very much a style like that — heavy run, heavy play action and whipping out a deep ball every now and again. That’s all the stuff Mark does really well.”
Would it be smart for the Jets to use Tebow as a H-back/fullback/running back/special teams blocker/gimmick quarterback? Sound off in the comments section and let your voice be heard.