The New York Jets have informed backup quarterback Tim Tebow that they plan to use him as the protector on the punt team, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Tebow would become the up man and the punter’s personal protector on the punt team. What does this mean?
For one, it sets the Jets up with incredible fake punt opportunities. The up man on the punt team is the player that receives direct snaps during fake punts. With Tebow as that man, you have a serious and effective way to convert the fake. Tebow could either run the ball for the short gain or catch the punt coverage by surprise and strike a pass for the first down.
While that is the positive of the move, there is also some huge negatives.
The Jets can get Tebow lit up out there. If he’s the protector, he is subject to multiple big hits a game. That doesn’t even touch the fact that after the punt is struck, he will have to run downfield and try to make a tackle — Tebow will be in for some violent collisions.
Is that really want you want your backup quarterback doing?
The way I see it — Tebow will simply be a utility player for the Jets and Greg McElroy will be the primary backup. Tebow can line up as fullback, H-back, “Wildcat quarterback” and punt protector. All of those positions put him in serious risk of injury. Still, giving up a fourth and sixth-round pick for a utility player is a great move.
Mark Sanchez should feel safer now. No quarterback should feel threatened by a punt protector.