Jets, Tebow get to work on wildcat package
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 13, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
CORTLAND, N.Y. — Shhh! The New York Jets worked on the wildcat.
Yes, Tim Tebow was involved, of course. And the elusive backup quarterback felt pretty good doing it.
As for other details, though, they're off limits. That qualifies as top-secret information around these parts. The practice Monday was the first in which the Jets extensively worked the wildcat package with Tebow in front of the media during training camp. But it was closed to the public, so the media were restricted from reporting specifics about how the Jets are using it and with what personnel.
"Well, it's fun," a smiling Tebow said when asked if it was nice to finally practice the tricky scheme. "Anytime you get the opportunity to go out there and run around a little bit and play football, it's always fun."
So, Tim, what particular type of football were you playing out there?
"Umm," Tebow said, "I just played the football that they asked me to play."
Get the picture?
The Jets (No. 14 in the AP Pro32) don't want any of their plans for Tebow to leak out to opponents because they want to maintain an element of surprise during the season. New York provided a small glimpse into its plan for Tebow and their wildcat-style formation on Aug. 2 during goal-line drills, but had not worked specifically on the scheme until Monday.
Mum's the word for now, with a level of secrecy that made even Tebow chuckle.
"I also don't know if I've ever seen this much interest," he said.
As coach Rex Ryan has insisted, it appears the wildcat will be at least a small part of Tony Sparano's offense with Tebow in the mix. Sparano helped make the scheme popular a few years ago when he was the coach of the Miami Dolphins, and Tebow was clearly brought in to be the guy to make it work in New York.
For how many snaps and when it'll be used, well, that all remains to be seen.
On Monday, the Jets unveiled it with just the offense on the field and later ran it with the defense out there in team drills. New York didn't use it at all in its preseason-opening loss at Cincinnati last Friday, and there's no guarantee the Jets will run it against the Giants on Saturday night. But starting Sept. 9 against Buffalo in the regular-season opener, there could be plenty of Tebow and the wildcat.
"I trust Coach Sparano with it and however he thinks the best way to use it is, that's what we'll do," starting quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "I know the entire offense has full faith in him, and we're excited about the scheme."
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