So, Tim Tebow is a member of the New York Jets.
With Tebow, the Jets have acquired a reasonably good athlete at the QB position, a tough football player at almost any position, and a great team player, on the field and off. In addition, the Jets appear to be one of the few teams that can maximize Tebow’s existing talents, with little or no additional development needed. With Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano’s belief in the Wildcat Offense, Tebow can be utilized on certain plays in special packages, based in no small part on down-and-distance. In that way, Tebow can contribute immediately and prove to be a very valuable complement to Jets starting QB Mark Sanchez.
Suffice it to say that if things go well in New York for the Jets and Tebow, it will be because Tebow is used sparingly on certain plays in which his skills–however limited–tend to be more difficult to defend. And if things don’t go well, it will because the Jets ask Tebow to do things he’s already shown he’s simply not capable of doing consistently, to include throwing the ball accurately down the field.
For the Jets, the message is this: Perhaps moreso than any other player, the Jets need to use Tebow intelligently. If Sanchez gets injured, or if he is ineffective for an extended period, or if he can’t play for whatever reason, there may be a desire to give Tebow a shot as the starter. Without concern for being labeled Pro-Tebow or Anti-Tebow, it’s important that the Jets never forget why they traded for Tebow. Specifically, the Jets cannot fall victim to the urge to use Tebow in unpredictable ways, to include possibly starting him or using him as an every-down QB. If the Jets do this, it likely won’t go well, and if it doesn’t go well, many Jets fans are predicting there would soon be a NY Lotto game called “Pick Six” with Tebow’s likeness on every ticket.
Eventually, Tebow may improve and expand the ways that he can be used effectively as a passer in the NFL. However, based on what we’ve seen from Tebow to date, there is no reason to believe this will happen any time soon. In fact, the phrase “Never Is A Long Time” comes to mind when discussing the prospects of Tim Tebow becoming a good NFL passer. After all, Tebow’s accuracy on even simple routes has, at times, been so poor that some viewers in Denver sports bars have loudly demanded that Tebow be given a thorough physical after the game to determine if he’s actually right-handed. Their demands aside, Tebow’s inaccuracy undoubtedly limited the number of plays he was allowed to run in Denver’s offense. But, the good news for the Jets is that running one of, say, five possible plays from a Wildcat on 3rd and 2 will probably prove to be acceptable, whereas running one of five possible plays on every down clearly is not.
So the Jets must work with what they have, recognizing that what they have in Tebow has some significant limitations. Working within those limitations is therefore crucial, especially in the near-term. To paraphrase a John Wooden cliché, the Jets can’t let what Tebow can’t do interfere with what he can do. And while this cliché may be impossible to implement with Tebow as a starting, every-down QB, it becomes very executable with Tebow as a part-time player in a Wildcat formation. In other words, this could work out very nicely for the Jets.
For the long-term, the Jets can decide whether it’s worth the time and effort to develop Tebow to do more traditional QB-related things, like getting rid of the ball quickly and accurately. Maybe Tebow can make miraculous improvements in this area and somehow catch up to other QBs to become acceptable or even proficient as an NFL QB. This seems to be a longshot, as most other NFL QBs have had a 25-year head start, and all of them have at least as much talent as Tebow. But it may be possible, especially with Tebow’s desire and work ethic. So the Jets will likely invest considerable time in Tebow initially, make a series of assessments, and then decide if devoting even more time and effort makes sense in the long-term, considering the cost of not developing or coaching other players. Ultimately, time will tell whether there is sufficient return-on-investment in any Jets’ attempts to develop Tim Tebow as an effective passer in the NFL.
But even if Tim Tebow never amounts to much in the NFL as a passer, there’s a good chance he can improve the Jets offense immediately by providing Wildcat options that give the Jets favorable match-ups on select plays. His presence could also make preparing for the Jets more difficult and/or time-consuming for opposing teams. For these reasons, the Jets’ acquisition of Tebow—for a relatively modest sum—was a smart move. Tebow may never be a traditional NFL QB, but he can improve the Jets’ offense, and make Mark Sanchez more effective as the Jets QB.
Welcome to New York, Mister Tebow. There’s just one thing before we get started: It’s not Tebow Time, it’s Tebow Part-Time.
Tags: athletic, down-and-distance, great locker room guy, great team player, Jets QB Controversy, joseph freyer, Joseph j freyer, Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, Offensive Coordinator Tony Sporano, passing percentage, Rex Ryan, Tebow inaccuracy, Tebow Part-Time, Tebow Time, Tebowmania, Tim Tebow, Tony Sparano, Tony Sporano, tough football player, welcome to new york, Wildcat Offense