So why are the Jets making such a big deal about the arrival of a backup quarterback? Because this backup quarterback isn’t the usual backup quarterback.
Apart from the fact that the backup quarterback is Tim Tebow, the backup quarterback will be playing. A lot. According to head coach Rex Ryan, the backup quarterback could be on the field for up to 20 snaps per game.
“Tim is going to be a major contributor to our football team,” Ryan told NFL Network on Sunday. “With the Wildcat specifically, the great thing is you don’t know if we’re going to run it one snap a game or 20 snaps a game — you have no idea. Every week it could be different. That’s some of the preparation problems he gives you.”
And that’s what this is all about. Forcing a team to prepare for Tebow limits the amount of time that a team has to prepare for starter Mark Sanchez, which could give the Jets an edge when either guy is on the field.
Complicating matters for opposing defenses are the new practice rules, which force teams to get more done with less opportunities to do anything. Last year, those limited opportunities generally made it easier for offenses to impose their will on defenses.
This year, that’s precisely what the Jets will be hoping to do, no matter how many times Tebow is on the field.