As Jets coach Rex Ryan continues to face more questions about his second-string quarterback than about any other player on his roster, Ryan said today that he sees Tim Tebow’s presence in New York as less about competing with Mark Sanchez than about replacing Brad Smith.
According to Ryan, Tebow will do a lot of the same things as Smith, who played some receiver, some Wildcat quarterback and some special teams during his five years with the Jets before leaving for the Bills last year in free agency.
“We look at it as we’re adding a good football player, which we did,” Ryan said of Tebow. “Is he behind Sanchez on the depth chart? Yes. Just like every team has a guy behind their starting quarterback. But he brings so much more to the table. Obviously we talked about the Wildcat deal, we talked about the personal protector. In a lot of ways, he’s replacing a guy that I love, who was Brad Smith, and everybody knows that, and we were very effective running the Wildcat, and he’s basically replacing Brad in that role. He’s also your backup quarterback, No. 2 quarterback, and he’s also your personal protector, as was Brad Smith.”
It’s true that there are some similarities between Tebow and Smith, but there are also a whole lot of differences, ranging from the fact that Smith has never been a starting quarterback in the NFL to the fact that Tebow has never been a kickoff returner.
And the biggest difference is that Ryan didn’t have to try to convince the media that Smith wasn’t going to unseat Sanchez as the Jets’ starting quarterback. Which Ryan has been trying to do with Tebow just about every day since the Jets acquired him.