The Jets would like to have a franchise quarterback. They don’t have one. One way to make him look more like a franchise quarterback is to give the opposing defense less time to prepare to face him.
And that’s one of the big reasons why the Jets embraced Tebowmania, with the alternative T-bone offense that now requires opposing defenses to get ready for two different attacks.
It’s an extreme extension of the common tactic of keeping the status of an injured starting quarterback close to the vest. If the upcoming foe doesn’t know who’ll be playing, the defense has to prepare for both guys.
When both guys are as different as Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, it’s even harder to prepare.
“We’re in the ‘whatever-it-takes’ business,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine recently told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “We’re not looking for style points. People might say, ‘Well, you’re not running a NFL-style offense.’ Yeah, so what? We’re moving the ball, we’re scoring, we’re creating problems on defense. Because that’s what it does. It forces you to take extra time to prepare and you can’t get that time back.”
Pettine knows from experience. He told Mehta that, when the Jets prepared to face Tebow’s Broncos in 2011, the Jets spent so much time getting ready to defend Tebow’s read-option that there wasn’t enough time to practice defending the two-minute drill.
“I’d rather face him in practice than a game,” Pettine said.
Opposing defenses apparently will be facing Tebow in games, a lot. “We’ll be all over the map with it,” Pettine said. “We’re only limited by our own creativity. Whether it’s just Mark, it’s both or it’s just Tebow out there, there’s different ways to do it and a lot of different ways to dress it up.”
The point is a valid one. What makes it a little humorous is the fact that the Jets seem to be working overtime to ensure that opposing defenses will be working overtime to prepare for the base offense under Sanchez and the Wildcat under Tebow.
To really make the Wildcat work, shouldn’t the Jets be saying as little about it as possible?