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Sparano not willing to call Tebow experiment a failure


Before placing blame for the Jets’ misguided decision to acquire quarterback-of-all-trades Tim Tebow and their inability to use him effectively, a determination must be made that blame should be placed.

In the apparent opinion of Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, there’s no reason for blame because the Tebow experiment wasn’t a disaster.

“It’s combination of things but I wouldn’t use the words ‘didn’t work’ at all,” Sparano said, via Jane McManus of

“We had a plan going into this thing,” Sparano said.  “But obviously the plan always, at that particular time, was that Mark was the quarterback and Tim would have a role and to what degree the role was, if I remember correctly, it was one-to-20 plays in a game.  Some days it was eight, some days it was one, some days it was none.  Just predicated on what we saw out there.  Tim has worked really hard out here, he’s done a good job, he’s worked hard on the practice field, but that’s where we are.”

Sparano is right about that one-to-20 snaps; he cited that number back in May.  Still, there was an expectation that Tebow would do a lot more than he did.

The effort to declare victory and retreat from Tebow includes an explanation from Sparano that presumptions of multiple big plays from the Tebow package were inaccurate.  “The way that I think the perception is of the Wildcat is that we had a bunch of these 30-yard gains,” Sparano said. “That wasn’t the case in Miami, either.  In Miami, it wasn’t the case at all. We just did it a lot more, so the two-yard gains and the five-yard gains [didn’t stand out[, but then the 15-yard gain, I guess that jumped out more than the two or the five.”

So if the bar was that low, why not use Tebow more often?  After all, one of the stated goals was to force opposing defenses to spend less time preparing for the base offense by accounting for the Tebow package.  Once it became clear that:  (1) Tebow wouldn’t be used much on offense; and (2) when used the outcome would be nothing like, for example, Miami’s torching of the Patriots in 2008, there was no need to worry about Tebow.

There also was no need to worry about the Jets’ offense.  Ranked 30th in total yards and 31st in yards per play, the franchise is moving in the wrong direction under Sparano.

Thus, regardless of whether the Tebow package was a failure or a success (and if it really was a success we’d hate to see what it would have looked like if it were a failure), Sparano likely will soon be joining Tebow as a former employee of the team.

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57 Responses to “Sparano not willing to call Tebow experiment a failure”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Dec 21, 2012 6:59 AM

    Sparano admits to being an idiot. Same thing.

  2. wayne1693 says: Dec 21, 2012 6:59 AM

    Until Tebow has a chance to practice–starting with OTAs–with an offensive-minded coach who really believes in him…none of us will REALLY know his true NFL-QB potential. So I hope Jacksonville gives him that chance.

  3. hehateme2 says: Dec 21, 2012 7:00 AM

    Miami’s torching of the Patriots in 2008… good times!

    I still remember the befuddled look on Belichick’s face…. priceless!

  4. bullcharger says: Dec 21, 2012 7:00 AM

    The Sparano experiment was a failure.

  5. 1bucfan813 says: Dec 21, 2012 7:06 AM

    I fell bad for Tebow because he is a better Qb that Sanchez. He never got the oportunity to show what he has. I would’ve rather see Tebow than seeing Sanchez throw picks all over the country. Are rhe Jet fans having a parade once the fire Rex, and the GM. Rex needs to go back to DC just like his brother.

  6. fruitcovejag says: Dec 21, 2012 7:12 AM

    When Sanchez struggled all year, Rex showed how loyal he was to Mark. He also didn’t want to take away any confidence that Mark may have had left. Rex decided to go with the underperforming conventional QB over someone who may spark the offense. Which is fine. But he has now gone down also, with his guy.

  7. skoobyfl says: Dec 21, 2012 7:12 AM

    Cleopatra, Queen of denial.

  8. lostsok says: Dec 21, 2012 7:12 AM

    Well, if a FG is worth a fist pump…Teblow gotta be worth, what? Golf clap?

  9. coondabye says: Dec 21, 2012 7:14 AM

    Jets are run by idiots!!!

  10. FinFan68 says: Dec 21, 2012 7:16 AM

    Sparano has no idea how to be an OC. He ruined Henne, somehow managed to make Sanchez look worse and ineptly handled Tebow. He doesn’t understand rhythm and almost seems to kill drives on purpose. Bad choice for the Dolphins and the Jets. He needs to be fired again.

  11. azdesertdweller says: Dec 21, 2012 7:23 AM


    Is every coach for the Jets in denial?

  12. maddenisfordorks says: Dec 21, 2012 7:29 AM

    Mother of god … More jets.

  13. blueballz77 says: Dec 21, 2012 7:31 AM

    que in the circus music .Tebow and Sanchez got screwed man I’m so glad im a giants fan Watching the jets claim they’re the best while we win Superbowls Truly entertaining

  14. pisano says: Dec 21, 2012 7:49 AM

    Not only is the Tebow experiment a failure, but the Sparano signing is a failure. The entire Jet organization is a ship of fools.

  15. melikefootball says: Dec 21, 2012 7:50 AM

    Sparano is blind as a bat!

  16. alewatcher says: Dec 21, 2012 7:54 AM

    If you never really tried, you can’t say you failed.

    I have no idea why they even signed Tebow. Waste of cap space and a roster spot. (Not Tebow’s fault – this is on the Jets).

  17. kwgator says: Dec 21, 2012 7:56 AM

    Tony Sparano also believes in Santa Claus

  18. ampats says: Dec 21, 2012 7:57 AM

    Maybe because the entire Jets organization is a failure !

  19. dtr3e says: Dec 21, 2012 8:07 AM

    Didn’t like the guy before he came to the Jets and I feel the same way about him now. The guy can’t coach or call plays. He needs to get the boot

  20. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 21, 2012 8:08 AM

    It wasn’t a failure, it wasn’t a success so it was just a huge waste of time.

  21. hooterdawg says: Dec 21, 2012 8:11 AM

    Woody Johnson needs to clean house. Its more enjoyable to see a rebuilding team exceed expectations than to watch a promised Superbowl team fail miserably.

  22. cuda1234 says: Dec 21, 2012 8:14 AM

    Anyone else notice that every Tebow story seems to include the words “package” “woody” and “experiment”?

  23. texansdude says: Dec 21, 2012 8:34 AM

    Didn’t work? Didn’t work?!? If the goal was to destroy the confidence of a questionable talent called Sanchez by bringing in a hype machine, then it was a great success.

  24. rjkilla says: Dec 21, 2012 8:36 AM

    tebow will be in buffalo next year

  25. phishead1313 says: Dec 21, 2012 8:44 AM

    Yeah and Pat White wasn’t a disaster either.

  26. fdugrad says: Dec 21, 2012 8:45 AM

    Perhaps after he is no longer employed, coach S. will reconsider his stance…unless he doesn’t think being fired is failing.

  27. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Dec 21, 2012 8:51 AM

    that is a BAD answer to come from sparano. that is the type of answer we will refer back to when the guy gets fired.

  28. Carl K says: Dec 21, 2012 9:06 AM

    The Vikings need to trade Ponder for Tebow!

  29. annes22 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:06 AM

    Tony Sparano is a terrible offensive co ordinator.
    Look what we put up with at the Dolphins, nice guy but hopeless otherwise. He’s done at the Jets, unless they are completely out of control.

  30. peytonwantsaflag says: Dec 21, 2012 9:15 AM

    Well, it really depends on the experiment. If the experiment was to take a proven winner with a unique set of skills and completely ruin his career then it was a rousing success.

  31. weepingjebus says: Dec 21, 2012 9:20 AM

    1 out of 20 plays? It’s like the purpose of the experiment was to put Tebow on ice from the start while simultaneously disrupting any flow to the offense by making them remember and try to use a few obscure plays at random maybe once a game. Who coaches like this?

  32. agelardi says: Dec 21, 2012 9:35 AM

    Agree with Sporano, can’t say “it didn’t work” if you hardly tried it. The whole Jets organization is delusional.

  33. leafeaterx says: Dec 21, 2012 9:39 AM

    They gave up a draft pick and team resources (salary, a roster spot, coaching, etc.) for a player they never really used. How is that not a failure?

  34. ripster65 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:40 AM

    I’m not necessarily a Tebow fan or hater, but the Jets robbed him of 1 year of his life that he can nver get back. People can say what they want aboout his QB’ing abilities, all I know is that he was pretty fun to watch last year in Denver. Thanks for putting an end to that, Jets.

  35. grogansheroes says: Dec 21, 2012 9:45 AM

    I agree with Sparano. The title should be “The coaching staff failed on all levels!”

  36. jetsheartache says: Dec 21, 2012 9:46 AM

    bring in norv!

  37. toybkshr says: Dec 21, 2012 9:46 AM

    What’s his definition of failure?

  38. armchairqb says: Dec 21, 2012 9:55 AM

    “Experiment?” The guy barely played.

  39. polegojim says: Dec 21, 2012 10:00 AM

    They signed him and did nothing sustantial.

    There was no experiment.

    There was no significant or creative game planning.

    There was nothing to give the scenario a chance.

    The entire Jet’s offense… has been… offensive…

    Rarely does a team produce LESS than the sum total of it’s parts… The Jets did it.

  40. sbaltimore says: Dec 21, 2012 10:01 AM

    Sparano/Jets = Failure.

  41. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Dec 21, 2012 10:23 AM

    Hate to say I told you so. But the second the Jets hired Sparano last offseason, this site was bombarded with posts from Dolphins fans all over telling Jets fans exactly what they were getting with Sparano.

    All of them. Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, Mike Mularkey, Scott Linehan, Norv Turner, Brian Daboll, Chan Gailey. All of them were at one point in the last 10 years in charge of our team/offense; and all of them will be (or have been) fired by whatever team employs them now in the next few weeks.

    Tells you all you need to know.

  42. practicesquadprobowler says: Dec 21, 2012 10:28 AM

    You know how there’s good coordinators that are terrible head coaches? Sparano is a good position coach who’s a terrible coordinator.

  43. thehungariancrippler says: Dec 21, 2012 10:51 AM

    Was having Tebow sit on the sidelines for the whole season the experiment? Having him not play was more successful than allowing him to play would have been.

  44. cuda1234 says: Dec 21, 2012 11:10 AM

    I think Tebow’s role was supposed to be doing what he does best – hogging the ball and running out the clock. Since the Jets never had a 4th quarter lead, they never got to show off Tebow’s package, therefore it didn’t actually fail.

  45. radrntn says: Dec 21, 2012 11:38 AM

    An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results

    in other words if you dont try it out, you never know> Jets= failure

  46. dtr3e says: Dec 21, 2012 11:39 AM

    I really wonder if he really believes the garbage that comes out of his mouth? It wasn’t a failure really?? Then I’d hate to see it if it was, but according to Urlacher, us fans, and media don’t know what we’re talking about so Sparano is probably right (rolls eyes)

  47. patsfan13 says: Dec 21, 2012 11:45 AM

    The Tebow experiment didn’t fail; it wasn’t really tried. But the Sporano experiment: TOTAL FAILURE.

  48. TheWizard says: Dec 21, 2012 11:47 AM

    It’s like trick plays, it tends to work when you’re already winning. Not so much when you’re losing.

  49. tebowthrowsaperfectonsidekick says: Dec 21, 2012 11:58 AM

    Until Tebow has a chance to practice–starting with OTAs–with an offensive-minded coach who really believes in him…none of us will REALLY know his true NFL-QB potential. So I hope Jacksonville gives him that chance.
    The fact is, Tebow can’t throw… Ota’s or not, he can’t throw! He had Mike McCoy (who last I checked is an offensive minded coach) who put Tebow in a system that worked for him. Throwing did NOT WORK for him. MANY Broncos players have said that Tebow couldn’t throw!

  50. rajbais says: Dec 21, 2012 12:14 PM

    But we can call his career as an OC that.

  51. thenmoveback says: Dec 21, 2012 12:22 PM

    But the sparano experiment failed

  52. granadafan says: Dec 21, 2012 12:41 PM

    When are they and Tebow going to just admit he’s not an NFL QB. He was fine in a college gimmick system and surrounded by NFL talent, but in the pros he actually needs to throw a spiral and make reads, something he didn’t have to do at Florida. Unfortunately, Gator homers and evangelicals don’t realize that everytime they ignorantly post about how great he was in college and that he won the Heisman. Newsflash, every single Heisman Trophy winning QB since the 90s has been awful in the pros.

  53. oldskoool says: Dec 21, 2012 12:55 PM

    “it was one-to-20 plays in a game. Some days it was eight, some days it was one, some days it was none.”

    Excuse me for being picky, but wouldn’t that make it zero-to-20 plays in a game?

  54. FinFan68 says: Dec 21, 2012 1:13 PM

    Newsflash, every single Heisman Trophy winning QB since the 90s has been awful in the pros.
    Granted it’s a small sample size but I’d say Cam Newton’s rookie record shattering year and this year by RG3 have been significantly better than “awful”. Try to look at actual facts before you post rather than regurgitate others’ opinions without verification.

  55. dtr3e says: Dec 21, 2012 1:30 PM

    FinFan68 says:Dec 21, 2012 1:13 PM

    Newsflash, every single Heisman Trophy winning QB since the 90s has been awful in the pros.
    Granted it’s a small sample size but I’d say Cam Newton’s rookie record shattering year and this year by RG3 have been significantly better than “awful”. Try to look at actual facts before you post rather than regurgitate others’ opinions without verification.

    Newton hasn’t played nearly as good this year as last and we should give RG3 a couple more seasons to truely see if he’s good or not. One season doesn’t make your point valid. Lets look at their play over their career before we judge.

  56. tindeaux says: Dec 21, 2012 1:48 PM

    the jets want to screw tebow. even when the season has nothing to lose, they still don’t give tebow a chance. that’s how screwed up they are. Dysfunctional organization.

  57. davidcl77 says: Dec 22, 2012 2:09 PM

    Are you willing to call yourself a failure? You are.

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