An Open Letter to the New York Jets' Coaching Staff: Tim Tebow on Kicking Team?
To any coach on the New York Jets staff:
We get it. There are a lot of ways to use Tim Tebow, from backup quarterback to personal punt protector to read-option quarterback to red-zone quarterback to the kick return team.
The only thing we haven't heard is whether Tebow will complete the triangle and be used on defense, thus falling only a leather helmet short of becoming Paul Brown's dream quarterback.
I have to applaud your tactics if only for one reason: Despite the exhausting lengths at which you have all talked about Tebow's role on the team, no one has any real clue exactly how he'll be used. Confusion is at an all-time high, even months after the trade took place.
With a football player of Tebow's caliber, it's important to keep that ace in the hole and that trick up the sleeve to use to your fullest advantage by catching opponents off guard.
The problem is, as a result of the tactics you've used to keep your opponents guessing, you've also kept your critics guessing as to whether you truly have a clue how he'll be used.
That answer may be revealed in the coming weeks as Florham Park opens its gates and you put on the pads for training camp.
Let's start with the notion of Tebow on coverage teams, because really, how foolish would it be to consistently put your second-best quarterback in harm's way? What happens if the starting quarterback goes down? There is a big risk assumed with such a move, and there are too many other ways to utilize Tebow to justify putting him in the line of fire.
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Notice how the New England Patriots switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 on the fly last offseason? The first time anyone had any clue of the scheme change was the first time the Patriots lined up in training camp, and even then, it still was nothing certain.
There was no mid-June speculation as to what nose tackle Vince Wilfork's new role would be or how Rob Ninkovich might be utilized as both a defensive end and outside linebacker, because no one even had the first idea it was going to happen until it had already happened.
I know changing defensive schemes is different than housing the world's most polarizing quarterback, but the principle is the same: The less everyone else knows, the more surprised they'll be when the master plan is finally revealed.
Perhaps this is all part of that master plan, though. Perhaps you have no intention of using your second-string quarterback on special teams, even if his 6'3", 236-pound body could probably take the beating. Perhaps this is just a smoke-screen tactic setting up for the big finish.
But at this point, the trap has been set, and if that was the goal, perhaps it's time to let your opponents walk into the trap rather than continually manipulate the trap and accidentally set it off in your own face.
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