There's no other way to encompass what we saw from Tebow in 2011 other than an improvisational approach. He's certainly a threat to run and despite a completion percentage that makes everyone cry, Tebow did create some big plays last season.
Unfortunately, he was easily exposed by the New England Patriots in the playoffs and his preseason thus far in the Big Apple has only been worse. The Jets are on thin ice offensively and if Tebow isn't used appropriately, the 2012 season will take an immediate nosedive in Week 1.
So how can we visualize what Gang Green has in store for us?
Well, by process of elimination we know he won't be setting up in the pocket or dropping back from under center too often. It didn't work for him with the Denver Broncos and the pro-style system wasn't Tebow's college forte.
What we can anticipate with reason, is simplicity.
Few Options in the Passing Game
Not only are there few options for Tebow to target when given the opportunity to throw, but he can't have more than two reads.
Tight end Dustin Keller is by far the Jets best receiving weapon and the man is a lot more reliable than given credit for. Keller is great at getting yards after the catch and can beat single coverage against any linebacker.
He'll have to be Tebow's first read when surveying the defense, but if he's not open then check Santonio Holmes or take off running. It's a simply two-read progression that can freeze linebackers enough for Tebow to find a potential lane as well.
There's no need for him to be given three-plus reads as the Jets' offensive line won't be able to pass protect long enough anyway. And after making the reads throwing the ball away to live another down is always an option.
Whether he reads Keller on a quick pop-pass, slant from the slot or out route he has to make the throw if it's there. If not, check for Holmes over the middle or against man coverage and try to let him make a play.
Anything more and Tebow's skill set is getting overused which gives a big edge to the defense.
Dynamic Advantages of the Ground Attack
Play-action bootlegs where Tebow fakes a handoff off tackle in a short-yard situation then darts around the end is an appealing call.
This, however, must be used sparingly since it is pro football and tendencies are caught onto quickly.
From the shotgun is where Tebow will obviously do the most damage on the ground. Here, he does have the run-pass option with a limited number of reads which bodes well against aggressive defenses.
Because of that threat, though, Tebow can run a read-option with Joe McKnight or Shonn Greene. Let the defensive end come unblocked and force him to make a decision. If he doesn't attack, then Tebow can give it away or keep it if the end goes for a tackle-for-loss.
From here another form of play-action is born. Keeping the rock allows Tebow to get to the outside and once again make his two quick reads or take off running.
One other advantage the Jets do possess by spreading out a defense with four or five receivers.
As you can see, the Broncos spread the defense and Tebow finds a lane.
With that running ability, a direct snap lets him slam between the tackles for five-ish yards. Opponents will still have to honor the receiver spread and once Tebow goes up the gut, then the box gets stacked despite the pro-spread formation.
Well, that's when Tebow can be given a hot-read and check to a bubble screen, slant or fade. His running will create vulnerabilities in any defense, it's just a matter of recognizing then capitalizing.
When Mark Sanchez is Under Center...
These formations are where the utilization of Tebow can get intriguing.
Which position is Tebow's best fit?
One is a double-pass, which will have him bubble out from the wing and a receiver crack block down to provide additional protection. Send rookie Stephen Hill downfield on a post and let Tebow's arm just launch a cannon.
It's the very least Gang Green can present to a defense in getting Hill to face man coverage.
Obviously tight end and fullback are feasible positions, because Tebow's size and explosiveness will help create some running lanes. And being a guy of immense positive attitude, he'll relish at the opportunity.
Alas we come to Tebow at running back.
For any medium down-and-distance and shorter Tebow would be a great asset. His overall size frame and willingness to embrace contact provides a distinct motive needed to win the line of scrimmage.
And with Tebow in the backfield just imagine how much emphasis a defense would put on shutting him down. Play-action for Sanchez becomes more effective and Tebow could be used to help pass protect and/or delay a release into the flats or over the middle.
The man has virtually an infinite number of uses and the only way to keep a defense off balance is to maximize on that potential.
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