How Much Impact Will Tim Tebow Have in His New York Jets Debut?
And I hate to be the one to take the wind out of your sails, but the impact of Tebow Almighty will be pretty limited in Week 1.
The New York Jets open their season in the Meadowlands against the Buffalo Bills where Tony Sparano will unleash his Wildcat offense.
But Tebow's 10-or-so snaps will probably not end up on the highlight reel.
The Bills have an edge prepping for Tebow.
Buffalo quarterbacks coach David Lee is quite familiar with the Wildcat. Lee played apprentice to Tony Sparano in Miami as the pair worked to revive the Wildcat on the professional level.
"This team will probably be as prepared to face the Wildcat as any team we’ll face (because of) the fact that David Lee is there. He’s the guy that really brought it to Tony and helped Tony put the Wildcat in this league. They have Brad Smith, who obviously did a tremendous job for us as a Wildcat quarterback. So, this team’s going to be prepared."
The Bills are also equipped with a stellar defensive line.
For a combined $127.5 million, defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson are now thickly bracketing Chan Gailey's 4-3 D-line.
They'll be opposite shaky Jets right tackle Austin Howard who was just anointed starter amidst Wayne Hunter's struggles.
Howard will be tasked with blocking Williams, and it won't be pretty.
This Bills line is dangerous and savvy. Expect them to be effective against the run—even when it is packaged in the disorienting Wildcat.
In the air, Tebow's pass protection time will be sparse as he faces a menacing pass rush.
Tebow is impaired by a slow throwing motion, and he'll be hard-pressed to get the ball off, let alone run the play action. As a result, the Bills will force Tebow to stick to the ground on almost every play, making his offense more predictable.
Tebow could get some touches around the red zone and a push through for six would certainly make an impact. He'll also contribute as a personal punt protector, a role fans are intrigued to see him play.
Undoubtedly though, Tebow's biggest impact during the Jets opening week will be off the field, and it will come in the form of endless media hype and speculation.
The New York media are already discussing when Tebow will take the helm, and Tebow tribute buses are parading around Manhattan (seriously, I've seen them).
I have yet to see a David Carr bus rolling through town though, which just goes to show how deeply embedded the Tebow sideshow is.
At least he's making an impact somewhere.
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