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How Can the New York Jets Better Use Tim Tebow to Catch Opponents off Guard?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets reaxcts after he ran for a first down in the secon dhalf against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2012

The New York Jets created a massive hoopla this offseason by bringing in the polarizing figure that is Tim Tebow, but so far have failed to utilize his talents in a way that causes opposing teams to fear what he brings to the table. 

With the way the Jets coaching staff has used Tebow to this point, acquiring him in the first place now seems like more of a publicity stunt to bring in more revenue rather than an acquisition to actually improve the roster. 

Tebow has talent that could cause nightmares for opposing teams, but the Jets have failed to use him in the correct manner. So far it has hurt the team and despite the offseason hype for an effective wildcat formation with Tebow at the helm, he has been delegated to a few meaningless trick plays. 

The Jets can be a better team if they utilize Tebow in a correct manner and catch opponents off guard. Here's how. 

 

Don't Be Predictable

With the Jets suffering a beatdown at the hands of the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football in Week 6, Rex Ryan and Co. decided to get tricky in the second quarter in an attempt to catch Houston napping. 

Tebow, as a punt protector took a direct snap and ran up the middle of the Texans special teams unit for a first down.

The problem? It was the most predictable fake punt in the history of the NFL. New York only needed a few yards and was desperate for something positive to happen. 

Forget for a moment that the Texans somehow managed to fall for the fake. All teams will now be watching Tebow closely on every single punt and the element of surprise has been removed. There are different way to draw up the fake, but now its a predictable maneuver, which is the exact opposite of what Tebow is supposed to contribute. 

 

Let Him Throw 

So far the Jets have let Tebow attempt two passes in five games. That's not good enough considering he comes in at random times as Mark Sanchez's replacement and essentially acts as a running back—again simply adding a predictable element for opposing defenses. 

The Jets need to let Tebow air it out, or at least throw back to Sanchez if he is lined up at the wide receiver position. 

Tebow is far from the greatest passer in the league, but with soft coverages because defenses are expecting him to run every time he enters the game, he should be able to take advantage of wide open receivers running down the field. 

New York brought in Tebow with the assumption that he could provide huge plays that change games. He cannot do that running the ball, he does not have great speed or elusiveness. He's only an effective runner in short-yardage situations. 

Let Tebow throw and those game-altering moments will start to become a regular part of the offense. 

 

How to Fix Tebow

There's something to be said for a short-yardage situation in which the offense is clearly going to run the ball with a "stop me if you can" approach, but the better option for New York would be to avoid situations like that in favor of an unpredictable pass from Tebow. 

Tebow is not going to win the starting job from Sanchez, there's too much money invested in the starter. The Jets brought Tebow in for a specific reason and have yet to use him in a meaningful manner. 

For this season Tebow is an excellent weapon to keep the rest of the NFL on its toes. Mixing it up and allowing Tebow to use his entire skill set in any situation will make the Jets harder to beat and the investment on Tebow will be more justified. 

The Jets are in a bad spot right now, but with better use of Tebow in certain instances, the season could turn around rather quickly. 

 


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