New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Rex sees improvement in Tebow's passing game; still won't unveil Wildcat
The Jets’ Wildcat packages have been, and will remain, classified.
Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano discussed using the Wildcat in preseason games but opted not to show the formation and leak top secret information that would provide future opponents video to dissect.
“We bounced it back and forth,” Ryan said. “But we made that collective decision that we thought it was in our best interest not to.”
One preseason game remains -- in which quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are not expected to play -- before the Jets enter the regular season having not experimented with the Wildcat in live game situations. But Ryan doesn’t see that as a risk.
“Well, we compete against a pretty good defense out here (during practice) when we put it in,” Ryan said. “So it’s not like we haven’t seen competition with it. We’ll see more competition as we build up this week and certainly if we weren’t comfortable with it, we would’ve been using it the whole time.”
The Jets open the season on Sept. 9 against the Buffalo Bills. Their quarterback? David Lee, worked under Sparano in Miami. The fact that Lee has such familiarity with the Wildcat offense only strengthens the Jets desire to keep it under wraps.
“There’s no sense in putting it out there on film,” Ryan said. “Let them guess and hopefully it messes them up.”
But the Jets stagnant offense has been unable to mess anyone up in the preseason. Perhaps as a result of holding back integral elements of their offense, the Jets have gone 35 drives and 174 plays without crossing the goal line and are in danger of becoming the first team not to score a preseason touchdown since the 1977 Atlanta Falcons.
Yet there is no panic from the members of an offensive that is a work in progress but hasn’t shown any tangible signs of improvement.
“We’re saving our good stuff for the regular season,” Sanchez said after the Jets 17-12 loss to Carolina on Sunday.
Although Tebow will be using his legs and not his arm while engineering the Wildcat, Ryan added that he has seen improvements in his throwing ability. In three games this preseason, Tebow has completed just 13 of 36 passes for 151 yards with no touchdowns (obviously) and two interceptions.
“I can tell you this, I think his mechanics are improving throwing the football,” Ryan said. “When you’re running around back there when everybody knows you’re passing and maybe it’s not an ideal situation for you, it’s a little tough. He does some things though that just being able to keep plays alive, is really impressive. I know he probably wishes his percentage was higher but at those times, it’s a little different. Especially when you’re just firing up there quite a bit. I’ve been impressed with Tim.”