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Jets still playing a game of 'Cat and mouse

Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez (6) and Tim Tebow

Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez (6) and Tim Tebow (15) leave the field after practice during training camp. (Aug. 6, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It's still a forbidden word around these parts.

The mere mention of it sends Mark Sanchez into full lockdown mode, and every response is delivered in six syllables or less. "Talk to coach, I don't know," he said Tuesday.

The shroud of secrecy that settled over the team in Cortland has made its way here. And the word that need not be named remains an instant interview obstacle. But it isn't just a deliberate plan to keep the Wildcat under wraps, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said. Instead, the team is intent on keeping all of its offensive game planning a secret until Week 1 against Buffalo.

Despite the secrecy, Darrelle Revis said the defense has been practicing the Wildcat "a lot against Tebow. He's the best at running that offense."

Buffalo has ex-Jet Brad Smith and it could be a battle of Wildcats. "So yes, it's good for our defense to be aware of that because we're probably going to see it Week 1," Revis said.

Some argued the Jets' stagnant offense could have benefited from tapping into Sparano's arsenal this preseason. The Jets remain the only team in the NFL without a preseason touchdown heading into their final game Thursday against the Eagles.

Sparano acknowledged the need for more production, adding that he would love nothing more than to see "one of those little Jet [Flight Boys] things" in the end zone. "We want touchdowns. There's no question about it," Sparano said. "Make sure you put that in the headlines: We want touchdowns not field goals."

Rex Ryan also lamented their missed scoring opportunities, but said fans will be "intrigued" by their new offense. Still, he added, this is an evaluation period for players and a time to implement their new system.

And unveiling portions of their offense weeks before the regular-season opener just didn't make sense, said Sparano, who believes the Jets solid defense would provide enough of a test for the offense.

"As we get ready to go, I just believe that this [Jets defensive] group is a heck of a group," Sparano said. "So for me to go out there and put something on the field and give somebody a month to prepare for . . . I'm not interested in that. I just rather go out there and deal with [linebacker] Bart Scott every day."

When another Wildcat question was posed, Sparano couldn't help but shake his head and laugh. "You guys never stop," he said with a smile.

So for now, mum's still the word on the Wildcat.

"It's different around here," Sanchez joked about the Jets' offensive secrecy. "It's pretty awesome."

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