WITH THE JETS now 3-5, the calls for Tim Tebow to take over are getting louder. But many more are wondering why he is barely being used at all.
Tebow has attempted just three passes and has rushed the ball 23 times. That is just 3.3 meaningful plays per game.
But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Quotes from Rex Ryan this past summer sound a lot different in retrospect. Shortly after the trade, Rex Ryan suggested Tebow could be on the field up to 20 plays per game (via NFL Network):
“The great thing is you don’t know if we’re going to run it one snap a game or 20 snaps a game — you have no idea. Every week, it could be different. That’s some of the preparation problems he gives you.”
At the time, all anybody heard was “20 snaps,” and assumed that Ryan was just being coy when said it might only be one play. But later in the summer, Ryan was still insisting that the true value of Tebow was as a decoy (via ProFootballTalk.com):
“I know how difficult it is to have to prepare for the Wildcat, for those type of things. There’s no question, I know how difficult it is. And the fact that we can trot out Tim to run 25 Wildcat snaps, or zero, or 50, or one, or whatever it is, is gonna make you have to prepare for him.”
Why would Ryan encourage other teams to prepare for the Wildcat if it was intended to be a major focus of the offense? And also consider that the Jets did not run the Wildcat offense during the preseason.
Well, it turns out the big secret was that Tebow was indeed just a decoy. He was an attempt to make game-planning for the Jets difficult. And while Ryan may have been trying to get the opponents to overthink Tebow, now that the Jets season is in ruins, maybe it was Ryan that was over-thinking all along.