New York Jets ReSet by Joseph Haas: Two QBs… One Huddle
With Jets West in the rearview and training camp over a week away, the New York Jets are still fielding questions about their plans to use a two-quarterback system, utilizing the skills of both Mark Sanchez, and the newly acquired Tim Tebow. Head Coach Rex Ryan said Tebow could see “20 snaps”a game. That may be an exaggeration, from a coach known to do so from time to time, but the plan from the moment Tebow signed was to get him snaps from under center during games this season.
The two-QB experiment has flamed out most times it’s been tried.
I remember Pittsburgh having some success shuttling in Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox, but that was a different NFL. We’ve heard from players about how a consistent voice in the huddle is preferable. I can understand that, but it’s been awhile since a backup quarterback commanded as much respect from the players around him as Tim Tebow does? I’m genuinely excited to see how new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano blends the play-calling so both QBs feel comfortable in their roles.
No matter which QB is calling the signals, a hopefully well-behaved Santonio Holmes will be in the huddle. When asked directly by NFL Network if he believes a two-quarterback system will work in the NFL, Holmes responds “No, I don’t think so.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement from the man asked to go to war with both QBs, but I agree with some of his rationale. “You have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of the game,” says Holmes, which I completely agree with. It would be hard for a guy to feel like he’s working himself into the game if he’s watching the game from the sidelines every other play, but I’m also not in favor of an alternating-drives scenario.
I think Tebow should come in for certain situations… a series of downs here or there, where what he brings to the table sets the defense on its heels. I can see them trying a third and short near the middle of the field, something with a chance of being highly successful. The Jets were a victim of their own ineptitude last season, producing numerous three-and-outs. Maybe after a couple of those, Tebow comes in for a change of pace… a different look for the defense. “Tebow’s gonna have plays where he comes in and plays, whether he plays at quarterback, Sanchez is on the field or off the field,” says Holmes. Very true, but I’m hoping the ‘Tebow Package’doesn’t become synonymous with gimmick plays and unorthodox formations.
Bluntly speaking, the amount of plays Tebow sees each week will be determined by the effectiveness of Mark Sanchez. If he’s out there throwing strikes and lighting up the scoreboard, it will make it harder and harder for the coaches to bring in the lefty. “I think coming into this season that we have a lot to expect from Sanchez,” says Holmes and I agree. It’s year four, and the bloom has definitely fallen from the rose as the Jets missed the postseason for the first time in the Sanchez era. It’s uncertain whether a losing season will cost Coach Ryan his seat at the helm, but with a popular backup, footsteps won’t be the only thing Sanchez hears if he struggles… at home or on the road. Can two quarterbacks share one huddle? The 2012 New York Jets certainly hope so, as do I!
New York Jets Training Camp in Cortland, NY: Players report July 26th.
Photo credit to Jake Steinberg of SNY’s TheJetsBlog.com; Follow him on twitter @Steiny31
Follow & contact Joseph Haas on twitter @jerseyhaas
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