CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The regular-season opener between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills isn't for another five weeks. But the division rivals have the opener in mind as they progress through training camp and the preseason.
According to Jets head coach Rex Ryan, the Bills need to be wary of Tim Tebow and New York's Wildcat package. The Jets ran it in practice for the first time this week and are beginning the installing process.
The Bills vs. Jets in Week 1 is a huge opener in the AFC East and Tebow will be a factor, according to Ryan.
"The great thing is ... the Buffalo Bills, we're going to use [Tebow] 20 snaps, we’re going to use him two snaps, 50 snaps, they don’t know," Ryan said. "All I know is they have to prepare for him, and I know what that does to your preparation time. When you start running the Wildcat and what that does, you can’t just [blow] it off. There’s a lot of coordinators will be like, ‘Oh, it’s not big deal.’ Yes it is. You really can’t tell that lie, because I’ve been there in your shoes.”
The Bills did well against Tebow last season in their only meeting in 2011. Buffalo beat Tebow and the Denver Broncos, 40-14. Tebow threw for 185 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and one fumble. Tebow also was sacked four times in what was one of his worst games of the season. But the Jets have different personnel and play in a new system.
Ryan also said Friday that he's not worried about the Bills’ interest in free-agent safety Jim Leonhard. The Bills hosted Leonhard for a visit this week. They could use depth at safety behind starters George Wilson and Jairus Bryd. But also Buffalo could use Leonhard’s inside knowledge of New York’s defense. Leonhard spent three seasons with the Jets and also played an additional year under Ryan with the Baltimore Ravens.
“It’s not a concern, because they have a ton of film. They have 1,200 plays from last year they can go watch,” Ryan said. “Jim does have a great grasp of what we do defensively. No question about that. But I’m sure Jim’s there because he’s a good football player.”