Tebow a nonfactor -- again

September, 16, 2012
9/16/12
11:11
PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- The Jets must think they're still in training camp in Cortland, N.Y., trying to hide the Wildcat, because they're doing a pretty good job of keeping it under wraps.

For the second straight week, Tim Tebow was a nonfactor on offense. In Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Steelers, the Jets' backup quarterback lined up in shotgun for only three plays, not entering the game until the 8:39 mark of the third quarter.

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Joe Sargent/Getty ImagesTim Tebow's only rush went for 22 yards -- the Jets' longest run.
Tebow ran for 22 yards on his first play -- a zone-read option -- and he handed off the next two plays, a 12-yard run by Joe McKnight and a 6-yard loss by Shonn Greene.

On second-and-16 from the Steelers' 45, Jets O-coordinator Tony Sparano decided it was enough Tebow. Mark Sanchez returned.

"No, it's not frustrating," Tebow insisted. "Every year is a new opportunity and new challenges, and you just have to try to do the best you can."

Asked if he expected to be more involved in the game plan, Tebow said, "It's hard for me to say what the game plan was. I just go in when they tell me and try to do the best I can. It all depends on how the game is going."

After a touchdown and field goal on the first two possessions, the Sanchez-led offense fizzled. The Jets (1-1) could've used a spark from Tebow, who has a history against the Steelers: As Denver's starting QB, he torched Pittsburgh for 316 passing yards in a wild-card win last postseason.

Coach Rex Ryan didn't give a direct answer on why he didn't use Tebow more often. Later, when pressed, he said Shonn Greene's head injury was a factor. Greene missed most of the second quarter after getting drilled in the head by S Ryan Mundy. Greene is part of the Tebow package, according to Ryan, who said Greene's absence "limited us a little bit in that package."

After two games, Tebow has lined up in shotgun only 11 times out of 114 total plays -- about 10 percent of the offense. Before the season, GM Mike Tannenbaum estimated that Tebow would be on the field for 10 to 20 percent of the snaps. Tebow has yet to throw a pass, and he has six carries for 33 yards.

For his part, Sanchez wanted no part of any questions regarding Tebow's role -- or lack thereof.

"You have to ask coach Sparano," he said.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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