Tebow was the guy if Jags wanted gimmicks

April, 30, 2012
4/30/12
3:32
PM ET
A piece I linked to earlier today calls for more comment.

Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union wrote about how the Jaguars intend to experiment with a Wildcat package in camp and the preseason with Mike Harris, their sixth-round pick out of Florida State in position to throw.

I’ve been saying I think the Jaguars can close the gap on Tennessee if Blaine Gabbert can up his game to average and if the coaching staff lives up to its billing.

Two picks into the draft I was excited about what they’d done with receiver Justin Blackmon and defensive end Andre Branch.

Then they made the controversial third-round punter pick. And now they are talking Wildcat.

Seriously?

You lean on a gimmick when your base stuff won’t work, so looking at Harris’ good arm as potentially providing a change-up doesn’t serve as a great endorsement of Blaine Gabbert.

Harris was a spread option quarterback at South Miami (Florida) High School. I wouldn't bank on that for much beyond an occasional trick play.

My understanding about why Tim Tebow ultimately decided to steer the Broncos to trade him to the Jets instead of the Jaguars -- who made a similar offer -- was because he’d get more chances to play on offense in New York.

Great, I said, no gimmicky stuff for the Jaguars. They want to play and excel largely as a conventional offense.

Now I am wondering why they are pumping up the Wildcat, which is largely dead around the league.

Here’s a piece of Ganguli’s story with Mularkey talking.
“It’s not really the college Wildcat scheme but it is a way to attack defenses with somebody other than your quarterback,’’ he said.

He said his scheme sometimes doesn’t have the quarterback on the field. In some Wildcat formations, the quarterback is spread out as a wide receiver.

He said he always asks players if they’ve played quarterback at some point and how well they throw. Besides Harris, the other player he has identified as a candidate is wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who was a high school quarterback.

“We’re going to see how it looks in camp and maybe experiment a little bit in the preseason,’’ he said.

With anything they run that’s Wildcat-like this season, they are begging more Tebow questions, especially if he has any success in the system with the Jets.

The Jaguars, of course, are upbeat and confident they’ve made the right choices, with the selection of punter Bryan Anger in the third-round, outside linebacker Brandon Marshall at a spot where the roster is well stocked, and Harris and seventh-round defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton out of Ashland.

Every team in the league feels confident now. I just hope Terry McDonough, the team’s director of player personnel, doesn’t wind up regretting this enthusiastic comment:

“The bottom line is that we will win, we will fill the stadium and we are going to talk about the punter at the end of the year.’’

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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