- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano revealed a little more today about the way backup quarterback Tim Tebow is being used, starting with the fact that the Jets draw up about 15 plays for Tebow each week and keep them separated, and then look for a place to put them in.
“Sometimes that package is a little bit bigger and sometimes it’s a shade smaller,” Sparano said. “But you get into some games where, Indianapolis, New England, those kind of games where we were running it pretty good and doing some decent things there and you just don’t go to all those runs or all those plays.”
He also said it was hard to substitute personnel during uptempo games like against Miami. Sparano said during the bye week he did go through all of Tebow’s plays to get a sense of whether he was being used well.
“Some interesting things came out of when I looked at all of Tim’s plays,” Sparano said, “because you’re able to pull all those out and create a cut-up and start watching those and you see how many different looks you’re getting when he’s out there and some of the things we’ve done well with him in there and some of the things that maybe we need to do a little bit differently with him in there. But we were able to analyze that pretty well too and see where we go with that.”
On special teams, coordinator Mike Westhoff confirmed that Tebow was part of the problem on the botched punt block against Miami.
“He’s part of it, it’s never one guy,” Westhoff said. “He was part of it, yes. If he’d stepped up a little bit better and then we would’ve squeezed the hole? Yes. Whether it’s just this guy? It’s a combination of things where you want to form a wall.”
COACHES HELPING COACHES: Before the Jets bye, the Jets coaching staff agreed that every facet of the team was open to scrutiny, from schemes to starters. With that in mind, this week the coaches had some suggestions for each other.
First up, coach Rex Ryan drew up two plays for offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, and Sparano plans to use them. “Mama didn’t raise a fool,” Sparano said with a laugh.
The one issue with a defensive mind drawing offensive plays? They were upside down. “He draws backwards and that drives me crazy,” Sparano said.
But he added that his staff gave the defense a few tips, and he thinks they have a chance of being incorporated as well.
DOWNHILL FROM HERE: Interesting strength of schedule stat from Elias Sports Bureau used in an earlier story about Antonio Cromartie and Rex Ryan saying the Jets will make the playoffs. From that story:
“The Jets' first-half schedule was the third-toughest in the NFL, with their opponents boasting a .609 winning percentage. In contrast, their second-half schedule is ranked as the 27th-toughest. The remaining teams on their schedule have a combined winning percentage of .418.”
MONEY FOR SANDY VICTIMS: With plenty of the Jets players and coaches directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Jets will donate $500,000 to three charities; The mayor’s Fund for NYC Hurricane Relief, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and the Nassau and Suffolk County branches of the Salvation Army.
“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy,” Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson said in a statement released on the team’s web site. “The Jets hope that these donations will make a difference in the lives of those people. We will continue to find ways to assist those in need and encourage our fans to find ways to help with these efforts.”