Monday, April 16, 2012
Sanchez, Tebow and 'two separate teams'
By Rich Cimini
There will be the Mark Sanchez offense, and there will be the Tim Tebow offense -- at least that was the perception given to players Monday at the start of the offseason program.
"It’s like we’re going to be two separate teams, but as far as I know, Mark is still going to be our guy," LG Matt Slauson said Monday night at a charity event in Manhattan.
Tebow, the No. 2 quarterback, will be used as the wildcat quarterback. The Jets have been saying that since he arrived last month in The Trade. But they have other plans, as well. He will be used as an H-Back, a fullback and as a running back, ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported Monday morning.
And, oh yes, special teams coach Mike Westhoff is planning to use Tebow as the "personal protector" on the punt team.
Slauson said the plan, under new coordinator Tony Sparano, is to go back to the offense they ran in 2009 and 2010 -- Ground and Pound.
"You guys will be really surprised by what Mark’s going to do this year," he said. "The way we’re going to be running things plays right into Mark's strengths, running the ball. It’ll be very similar to what we did in Rex (Ryan's) first two years, very much a style like that -- heavy run, heavy play action and whipping out a deep ball every now and again. That's all the stuff Mark does really well."
Ryan stunned many at the recent league meetings when he told reporters that Tebow could be used up to 20 plays per game. Consider: The Jets have averaged 66 plays per game in Sanchez's three seasons as the starter.
Also consider this: In Sparano's three-plus seasons as the Dolphins' coach, they used the wildcat only 3.7 plays per game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Jets, with Brad Smith running the wildcat in 2010, used it only 2.7 plays per game.
SHOULDER ON: Slauson, who underwent major shoulder surgery after the season, said he's ahead of schedule on his rehab. He said there's a chance he might be able to participate in OTAs next month; initially, there was no chance of that.
"I have 100 percent range of motion," he said. "Strength isn’t even close yet, but it’s on the way and it’s really coming back quickly. In fact, our trainers have to pull on the reins every now and then, and it’s because I'm doing so well that I want to keep on going. But they're trying to be cautious. They keep saying, 'We want you for August, not for May.'"
Slauson was honored by Our Time, a non-profit organization that helps kids that stutter. Slauson stutters, but he never let it stop him from speaking pubicly. In fact, he was voted by reporters the most media-friendly Jet last season. Sanchez introduced Slauson Monday night at the event in downtown Manhattan. Sanchez wasn't available to the media.