Thursday, May 3, 2012
Leftovers from Sparano interview
By Rich Cimini
New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano conducted a conference call Thursday with reporters, his first media availability since he was hired in January. Obviously, there was a lot of ground to cover, much of which is included in the main story. Here are some leftovers and take-aways from the Q&A:
1. Sparano, educated in the Bill Parcells school of secrecy, refused to say how Tim Tebow will be deployed. He wouldn't even commit to the wildcat, saying, "If we go in that direction ..." Sorry, I jusy think I had an Eric Mangini flashback.
2. Sparano said he reviewed every snap from the 2010 and 2011 seasons to gain a better perspective on the Jets' personnel.
3. Echoing what GM Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft, Sparano said it was purely a "coincidence" that they drafted three players from option offenses -- WR Stephen Hill, G Robert T. Griffin and RB Terrance Ganaway. The inference, of course, is that they wanted players for their Tebow packages.
4. Sparano danced around the Wayne Hunter question, refusing to say he'll be the starting right tackle. He repeated a story that Rex Ryan told the other day, saying his old team -- the Dolphins -- looked into the possibility of signing Hunter as a free agent. "We thought an awful lot about him, we wanted to bring him down there," Sparano said. That was last summer. In fact, the Dolphins liked Hunter as a swing/insurance tackle, but not a 16-game starter.
5. He said having a big receiver like second-round pick Stephen Hill will help a mobile QB because of his ability to run a comeback route, providing a big window for the QB. "Quarterbacks find those big targets friendly, when they're on the move," Sparano said. Obviously, we think of Tebow as the mobile QB on the team, but Sparano said he's impressed with Mark Sanchez's ability to throw on the run.
6. Sparano said he wants his system to be "as player-friendly as possible." He said he made a handshake agreement with the players, vowing to give his best every day.
7. Sparano on third-string QB Greg McElroy: "This guy is brilliant ... He's a smart, smart player."
8. Sparano defined his terms 'A' and 'B' backs. An 'A' is a big back, a la Shonn Greene, whom he said has good field vision. A 'B' is "scatty," he said, mentioning Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles as examples.