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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Tebow's injury prompts Jets to sack wildcat

By Jane McManus

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- When Tim Tebow was acquired by the Jets, he was going to bring a new dimension to the team’s offense. Whether you call it the wildcat or the option, the idea was it would be a puzzle for opponents to have to prepare for every week.

But without much fanfare, Jets coach Rex Ryan has skinned the 'cat. With two of Tebow’s ribs broken, the Jets haven’t been scheming or practicing wildcat plays.

“It’s not something we practice doing a lot of the other stuff,” Tebow said. “We just try to run the offense.”
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow's rib injury has taken the Wildcat out of the equation.

Ryan said Tebow would still be the team’s No. 2 quarterback, but that if brought into a game he would be expected to run conventional offensive plays.

“I don’t really see him in that (punt team) role,” Ryan said. “As far as the wildcat obviously (not) with the ribs the way they are. Hopefully once we get the OK with those ribs we can expand that but that’s probably not necessarily going to be a big factor in our game plan.”

Before he came to the Jets, Tebow was often successful because of the threat he poses outside of the pocket. But on Thursday he seemed to bristle at the idea he couldn’t manage the Jets' offense.

“Everyone thinks the whole time in Denver we had this read triple option,” Tebow said. “I mean, it started with no read plays, a few weeks later it was one, maybe two, maybe three, then you have a few option plays -- but that was five, 10 percent of our game max. So we did a lot of other plays from under center, shotgun -- just normal football plays. So it wasn’t just the read-option. I can do other things other things than just read a defensive end.”

Ryan said earlier in the week that this year has been frustrating for Tebow, who a year ago was about to lead Denver to a playoff win. Now his role -- the little there was of it -- has been curtailed by injury and the Jets need every win every game in a longshot bid for the playoffs.

“It’s definitely been somewhat frustrating because you would love to be healthy,” Tebow said, “and the few opportunities you get, you get banged up one one of them kind of crazy. That’s a little frustrating but, hey, you try to deal with them as best you can and have a good attitude.”

Tebow said his ribs feel better and that he is improving every day. In fact, he has come a long way in one week. Asked if this season has been a test for him, he conceded that perhaps it has been.

“Maybe in some ways, but I think every situation is a little bit and how you handle it,” Tebow said. “Whether its good, you get too much praise and you don’t really deserve it or vice-versa. You just try to handle everything in stride and handle it humbly. Just thankful for the opportunity you’ve been given.”

Ryan couched the change as concern for Tebow’s ribs, saying that a he didn’t want to risk Tebow by running him while he is still healing, but the truth is that the wildcat plays have rarely gained a lot of yardage, or even taken opponents off-guard.

“Sometimes you have ups and downs and you just try to deal with them as best you can,” Tebow said. “They’re all a learning opportunity and when you believe everything happens for a reason it makes it all a lot easier and also you try to find the good in every situation.”