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Friday, February 15, 2013
Cavanaugh: Tebow should've played more

By Rich Cimini

Both Rex Ryan and former GM Mike Tannenbaum have expressed disappointment that the Tim Tebow trade didn't produce better results last season, but neither has gone so far as to say they erred by not playing him more. No one from the 2012 braintrust has said that.

Until now. Former quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, fired after the season, told Chicago reporters Thursday that Tebow deserved more playing time. Asked to explain the infrequent use of the Wildcat package, Cavanaugh admitted they didn't use it "as much as we should have, probably."

Cavanaugh, hired recently to coach the Bears' quarterbacks, suggested there wasn't a definitive plan for Tebow's role.

"I think one of the things that you’ve got to be sure about when you do it is that -- why doesn’t New England do it? Why doesn’t Denver do it? Why doesn’t New Orleans do it?" he said, via ESPNChicago.com. "They don’t want to take those (quarterbacks) off the field.

"We were probably less [convinced] about how much we wanted to get [Mark] Sanchez off the field to do that," Cavanaugh added. "So it was something we toyed with. But to be fair to Tim, we didn’t use it enough to let him be productive in it. So you better be sure when you decide to do it."

Cavanaugh denied speculation that Tebow didn't see more action because he practiced poorly.

"No, it had nothing to do with that," he said. "I won’t even ... that’s the past. Wherever he’s at next, I think he’s a good football player. I hope he gets a chance to play more."

The Bears have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Tebow. Aside from the Cavanaugh connection, new Bears coach Marc Trestman is familiar with Tebow, whom he tutored before the 2010 draft.

The Jets are expected to part ways with Tebow next month. If they can't trade him, they will simply release him. Tebow played only 75 offensive snaps last season, rushing 32 times and attempting only six passes on offense.