Can Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez co-exist with the Jets this season?Tim Tebow made his first official appearance in a green-and-white uniform today as the New York Jets completed their opening practice this morning in Cortland, NY.
Tebow enters camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind Mark Sanchez. The Jets say he will be used as part of the Wildcat package and also see significant time behind center in the red zone.
Impact on Jets
Tebow’s presence could lead to a more run-heavy offense for the Jets. The Jets moved away from the "ground-and-pound" last season, calling designed runs 41 percent of the time, down from 48 and 57 percent the previous two seasons.
The Denver Broncos called 84 designed rushes for Tebow last season, most among quarterbacks. Also, new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano brings a rushing mentality to the Jets. His Miami Dolphins teams rushed on at least 46 percent of plays in three of his four seasons as head coach.
It’s uncertain whether Tebow will be able to improve a Jets red zone offense that led the league in red zone touchdown percentage in 2011 (65.5).
Red Zone Last Season
Tim Tebow struggled in the red zone last season, posting a Total QBR of 27.3, nearly 45 points below Mark Sanchez.
Tebow will have a chance to revamp a Jets Wildcat package that thrived in 2010 but was nearly abandoned in 2011.
The Jets ranked second in Wildcat plays in 2010 with 43, but called just 12 in 2011. Sporano called 238 Wildcat plays during his four seasons in Miami, by far the most of any team from 2008-2011.
When the Jets offense needs a spark, however, it’s questionable to think Tebow can provide it. From his first start in Week 7 last year to the end of the season, the Broncos had 50 3-and-out drives, nine more than any other team. The Jets had 60 3-and-out drives last season, third-most in the NFL.
Sanchez and Tebow: A Dynamic Duo?
Both Sanchez and Tebow will have to really improve their play if the Jets are going to get at least league-average production from under center this season.
Lowest Total QBR Last Season
Among 34 qualified quarterbacks, Tebow and Sanchez ranked 32nd and 30th, respectively, in Total QBR last season.
The Jets will also have two of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the league on their roster.
Tebow and Sanchez both had 10 turnovers in the last five weeks of the season, tied for the most in the NFL. Since Sanchez’s rookie season in 2009, only Eli Manning has more turnovers than Sanchez.
Could a two-quarterback system work for the Jets? There’s no evidence that winning teams have to stick with just one quarterback.
Of the 46 teams that have won the Super Bowl, 25 had at least two different quarterbacks start a game during the regular season and six Super Bowl champs had three different starting quarterbacks during the regular season.
Road to Super Bowl
The Jets face a tough schedule to start the season, with four of their first seven games against 2011 playoff teams, but then just one in their final nine games.
If the Jets miss the playoffs this season, they’ll become the fifth team to miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons following consecutive conference championship appearances, and the first to do so since the Dolphins from 1986-89.