Through two games this season, the Jets surely weren’t born to be wild, having run the much-talked about Wildcat offense just 11 times through two games. But that doesn’t stop the Tim Tebow-led offense from being the center of all things Jets this week.
It wasn’t a terribly big surprise that the Jets ran the wrinkle in their offense just eight times in their Week 1 win over Buffalo. But last week in a 27-10 loss at Pittsburgh, Tebow was under center in the Wildcat just three times, rushing once for a gain of 22 yards. Now with a winnable game on Sunday in Miami, it remains to be seen just how much the Jets roll out of the Wildcat.
“I’m sure they’re going to have a plan. How much they use it is certainly their decision, not ours. It does take practice time, there’s no question about it,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said on a conference call with the New York media. “Your job as a coach is to prepare your players for what you anticipate seeing on a Sunday afternoon to the best of your ability. When you have [a player] that has those kind of skills, like Tim Tebow has, you have to get your team ready for him.”
The Dolphins defense should be better prepared than most to go up against the Wildcat, after all it was former Miami head coach and current Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano who helped usher in the Wildcat offense in 2008.
Safety Yeremiah Bell, who spent the previous eight years with the Dolphins, disagrees with Philbin.
“The Wildcat was originated when I was in Miami. It was something we practiced against day in, day out so you’re familiar with [it],” Bell told Metro. “It is different when you’re going against the scout team, but of course it doesn’t hurt to have that knowledge.”
Philbin is unsure if the Jets will utilize the Wildcat more than they have the past two weeks or exactly what the game plan will be. He acknowledges that no matter what, they have to prepare for it just in case.
“We kind of tell players all the time that there’s only so much we can control as coach and you guys control as a player. Primarily, for the players the attitude and effort is what you control,” Philbin said. “You don’t control who you’re playing; the schedule is set. We’re not in the Jets’ game plan meetings as coaches and we don’t know what type of personnel — it’s all up to them as to how they want to play the game. We have to be ready to adjust to whatever they do.”
Even if it’s nothing at all.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.