Jets sending mixed signals on use of Wildcat - Metro US

Jets sending mixed signals on use of Wildcat

The big story is the non-story for the Jets.

Underutilized backup quarterback Tim Tebow was in for the Wildcat on just three plays in Sunday’s 27-10 loss at Pittsburgh, a reduction from the eight Wildcat plays his team ran the week before in a win over the Bills. In a game where the Jets lost the battle for the time of possession and ran the ball ineffectively, it was puzzling to see Tebow, whose 22-yard run in the third quarter was the Jets’ longest run of the game, not be inserted into the offense.

“I thought we were doing a great job offensively early in the game. … You’re always going to do what’s in the best interest of your team, what you think is going to give your team a chance to be successful,” Ryan said. “We did have some Wildcat plays going into that game, but as the game went on, we’re down by 10 points late in that game. I even thought about it. It was more like, ‘We’re down, let’s make some plays.’ We knew we were getting some press coverage on the outside and we thought we could make some plays.”

But the Jets didn’t make plays. Outside of a game-opening drive for a touchdown where he was sparkling, quarterback Mark Sanchez was just 6-of-21 for 68 yards the remainder of the game.

There didn’t seem to be a ringing endorsement of the Wildcat from the Jets head coach.

“Clearly, what I loved about when Tim is in there, you saw when he made that big run, the emotion and all that sort of stuff. It was great to see,” Ryan said. “I’ve always said he’s a tremendous football player. We’ll see how many times we’ll run it this coming week. I’m not sure yet.”

Tebow entered the game when the Jets were down 20-10 midway through the third quarter and his three plays were effective in helping an inept offense move the ball.

But instead of going with the offense that was moving the ball, the Jets went back to their traditional offense and punted on their next three drives. Tebow was never a part of the offense after his insertion midway through the third quarter.

“It’s about being efficient,” Ryan said. “If you’re efficient in it then we can do it and do it several ways.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.

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