Generally on Thursdays the Jets coordinators speak with the press and Tony Sparano was asked about why the Jets can’t seem to find a spot for their wrinkle package, the Wildcat.
Sparano said Thursday he has a package of around 15 plays in the game plan each week for Tebow. He keeps them separate on his play-call sheet. But there have been a few reasons why Tebow has not been used for more than 12 plays in a game and it’s usually around 7.
“You get into some games where … Indianapolis, New England where we’re running it pretty good and doing some decent things and you just don’t go to all those plays,” Sparano said. “At the same time, games like the Miami game where we had to be in up-tempo for a lot of the time … That’s not a place to be shuffling people in and out at that point. We had to get as many plays snapped as we could to get into the game.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comI don’t really get what Sparano’s point is, but I get the sense that there’s a few situations in which using or not using the Wildcat would be applicable (or not) from his comments.
1) The offense is humming along and working well on it’s own, not needing the added wrinkle of the Wildcat
2) The offense is playing catch up and to get back into the game, the Wildcat will only detract from the rhythm
So if those situations are when it won’t work, is there an implied situation when it would?
3) When the offense is ahead and looking to break tendencies to keep their opponent on their toes
Of course when they’ve been faced with those instances (Bills, Colts) they didn’t use the Wildcat there either.
What I do gather from Sparano’s comments is that the Wildcat breaks rhythm and is only effective in a narrow set of circumstances that are of his discretion, which he seems unwilling to spell out. To me, the Jets are just making excuses for using or not using a package they talked up all offseason. Instead of worrying about rhythm or being ahead or behind, they need to think about the Wildcat more game-plan specifically.
The Wildcat is great to slow down the pass rush of opposing teams. The Wildcat is a great way to help establish a running game by adding an extra blocker to the party in favor of the offense and getting the quarterback out of the backfield. The Jets need to think about that and how that applies to their offense, not whether or not they are ahead or behind. The Wildcat CAN be used well and I do think that Tebow is a great part of the personnel if they use him to run the ball and throw to threaten the safeties. But since the coaches are unwilling to do that, they’re going to be stuck in this paradigm until they snap out of it.