Well, that was good for a laugh. The fact that the New England Patriots signed former Jets quarterback Tim Tebow opened a new round of (well-deserved) derision at the Jets front office.
The sports media trolls for sound bites of Tebow bitterness, or hints of Patriots strategy, good luck with that one. They are missing the point. Bill Belichick is the NFL’s most calculating head coach; I say that in the most complimentary way. Everything Belichick does is the results of careful planning. If Tim Tebow is on the roster, it is to solve a specific problem.
The New York Jets are on New England’s schedule in Week Two. Nobody, not even the Jets, know who will start at quarterback in Week Two. It’s a Thursday night game, so there is only a short week to prepare.
If Geno Smith is the man, there will be no video of his performance to set a defensive scheme. How better to solve the problem than by signing an option quarterback.
The Jets have tinkered with the option since the mid-‘00s when Chad Pennington was still the starter and Brad Smith was the gimmick player. Belichick was famously burned by Miami in a 2008 game when the Dolphins scored five times on the six occasions they ran the Wildcat.
Bill Belichick will never allow that to happen again.
If the Jets are at all smart, there is some question about that, they will look at what the 49ers, Seahawks and Redskins did with option plays and then work Geno Smith in that scheme. Meanwhile, Brad Smith is still in the division with the Bills. There is loose talk that the Dolphins will try Ryan Tannehill in the read-option offense.
If the guys at the NFL Network and ESPN did more thinking and less yakking, they would make less of a fuss about Tebow and Tom Brady and more of one about Tebow, Geno Smith and Tannehill.
Bill Belichick is just smarter than they are.