Tim Tebow and the New York Jets are parting ways after what developed into a disappointing season for both parties. Tebow accepted a trade to the Jets — and actually picked them over the Jacksonville Jaguars — because he believed he would have a good chance of becoming the starting quarterback there. Though Mark Sanchez’s poor play certainly merited a quarterback switch, Tebow never got a shot to play QB. In fact, he was skipped over on the depth chart by Greg McElroy when Sanchez finally was benched on two occasions late in the season.
Tebow’s primary work with the Jets came on special teams. He only threw eight passes all season, and he appeared in fewer than 80 offensive plays. By the time the season ended, many people wondered why the Jets bothered acquiring Tebow if they hardly planned to use him. Though we still don’t have an answer to that question, a report from USA Today’s Mike Garafolo says the Jets originally intended to use Tebow as a running back.
Here’s what Garafolo stated in his report:
The team had visions of lining up Tebow at running back in traditional sets when they acquired him via trade from the Denver Broncos last March, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s plans at the time of the trade. The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the Jets didn’t divulge that plan, said it involved more than the shotgun look and was intended to “give (Tebow) the ball and play at times just like (Shonn) Green and (Bilal) Powell” were used.
The Jets’ original vision to use Tebow as a running back was more than just in an emergency situation. They believed Tebow the running back could be an integral part of their game plans.
Head coach Rex Ryan did mention at one point during the season when the Jets were dealing with injuries to their running backs that Tebow could line up in that position, but that never materialized. It’s also unclear why this plan never took off.
What we do know is that when Tebow saw action in games, he was often used as a running quarterback. It’s clear that the Jets valued that part of his game much more than his passing.
If the Jets’ original intention was to use Tebow as a running back, then they truly did mislead the aspiring quarterback.
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