Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/17/12
It has been a couple of weeks since I first suggested this.

Now the idea of the Jets running a 2-quarterback system is beginning to take hold.

However, nationally, commentators are stunned and puzzled. How can this possibly work? What advantage does it serve? They cite examples of different teams who tried to switch back and forth between two quarterbacks and how they failed. They note that such a system will only serve to divide the team. And defenses won't be fooled. When they see one quarterback, the defenses will play one way. When they see the other quarterback, they will play the other. Where is the advantage there?

And through it all, the New York Jets are sitting back and laughing. What can they possibly be thinking?

Since apparently I wasn't clear enough when I mentioned it before, right now, I will go on the record and explain exactly what the Jets are thinking.

For the first game of the 2012 season, the New York Jets will line up Mark Sanchez at quarterback. They will line up Tim Tebow at halfback or possibly fullback. Both quarterbacks will be on the field at the same time. I would not be at all surprised if they also put a true running back in the backfield with them.

Then the first play from scrimmage will almost assuredly be the play that won Denver their first round playoff game last year. The following three plays in any order will be a planned rush from scrimmage for Tim Tebow, a planned rush from scrimmage from Mark Sanchez, and a pass from Mark Sanchez.

In truth, the Jets will attempt to run a real 2-quarterback system.

It is a bold and extremely risky idea. But make no mistake, success depends entirely on the New York Jets.

In order to run this system, it is going to take precision and timing. The entire team is going to have to perform in a way that doesn't give away which way the play is going until it is too late. It is difficult to get two or three players on the same page. Getting most of a team to flow together will be a tall order.

But understand, if they pull it off. If they can demonstrate a measure of proficiency at each type of play, then the New York Jets will win the AFC East going away.


1) Speed: the NFL is a fast league. It often takes rookies considerable time to catch up to the speed of the game. On top of this, the NFL has transformed the rules of the game to favor the offense. In order to try to keep up, defenses start peeking into the backfield. They focus heavily on who has the ball, the running back or the quarterback. As soon as they think they have an idea, they abandon the other player and tailor the defense around whoever has the ball. Why do you think play-action works as well as it does? This type of a system run successfully puts defenses at a significant disadvantage, because knowing who has the ball would no longer reveal whether it was a passing play or a running play. Defenses would not be able to close on a specific play until it was too late. 

2) New ideas proficiently run tend to have a period of success until defensive coordinators figure out how to stop them. If run well, this is likely to be a very difficult system to stop.

3) This is not likely to be a set of five or ten plays a game. I think this will be established as a system. It would not surprise me to find that they have 15 different plays for Sanchez running and passing and Tebow running and passing each game. If used with balance, that's 60 plays, more than enough to build a solid game plan. If they don't favor any individual type of play, the balance would be devastating. Suddenly your 50/50 guess becomes a 1/4.

4) All of this is assuming a straight forward version of the offense, if you can call it that. But for a minute, imagine what a flea-flicker would do.

Again, all of this assumes continuity and the ability to make each type of play successful. if they allow inner strife to build, the system will quickly implode. But if they find a way to pull it off, the NFL is in trouble.

This is what the Jets are seeing. This is why the Jets are making the moves they are making and saying the things they are saying. And this is why everyone around the team is grinning like a madman.

At the end of the day, being lucky and right is the coup of coups for the Jets.

PLAYERS: Mark SanchezTim Tebow
TEAMS: New York Jets

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