Even with their 48 point outburst in the season opener, Tim Tebow and the Wildcat pack might have a few more tricks up their sleeve as they eye Sunday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. With New York’s gadget offense held in check by Buffalo this past Sunday, it was Mark Sanchez’s arm, Jeremy Kerley’s legs and an opportunistic defense that carried the day Week One.
“I don’t think it was a (high) percentage,” mentioned Tebow of how much Wildcat offense the Jets showed against Buffalo. “I think it was what we were trying to execute at the time. After we had quite a bit of a lead, I think it was a little bit more vanilla there.”
Vanilla is right.
Tebow carried the ball five times for just 11 yards and didn’t attempt a pass the entire game. While that may seem like an oddity for most NFL gunslingers, Tebow is proving once against that he is no ordinary quarterback.
“Yeah, there we’re some games in my rookie year for sure," remarked Tebow of the last time he didn’t attempt a pass in a game. “Actually, when we played the Jets, I scored against them, but I don’t think I threw a pass. There’s some games where I didn’t throw, you just have whatever Wildcat plays, and (run) those.”
One of Tebow’s most prolific passing performances came during last year’s AFC Wildcard round against the Steelers. The former Heisman Trophy winner amassed 316 yards through the air with two scores, including the game-winning 80-yard touchdown connection with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to seal the victory in overtime.
In doing so, Tebow became the first quarterback in over ten years to complete three passes of more than 50 yards in one game against Pittsburgh’s defense.
Tebow celebrating after last year's win in the AFC Wildcard game
“You’ll always have memories of that game,” admitted Tebow of the Broncos thrilling upset win over the Steelers in the playoffs last year. “It was a special game and a special win. A lot of fun times were had. But now, it’s a new season, new opportunity, new challenges, so I’m looking forward to the game and I think we are as a team.”
With New York’s first-year offensive coordinator Tony Sparano utilizing Tebow in a variety of roles and packages, the Jets’ jack of all trades is ready to do whatever is asked of him.
“I’m definitely competitive, but the number one thing to help competitiveness is winning football games," uttered Tebow on how content he is with playing limited snaps. “However I can help this team to win football games, that is the ultimate goal.”
Sunday’s matchup in the Steel City marks a barometer game for Gang Green as they look to prove they are viable contenders in the AFC.
“This is the second game of the year for both of these teams, so we’re both learning, we’re both improving,” stated Tebow. “We’re both trying to get to where we want to get to. They’re a great team, so it is a great challenge.”