September 9, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
The Jets used Tim Tebow for eight snaps last week, nine of you count the snap he lined up in the slot. Rex Ryan has been very clear about the notion that the amount of snaps Tim will be used will change from game to game. He will not put a percentage on it, despite his General Manager offering a percentage.
That uncertainty seems to have Steelers coach Mike Tomlin thinking about it. Here is what he had to say in a conference call with the NY media yesterday:
I don’t necessarily have the answer to that. That’s something that they control, from a play-calling standpoint. I know that we better be prepared for more than what I saw him do in the game on Sunday. That wasn’t very different from what was done in Miami with the likes of Pat White, Rodney Brown, or others. Obviously, he’s a capable passer. That’s an element of it that we need to be prepared for.
The preparation for Tebow, however, changes quite a bit with him not being the starter:
Our approach changes among other things, the play caller (we are facing). There are a million different things between being the starting quarterback for an outfit and a package guy, like he is right now. What we did in that game was to address an issue of a guy that was taking a snap from center on every play. Obviously, our approach is probably going to be a little bit different in regards to how we deal with him this time around.
Sept. 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Tomlin does, however, think that preparing for the Wildcat is not as tough as it used to be:
The Wildcat is not as obscure as it once was about three, four, five years ago. You have to be prepared for it at least once a month over the course of a football season, at least that’s kind of been our experience over the last two or three years. It’s not as big of an undertaking, at least from a preparation standpoint, as it once was. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be effective, of course, stopping it, just the process of preparing yourself to play it, is not as difficult as it once was, just because you get exposed to it more often than you did say four or five years ago.
Coach Tomlin didn’t have a lot to say about the Jets as a whole, since the Steelers didn’t play against us last year, so he didn’t want to comment much just based on recent tape.
He’s right about the presence of the Wildcat around the league. A lot of teams have run it in different forms. But he seemed genuinely honest in not knowing what to expect from the Jets on it. If that is the case, the Jets may be handling the set up better than they could have been expected to be.
If what he says is true, that means it is already starting to get in coaches heads, which can only help us.