Jets figure out Tebow experiment with Geno (Buzzy Says “Well DUD!!!”)

November, 13, 2013

Nov 13
By Rich Cimini |

Tim Tebow, Geno SmithGetty ImagesThe Jets’ offense has featured the Wildcat and zone-read elements, without the Tim Tebow circus.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — One year after the over-hyped and ill-fated Tim Tebow experiment, the New York Jets finally have it figured out. They’ve successfully incorporated the Wildcat and zone-read elements into their offense.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have the right person calling the plays and the right people executing them — strange and radical concepts, indeed.

The surprising Jets (5-4) are in the playoff hunt, in part, because they’ve kept defenses off-balance with their change-of-pace rushing attack. Ironically, they’ve managed to do it in relative anonymity, sans the crush of national media. Without Tebow, it’s almost as if nobody cares.

A year ago, Rex Ryan was questioned about Tebow and the Wildcat on a daily basis. That he made it through the season without losing his cool (or turning sideways) was a tribute to his patience. This year, the topic rarely comes up even though they’re using the zone-read and Wildcat twice as often as in 2012.

[+] EnlargeGeno Smith

Al Bello/Getty ImagesGeno Smith has scored three rushing touchdowns this season.


And more effectively.

Not only have the wrinkles sparked the offense, but they’ve helped Geno Smith through a difficult stretch of season. His most accomplished pass-catchers, Santonio Holmes and Kellen Winslow, were gone for a month, prompting the coaches to install more designed running plays for the rookie quarterback. He’s no Colin Kaepernick, but Smith is a capable runner. He’s the Jets’ most mobile quarterback since Ray Lucas, circa 1999.

“I never said I was a pocket passer,” Smith said Wednesday. “I’m effective from the pocket, but I can run as well. That’s kind of the point I’ve been trying to push all along, that I’m not a quarterback you can put in a box. I do it all and I try to perfect every single thing, even running the ball.”

Smith, displaying unwavering confidence for someone who has thrown 13 interceptions, described himself as a player with “a tremendous skill set. I think I can be one of the better quarterbacks in this league, but it’s going to take time and effort.”

Lately, he has been better with his legs than his arm. In the Jets’ last game, their upset of the New Orleans Saints, he scored on a 3-yard run — a designed play off a zone-read. For the season, Smith has rushed 11 times for 48 yards on zone-read plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

As a team, the Jets have run 46 zone-read plays and another 23 out of the Wildcat. The combined production is 30 yards per game. (Keep in mind that some zone-read plays can come out of the Wildcat.) In 2012, the respective season totals were 40 and 19, averaging a total of 18 yards per game.

Last season wouldn’t have been so bad if the Jets didn’t shamelessly promote Tebow and his potential impact, but they sold it with more passion than a used-car salesman. On the rare occasions when they used Tebow, it usually was a dive play into the line. They fattened him up and tried to turn him into Larry Csonka. The whole thing was a sham, perpetrated by an organization desperate for attention.

Now they run it with creativity and precision, along with proper use of personnel. Running backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory also have been used on zone-read plays; in fact, Ivory is averaging 7.4 yards per carry, second only to Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (8.2) on such plays, per ESPN Stats & Information.

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The Jets have melded quarterbacks coach David Lee’s Wildcat and zone-read concepts into Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, becoming what they were supposed to be last season.

“They do a lot of unique things,” said former Jets safety Jim Leonhard, who will face his old team Sunday as a member of the Buffalo Bills. “They do a lot to make you think. That’s nothing new. They’ve done it all year, and we definitely have to stay on top of our adjustments.”

Smith’s mobility adds a different dimension to the offense. He already has scored a team-high three touchdowns (two designed rushes and one scramble), meaning he already has reached the end zone three more times than Tebow, who never got a chance to do any Tebowing.

Coaches and teammates, namely backup quarterback David Garrard, have encouraged Smith to run more often. He wasn’t a big runner at West Virginia, so this is a transition. He already has rushed for 172 yards, well past Mark Sanchez‘s career high.

“We’ve been running the ball well, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job on the read plays,” Smith said. “We’ve tried to stick with the things we’re good at, and that’s one of them.”

It’s funny, but Smith was chided for his touchdown run against the Saints. Based on the way it was defended, he should’ve handed the ball to Ivory. The result was six points, but he still heard the criticism.

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13 Responses to “Jets figure out Tebow experiment with Geno (Buzzy Says “Well DUD!!!”)”

  1. Sage says:

    Cimini the weenie.

    I wish I could add more than that, but it’s lean times for those of us who want to see Tebow on the field.

    • ck says:

      Sage: Okay, what is Cimini the weenie…”inquiring minds want to know?!”

      • ck says:

        Yes, I now know that was given to the writer of the post Rich Cimini and probably fits too! Amazing what you can find out doing research, ha, ha! And btw, thanks Sage for all the witticism.

  2. Bigfan says:

    That defines IRONIC from an organization who is MORONIC!

  3. The Mascot Army says:

    It’s so pathetic.

  4. ck says:

    Try “adding insult to injury” and that fits! What a JOKE!

    • jason says:

      Nope ck it’s not that or even close. Tim has to show he can do something from the pocket before anyone that has the ability to hire him is giving him a shot but as always you don’t know crap about the sport nor do many others like army, brandi or so on.
      Its so very simple but you can’t see it, play from the pocket and move when it breaks down. Tim moves from tbe pocket because ever fact shows he doesn’t understand the game from the pocket.

      • Brandi says:

        I’m fine being lumped in with “so on”. Always insightful. If I recall correctly Jason, you were saying I didn’t know what I was talking about when I said more teams would be changing toward Option-Oriented Offenses.

        But my issue is more basic than that. The League exists to please the fans…NOT the other way around. No other Major Pro Sports League would say a Player is “too popular to sign”. They’d love it if they could get away with it. But every other League except the NFL has already accepted that they exist to please the Fans. NOT the other way around.

        The League wants Tebow, the Owners want Tebow, the Fans want Tebow…only the GMs are being obstinate. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with his Playing abilities. It’s a Game of Chicken with the Fans…one I was saying existed even before the Dolphins came out and said it’s Tim Tebow’s popularity that scares Teams off. They can’t corral it and certainly can’t control it. And out of shear arrogance and ignorance that is perceived as threatening.

        What we’ll see now is whether the Fans have enough guts to do anything about it except grumble and add it to the growing list of things they don’t like about how the League operates that they just ‘have to cope with’. But don’t get mixed up about any of this. This isn’t a showdown between the NFL and Tim tebow to “change”. This is a showdown among the more paranoid elements within the NFL and the Fans to put the Fans “in their place.”

        I guess we’ll see where the Fans think their “place” should be. The purpose of the League or the bottom of the pile.

        • ck says:

          Brandi: You are so right b/c IT IS A “POWER PLAY”! Just like they tried to show their own players in regards to litigation w/concussions etc. Anyone that WINS not using their losing formula is suspect and are they ever IN DENIAL WHICH EQUALS FEAR!!!
          This sounds VERY familiar as in someone who likes to post false info. on the site and masquerades as a MORE THAN DELUSIONAL PSEUDO TEBOW FAN!!!
          (Brandi, appreciate all the info. that you share which is SIMPLY the truth and if it was not the truth then you wouldn’t be targeted w/criticism!! Also, btw, your statements are supported in this article written by Flip Bondy of the NY Daily News under Football/Concussions-11/16/13,etc. THE NFL HAS A HUGE CULTURAL/IMAGE PROBLEM AND IF THEY DON’T TURN AROUND THE MESS, WILL CEASE TO EXIST IN THE FUTURE!!)

          • Brandi says:

            Telling Fans that the NFL is in trouble doesn’t sell well. It’s a tougher sell than saying the League that went Pass-insane is shifting back to being more balanced. (As it always does. That’s probably the one thing actual Fans of the League…as opposed to Fantasy Fans…should take some solace in. These pendulum swings have been an NFL staple for over half a century.)

            When anyone brings up the serious problems the NFL faces, they’re instantly met with “You’re an idiot! Look at the Ratings. Look at the TV money.” But those things are just the skin covering the onion. The League has people who know how to peel back the layers and get to the parts that make them cry. The Owners MIGHT have scored HUGE in what now appears to be merely the first “Concussion” Lawsuit. Every Analyst who dedicated full-time to studying and reporting the suits expected numbers far higher than 3/4ths of a $Billion. Y’all might remember my take that if every Owner could write one check each for a $100 Million and NEVER hear anything about “Safety Issues” again, they’d do it in a heartbeat. The $700-some Million Settlement that isn’t quite yet, would say I was way over-the-top. Except this is now obviously nowhere near being really settled.

            The number of kids going out for Football is dropping every year. I haven’t checked this year’s numbers closely. But the past three it totaled about a third fewer than were going out before and escalating. If you don’t have kids Playing Football, you don’t have parents watching it and that filters up through the Colleges and NFL…in addition to the weakened talent pool.

            But the real issue…assuming “Player Safety” doesn’t drop the bottom out…is there’s no interest abroad and what tiny interest that does exist is more than matched by those, especially in Europe, who simply see the League as arrogant and the Players as wusses in pads. The NFL holds a “Rally” at the busiest Shopping District where every Saturday over 500,000 people go and then says a “half a million attended” their rally. 🙂 They hold another at Trafalger Square and, once again, count everyone in the area as being there for their Rally…meanwhile NFL Playoff Games draw English Audiences in the high 90s to 105-115…as in thousands…a fifth of the number who supposedly came out for their Rally. Again, peel back the onion. Yet GMs have a Game of Chicken with the Fans in a Power Play, risking driving them away while driving off the only Player with Major International Following.

            It’s plain Stupidity and Arrogance. But try telling some that. They take it as “sour grapes.” Oh well. 🙂

  5. andrea says:

    Jason – are you off your meds? Just wondering.

    • ck says:


  6. ck says:

    As a side note, watch out for the magic words too; i.e., “SKILL SET” that seems to really set him off meds and all!!

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