August 13, 2012
Tebow has productive day at camp
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow was happier after completing 9-of-12 passes during Sunday's training camp session at SUNY Cortland.
Tim Tebow came back strong Sunday as the New York Jets returned to their SUNY Cortland practice headquarters for the first time since Friday’s 16-7 loss at Cincinnati in their pre-season opener.
After playing to mixed reviews in his first game action since last year’s playoffs, heralded second string quarterback Tebow enjoyed a good practice Sunday going 9-for-12 passing in team drills with a touchdown, an interception and two sacks and running for a 25-yard TD.
The TD pass came during a seven-on-seven drill. It happened one play after the interception, which cornerback Kyle Wilson collected after the ball deflected off the hands of running back Bilal Powell. On the next play, operating from the defensive squad’s 49-yard line, Tebow connected with wideout Stephen Hill down the left sideline for a TD.
Tebow’s scoring run, during a down-and-distance drill, came on the 11th play of a drive that started on the offense’s own 25. He hit all four of his passes on the drive and led the second team to three first downs. On third-and-two from the 25, he rolled right and went untouched into the end zone.
Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, meanwhile, finished 7-for-15 with a TD, an interception and a sack in team drills. His scoring toss also came one play after a pick by Wilson, at the defensive’s 25 on a red-zone drill. With the ball at the 12, Sanchez rolled right and found tight end Dustin Keller on the right side for the score.
LOOKING AT A LOSS: Head coach Rex Ryan addressed Friday’s loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati and its immediate aftermath in his pre-practice press conference Sunday.
“We had some good meetings today, and watching all the tape we always said the ‘Play Like A Jet’ deal (is for) win, lose or whatever. There were some good things on that tape, other things that obviously weren’t so good, but you learn from it. The thing I wanted to see was guys playing physical, playing with that kind of temperament, and I think that we saw that.”
Two players who especially impressed Ryan were offensive linemen Austin Howard and Vlad Ducasse.
“I thought both of them, they might have had some mistakes in the game but they jumped out at me,” he said. “They’re coming off the ball, knocking people off the ball, Austin in particular. Whoo, he was a load back there. We’ve seen him on the practice field and he took it over to the game field. He played a lot of snaps, into the third quarter, so I thought that was good.”
Ryan also noted that he was pleased with the downfield blocking of the receivers, calling it “encouraging.” He said that one key was finding a way to protect the quarterback, the Bengals having registered five sacks Friday night.
“With that being said, Cincinnati dialed up a good blitz that I’ll steal from them. It was a good blitz and one that we really hadn’t worked on,” Ryan said with a laugh, “so you have to give them a check mark for it. I will say this, it’s very encouraging. We had very few mental mistakes on both sides of the ball, but we had some technique mistakes. We have Dustin Keller open on a three-man route, wide open for a touchdown. We’ve run the same thing on the practice field.
“But we cut a blitzing linebacker and he’s able to get off the ground and get a sack where if we’re able to hold it a little longer, stay high and give that guy a split second to throw the football it’s going to be a touchdown or a big play, anyway. There were things like that, technical aspects that we’ve got to get better at and clean up. But there were some real positives. I like the way (running back) Joe McKnight played. We all know he’s got a great deal of talent, but being able to pick up all the different things he was asked to do, I think Joe did a nice job.”
Ryan also noted that the defense got six three-and-outs in 10 Cincinnati possessions, but that the Bengals’ 44 percent third-down efficiency was way too high.
As for Tebow, Ryan said that “He ran against man coverage, he ran against zone coverage. That’s what he does. If you rush four, he can run on you. You can rush six, seven, whatever, he can go do that. But I also liked the way he threw the ball.”
WILDCAT ON HOLD: Ryan said he never planned to use the Wildcat formation, featuring Tebow receiving the snap, during Friday’s game.
Asked if that decision was influenced by a Thursday morning phone request from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, the Jets’ head man smiled and said “I let Marvin think that, but no. The Wildcat is tough to defend. Are we going to do it? Of course, at some point we’re going to do it. But again, it’s more of the old ‘some people think that the Wildcat’s come and gone.’ No, it hasn’t. If anything, it’s just the opposite.”
WISHFUL THINKING: From the what-might-have-been department, Ryan admitted that the Jets were thinking of selecting Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick in this year’s draft. San Francisco took Kaepernik in the second round, and he had a 78-yard touchdown run against the Vikings in a 17-6 win by the 49ers Friday night.
“I was really intrigued by him when he came out,” Gang Green’s leader said of Kaepernick. “I thought we were losing Brad (Smith). They drafted him before we could; I was interested in him. He went for a 70-yard touchdown the other night. You’re seeing these guys, hit hard to defend that stuff. When you have the ability to throw as well as run, it makes it tough.”
SPARANO’S REVIEW: Following Sunday’s practice, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano also addressed Friday’s game and after reviewing tape felt finishing off blocks and having route discipline from his receivers were areas that needed improvement.
“I was about effort. Our guys gave tremendous effort out there and played really hard. It wasn’t really about execution or any of those things. We really didn’t scheme one second for that team, and played as vanilla as we could play,“ he said.
The usually vociferous Sparano drew some laughs from the assembled news media when asked about his keeping quiet about the Wildcat while Ryan has been talking about it. “I’m a quiet guy,” he said, tongue-in-cheek.
“Rex is the boss. He can put it out there. I think it is common knowledge that we might do something like that. I’m more concerned about letting them worry about it than giving them the answers to the test. With the guy that we have, obviously it’s going to be out there that we’re going to do something like that. The how is the question.”
REVIS LENDS A HAND: Cornerback Darrelle Revis has been helping rookie wideout Stephen Hill with advice, such as “Basically just finish his routes. I just told him things that I’ve experienced that receivers have done to me, and for him to put them in his game. It’s a learning curve for him, but he’s taken a great stride in it and he’s out there working, he’s doing the best he can. One thing about him, he’s a great kid, he listens, he wants to get better. I think that’s the big thing about him.
“He’s humble, he just tries to go out there and work hard.”
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