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Tim Tebow vs. Mark Sanchez? Jets have bigger problems

August 11, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow gets off a pass under pressure against the Bengals on Friday night.
Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow gets off a pass under pressure against… (Tom Uhlman / Associated…)

Quarterbacks Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez might be the center of attention during summer camp for the New York Jets, but the team's exhibition opener on Friday night against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium did little to settle anything.

Sanchez played in the first quarter and completed four of six passes for 21 yards. Very unspectacular.

Tebow, who played on the punt team as well, completed four of eight passes for 27 yards with an interception in two quarters. He did break off three runs while avoiding sacks to pick up 34 yards. About what we've come to expect.

But the 17-6 loss to the Bengals appeared to put a spotlight on the teams' new offensive coordinator, former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, who brought the NFLthe "wildcat" offense that we'll eventually see Tebow run in future exhibitions games. It wasn't unveiled Friday, though.

Sanchez has twice led the Jets to the AFC championship game. And Coach Rex Ryan has made plenty of bold predictions when it comes to his team.

But two problems came to light Friday: lack of a running game outside of Tebow's scrambling ability and a breakdown on special teams when Cincinnati blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.

Sanchez isn't worried, though.

"The running game will get going and things will open up in the passing game," said the former USC star. "We're not game-planning for this, so a couple of things caught us off guard. The big plays will come to us."

Ryan, never one to worry, liked what he saw in Tebow.

"I liked the poise he showed,” Ryan said. “Obviously, [he] made some big runs and that's what we say he can do. If you want to come after him, you better get to him. In time, he'll kill you running and that's what he did.”

And, of course, it was an exciting day for Tebow, who gave his usual stock answers about improvement.

"I feel like I'm getting better,” Tebow said. “Today was one more stride in getting better. I feel like my timing and rhythm were pretty good for the most part.”

Just another summer day for the Jets.

Wire services contributed to this report.


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