HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – As you might expect, the New York Jets are a mess right now and likely enter Monday Night Football’s matchup with the Texans in a bit of a quarterback quandary.
Stick with Mark Sanchez or see if Tim Tebow can work his magic?
But the Jets issues aren’t necessarily the Texans.
They know they will see both Tebow and Sanchez during their national spotlight showdown. Who trots out first and who will play the most isn’t the real concern of the Texans. They have to be prepared to keep both bottled up.
The key is stopping Tebow and all he can do as a non-traditional quarterback in variations of the wildcat offense and pro-style offense and keeping a handle on Sanchez in the pro-set offense. The problem is preparing to face two completely offenses in one game.
“The complicated thing with the Jets as everybody knows is they do have two quarterbacks and both of them have played,” said Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who has the top ranked defense in the NFL. “They’re completely different offenses when one is in there and the other is in there. They could probably run the same offense with either one.
“Tebow, you have to get ready for the things that he does and all the things he could do. The old wildcat kind of stuff except he’s a quarterback. The wildcat overall was a running back, back there that really couldn’t’ throw the ball. He gives you double-dimension there being able to run it and throw it. That’s a problem.
“Then Sanchez, the first game and the third game he really had big games. Of course, he had a big game two years ago against the Texans. We know what he can do. He’s a No. 1 pick quarterback.”
But a lot of has obviously changed for Sanchez since then. The fourth year quarterback, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2009, continues to be far too inconsistent to be a realistic choice as a starting NFl quarterback.
It would seem that Sanchez comes into the Jets (2-2) game against the Texans on a relatively short leash, especially after last week’s debacle against San Francisco. The Jets were defeated 34-0 with Sanchez turning in a poor outing, completing 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards and 1 interceptions while being sacked three times to finish with a rating of 39.9.
For the season, Sanchez has thrown five touchdowns and four interceptions, 813 yards and is completing 49.2 percent of his passes in an offense that ranks 28th.
Sanchez’s play has fueled the circus that is Tebow. You could see this being a distraction when the Jets acquired Tebow in a trade with Denver this offseason.
When things started to go awry for Sanchez you knew it wasn’t going to take much for the vocal New York fans to start calling for Tebow as the Denver fans did last season. Well that time has come, which means Rex Ryan could be ready to make Tebow a more involved part of the game plan this week.
Tebow worked wonders for the Broncos last season once he was finally inserted into the starting lineup.
What that has meant for the Texans is they will have to prepare to see more of Tebow than expected.
“We’ll probably see a little bit of both but they’ll have some tricks up their sleeves,” linebacker Brooks Reed said. “Just like every team, they’ll have plays that we haven’t seen yet and that’s what they’re supposed to do; scheme us. We’ve just got to be able to adjust.”
What has been interesting this week is what the Texans have resorted to in order to make those adjustments. Speedy return man Trindon Holliday and practice squad quarterback Case Keenum have been called in to give the defense a more athletic look as they practice against the plays Tebow will likely run.
Holliday, who is 5-foot-5, has played the 6-foot-3 Tebow in the wildcat running plays while Keenum has been used to simulate Tebow’s ability to move around outside of the pocket in the passing game.
The scout team experiment has been a bit of mixed bag.
“Tebow don’t run like neither one of them,” said defensive end Antonio Smith. “One of them is way faster than Tebow and the other one ain’t big enough.
“It gives you a look, something to look for but it’s nothing like the real thing. Tebow’s style of running is way different than the both of them so I just can’t wait to get to the game so I can see how it is then.”
What the Texans will see is an offense that is as complex and versatile as any they will see this season. If Tebow and Sanchez are used right, the Jets should be able to keep most defenses on their heels because the two quarterbacks are so different.
“It’s obviously a difference,” Smith said. “They have two separate offenses it looks like to me so everybody knows the difference out there on the field. You just have to go out there and play football. You can’t really make too much a focus on trying to switch everything up for one or two people. We have a defense to stop them just in case they are trying to run the ball with Tebow in the wildcat and then we have a defense to stop a regular offense.
“We just gone play whatever Coach calls and play it to the best of our abilities and we know we can get the job done.”