Ex-Jet says Tebow can boost offence

Bills wideout Brad Smith thinks the Jets have the potential to run an effective wildcat offence...

Bills wideout Brad Smith thinks the Jets have the potential to run an effective wildcat offence with Tim Tebow at the helm. (BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters file photo)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:09 AM ET

TORONTO - The New York Jets are going with the: What-once-was-old-is-new-again philosophy.

And Bills wide receiver Brad Smith is leading a growing chorus willing to believe a wildcat offence featuring Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez can work — if the two quarterbacks want it to work.

“People have gotten away from it, but I think it can still be effective — especially with Tebow,” Smith, who made his career in a similar role during five seasons with the Jets, told ESPN.

“He can do a lot of things with the football.”

Tony Sparano, the Jets offensive coordinator invented the modern wildcat scheme, helping Miami to an AFC East title in 2008.

In 2010, the Jets went wildcat-crazy with Smith. They used it 43 times, producing 11 first downs and two touchdowns. In 2011, without Smith, it dropped to 12 times for three first downs and no touchdowns.

Without a premier running back, the Jets hope the wildcat can turn them back into a power-running team.

“Tebow is the type of style and the type of football that they want to play,” agreed former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

“I really don’t think it will be an issue in the locker room. I think it actually will help having Tebow in the locker room, but I definitely think the both of them will and could coexist.”

The Jets’ weekly game plans will include a Tebow package. Unlike Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, Sparano’s Miami wildcats, Tebow is a threat to throw.

Not even Smith, a former college quarterback, brought that dimension.

Tebow is a flawed passer, but he actually was more effective than Sanchez at going deep.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, both completed 25% of their passes of 20-plus yards, but Tebow had five fewer interceptions on 11 more attempts.

LUCKED IN

The Drew Stanton era in New York is over before it began. One week after signing to be Sanchez’s backup, the Jets dealt him to the Colts.

Stanton asked to be traded after the Jets acquired Tebow. In Indianapolis he likely becomes mentor to Andrew Luck. Actually Stanton did all right — financially if not professionally.

He got a $500,000 signing bonus from the Jets, which is pretty good because after one week in New York most people leave poorer, not richer.

PILING ON

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe called for a lifetime ban for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma. But punters often fall over just thinking they might get hit. So, it was to giggle.

Friday, Vikings centre John Sullivan, seconded the notion — and, nobody laughs at a centre. At least, not twice.

Vilma is believed to have offered $10,000 to whoever knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.

“It’s just disgusting. To think that you’re going to take money to hit someone illegally and put them out of the game, I can’t even fathom that somebody would do that,” said Sullivan.

“I support Kluwe ... if you go back and look at that game, anybody that took a shot on Brett illegally and you can see with the intention of trying to injure him — and the big two that come to mind (Darren) Sharper and Bobby McCray — they’ve got to do something to those guys, too, whether it’s no Hall of Fame, whether it’s you’re not allowed to be associated with the NFL anymore.”

In another report, a Washington CBS affiliate claims Gregg Williams — then a Redskins defensive coach and now under suspension for instigating the bounty system — told his players in 2006, to go after Brad Johnson, the Vikings quarterback who had previously played for Washington.

“Gregg came in and dropped $15,000 on the (table) and said, ‘Brad Johnson doesn’t finish this game,’ ” the affiliate quotes an unidentified player.

Johnson wasn’t knocked from the game. The Vikings won.

So it’s confirmed. Not only are the Redskins a rotten football team. They were also rotten cheaters.

QUICK HITS

The L.A. Times reports Eagles coach Andy Reid wanted to make a play for Peyton Manning. Reid’s response to the report has been to say how much he loves having current quarterback Michael Vick. But he didn’t exactly deny wanting Manning. We can’t say; but use your imagination ... Former Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell is in an Orange County, Florida jail for failure to pay child support ... WR Jerricho Cotchery is talking to the Chiefs ... The Panthers signed linebacker Kenny Onatolu, who has been a special-teams stalwart for the Vikings ... After seven years in the NFL, Marion Barber is retiring. Barber came into the league as an explosive running back with the Cowboys and, in 2007, was named to the Pro Bowl. He scored 53 touchdowns, finishing his career with the Bears ... The Ravens finally got busy signing linebacker Jameel McClain, bringing back special-team star Brendon Ayanbadejo, and signing DB Corey Graham, formerly of the Bears.

SATURDAY IS YESTERDAY’S MAN FOR PEYTON

Peyton Manning won’t be getting all of the old gang back together in Denver after all.

The Broncos announced Friday they’d signed tight end Jacob Tamme, who had his best seasons playing with Manning in Indianapolis, to a three-year deal worth $9 million.

It was expected.

Unexpected was the announcement from Green Bay that they had signed Manning’s long-time centre Jeff Saturday. The two spent a dozen seasons together in Indianapolis. As well, long-time right tackle Ryan Diem, who protected Manning for 11 seasons, is retiring.

Colts owner Jim Irsay took to Twitter to announce the farewell. “ColtFans,met with Ryan D, big#71 in ur hearts n program, yesterday; he is going 2 retire, raise those new twins, we wish him happy alumnus status”

Another Colts offensive lineman, Mike Pollak, signed with Carolina.

Tamme had a breakout season in 2010, catching 67 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns.

In 2011, with Manning sidelined, Tamme’s production declined, to 19 catches for 177 yards and one touchdown.

The biggest surprise, however, is Saturday venturing to the Packers, where he replaces former starter Scott Wells, who signed with the Rams.


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