On Saturday, the Patriots became the second team in six months to part ways with Tim Tebow. Last offseason, after Tebow led the Broncos to a division title and a playoff win over the Steelers, he was shipped to the Jetswhere he was supposed to magically fix an offense that was worse than anyone expected.
Turns out, part of the problem in New York had nothing to do with Tebow and everything to do with then-offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
"Sparano didn't know the Wildcat from the Cat in the Hat," ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini wrote Saturday shortly after Tebow was cut by the Patriots. "He barely practiced it in training camp, he didn't use it in preseason games and he didn't know how to use it when the games mattered."
That would go a long way in explaining why the team wanted to keep the offense under wraps last preseason -- they didn't want anyone to know that the Wildcat was never a serious consideration.
“For me to go there and put something out on the field and give somebody a month to prepare for it, I mean, a month,” Sparano said in August 2012. “Again, I mean no disrespect but you guys (reporters) can figure that out in a month. I might have a chance to figure your job out in a month, okay? It's a month.”
Here's the irony, via Cimini:
"The current coaching staff actually has a clue. It's planning to run the Wildcat with running back Bilal Powell and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, and it may incorporate read-option into the attack with quarterback Geno Smith. New quarterbacks coach David Lee, not Sparano, is the true pioneer of the Wildcat. Under Lee and (new offensive) coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, the Jets have developed a novel concept: They actually run these plays in practice and in games."
So could things have turned out differently for Tebow if the Jets actually had someone who knew what they were doing running the offense?
Maybe, if only because things couldn't have gotten worse. That said, the Tebow we saw this offseason with the Patriots -- where he was reunited with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels -- didn't look much different from the quarterback we watched struggle with accuracy and reading defenses in Denver and New York.
Or, to quote CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco: "All the hard work in the world, and Tebow brings that, won't cover up the fact that Tebow doesn't process the football information fast enough. … That style of quarterback doesn't work [in the NFL]."