Former Jets QB coach: We didn't use Tim Tebow enough

Technically, Tim Tebow is still on the Jets' roster. But the reality is that, if the team can't trade him in the coming weeks, they'll likely release him. Who knows what Tebow's NFL future holds, but another former member of the organization has weighed in on his first-hand experience with Tebow Time in the Big Apple.

Former Jets quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh told Chicago reporters on Thursday that Tebow, the former Broncos first-round pick who was traded to the Jets last March, should've played more in 2012.

"I think one of the things that you’ve got to be sure about when you do it is that -- why doesn’t New England do it? Why doesn’t Denver do it? Why doesn’t New Orleans do it?" Cavanaugh, who was recently hired as the Bears' quarterbacks coach, said via "They don’t want to take those [quarterbacks] off the field.

"We were probably less [convinced] about how much we wanted to get [Mark] Sanchez off the field to do that," Cavanaugh continued. "So it was something we toyed with. But to be fair to Tim, we didn’t use it enough to let him be productive in it. So you better be sure when you decide to do it."

The big reveal, then, is that the Jets had no real plan when they acquired Tebow, despite the super top-secret training camp nonsense about not wanting to show off the wildcat for fear of tipping off opponents about this new-fangled, high-powered contraption passing for an offense.

At the time, then-offensive coordinator Tony Sparano explained the decision to keep the wildcat under wraps like this:

"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. “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, OK? It's a month.”

The thing is, Sparano wasn't kidding. Everybody -- even people with a passing interest in football -- had little trouble deciphering a Jets' Mickey Mouse scheme that will be best remembered for the Butt Fumble.

And even though Tebow was wholly underwhelming on the rare occasions when he was allowed on the field, Cavanaugh insists that his playing time wasn't a reflection of poor practice performances.

"No, it had nothing to do with that," the coach said. "I won’t even ... that’s the past. Wherever he’s at next, I think he’s a good football player. I hope he gets a chance to play more."

Good news: according to recently fired Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Tebow will succeed "as a pro quarterback or die trying." Of course, one of the reasons that Tannenbaum is out of a job is because of his inability to find the Jets a legit franchise QB.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories