Photo: Mr. Usaji, FlickrBY NICK ST. DENIS
The New York Jets are getting hounded with questions about the Wildcat for two reasons: One, they practiced it for the first time in training camp Monday, and two, because Tim Tebow is involved.
Gang Green implemented the supplementary scheme half a decade ago, using all-purpose player Brad Smith, who is now a Buffalo Bill, and speedy specialist Leon Washington, now a Seattle Seahawk, to anchor it.
But the Miami Dolphins, led by now-Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, ran the Wildcat more than anyone in that span. Jets coach Rex Ryan compared New York's 2012 Wildcat campaign with Sparano's pre-2011.
"Well, Ronnie Brown was tremendous," Jets coach Rex Ryan told the media Monday. "He was absolutely tremendous at running the football and they’re (Brown and Tebow) both left handed. It’s just that Tebow throws the ball better.
"I think that’s the big difference between him and Ronnie is he throws it better. Now, Ronnie probably runs the ball a little better than Tim, but Tim can throw the ball better. With Ronnie, you were really defending the run. He did burn some people on the pass, but you were really concentrating on the run, where with Tim you’re going to have to defend both."
Ryan remembers Sparano's Wildcat activity very well, as the Dolphins ripped through the Jets' defense in the teams' first meeting of 2009, Ryan's first year with Gang Green.
"The first time we ever played Miami we struggled stopping the Wildcat. Then at the end of the day we couldn’t stop anything," Ryan said. "That was the day I said the quarterback looked like Dan Marino. He had the highest quarterback rating I think of any of them. We play against [Tom] Brady twice a year, Peyton Manning, all of them. I think that kid had the highest quarterback rating, [Chad] Henne did, of any quarterback that I can remember going against the Jets.
"It’s just one of those things. It’s a body blow. You’re trying to stop it, you’re working on it, you’re working on it and then something else goes wrong. So hopefully that will be the case here."
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