It's almost time for the New York Jets to unveil their new-look Wildcat offense. In a preseason period during which offensive coordinator Tony Sparano showcased a water-downed and unimaginative attack, it seems as though the coaching staff is ready to take the training wheels off and put Tim Tebow's talents to full use.
"Sure we're going to run some Wildcat, there's no doubt," Ryan told reporters on Monday.
Gang Green kept its Wildcat under wraps throughout its exhibition contests, determined to wait until the regular season to let it loose. With Week One of the NFL season nearly upon us, Ryan defended his coordinator's decision to withhold the unconventional system.
"I guess we never appeased whoever by not putting him out there," remarked Ryan of not letting Tebow run Wildcat plays during preseason. "If that added to it, that wasn't our intent. Our intent was there's no sense showing it right now in the preseason, just like I'm sure a lot of teams are saving specific things for their openers. We're not different than a lot of teams doing that."
While Sparano and crew are busily preparing gadget plays and deceptive formations for Sunday afternoon's contest, Ryan understands that Buffalo and its staff will be geared up for anything the Jets throw its way.
"In fact, this team will probably be as prepared to face the Wildcat as any team we'll face with the fact that David Lee is there," admitted Ryan of Buffalo's plan to defend the Jets' Tebow-led offense. "(David Lee is) their quarterback coach, (an) outstanding quarterback coach, he's the guy that really brought (the Wildcat) to Tony (Sparano), helped Tony put the Wildcat in this league."
New York is 2-1 in season openers under Ryan, but its sluggish offensive performance during preseason raised red flags in the minds of many experts across the league. With the Jets' starters still in search of their first offensive touchdown, their head coach will take a victory anyway he can get it.
"It's all about getting one more point than the opponent and that's it," said Ryan of the Jets upcoming game with the Bills. "If that means we don't score a touchdown and we still win, we'll be happy and the Jet fans will be happy."
The Jets are hardly hitting their stride offensively, joining the 1977 Atlanta Falcons as the only two teams not to reach the end zone in three full preseason games. Despite the offense's struggles, Ryan is convinced that his unit is in the right frame of mind with its first game just around the corner.
"All that work that you've done, all the work that the players have done, the lifting, all the meetings and things, it's for this," mentioned Ryan of his team's preparation for opening day. "It's not to win a preseason game, it's to be at your very best when the regular season starts."
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
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