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Santonio Holmes, Who Plays For An NFL Team With Two Quarterbacks, Says A Two-Quarterback System Can’t Exist In The NFL
Despite the media bonanza that was Tim Tebow’s arrival in New York City, Mark Sanchez appears to be the Jets’ undisputed starting quarterback heading into the 2012 NFL season. Still, there are logistical questions that arise when a team signs a guy who started most of Denver’s games last year — and won most of those games. Namely: Will he start for you? Can you implement him into the offense alongside the other quarterback you have, the one you’re paying a lot of money? Can you go to a two-quarterback system? Can a two-quarterback system, which only a handful of college teams use, even work on the professional level?
That last question was posed to Jets receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday night during an interview with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano. Holmes did a great job dancing around Tebow questions, but didn’t mince words when it came to the possibility of a two-quarterback system. (He was absolutely right in what he said, by the way). We’ll get to those comments in a second. First: the dancing.
Rex Ryan’s comments a few months ago suggest that Tebow will primarily run the wildcat, but the amount of snaps he takes could be anywhere from one to twenty, depending on the week. Siciliano tried to get a clearer idea of what to expect from Holmes, who had this to say.
“He’s gonna be a football player. He’s gonna get an opportunity to make plays for the team.”
Siciliano stopped him quickly, again trying to get a real answer.
“What does that mean?” Siciliano asked, laughing.
“It says a lot,” said Holmes. “Because he has the “quarterback tag.” But, in all actuality and respect, Tim Tebow is a football player. The things that he did while he was at the University of Florida; all he did was win ballgames. Whether he was throwing the ball, he was running it, he made plays. He came to the NFL and all he did was, make a few plays and help win very big ballgames when people counted him out. And I think he’s gonna be that same guy coming to New York. It’s to help fulfill the role of us winning more than eight games.”
Siciliano gave it one more shot, digging a little deeper this time.
“You say football player, Rex a couple of months ago says maybe 20 plays a game, we don’t know. I mean, it could be five, it could be 20, it could be special teams, it could be whatever.
Can a two-quarterback system, even if it’s five plays, can that work in the NFL?”
Holmes didn’t hesitate with his answer.
“No. No, I don’t think so. You have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of the game. It starts from the preparation in practice, knowing the first couple of plays that he’s going to take these reps. It’s getting a feel for coming onto the field with the crowd awaiting you. It’s the making the mistakes early in the game to finishing the games at the end. You don’t just change a guy out just because he has a few mistakes early in a game.”
“I think coming into this season that we have a lot to expect from Sanchez.”
Then, he elaborated a bit on Tebow’s exact role.
“Tebow’s going to have plays where he comes in and plays,” Holmes said. “Whether he plays at quarterback, Sanchez is on the field or off the field, those are the plays that Coach has designed for Tebow to run that week. I’m pretty sure he’s going to get them done and he’s going to do his job just as well as any other quarterback would when they get an opportunity to get on the field.”
So, what does this all mean?
Well, as I said, Rex Ryan’s comments suggest that Sanchez is the undisputed starting quarterback. And people that have watched football agree. However, Ryan’s comments also suggest that Tebow will play a significant role as the Wildcat quarterback, whether Sanchez will be on the field with him or not. These could be innovative formations with a chance of either of them throwing the ball, ones where Tebow has pass-run options, or simple Tebow runs, Ronnie Brown-style.
Holmes’ comments shed a bit of light on the whole situation. We don’t know how often the Wildcat will be used, or how it will be used, exactly. We won’t know until each game day. His words suggest that Tebow won’t rotate in and out with Sanchez at quarterback. This seems likely to hold true.
As it stands, Sanchez will start. But Tebow has such rabid supporters, and it seems that Ryan and Holmes both have respect for Tebow’s quarterbacking abilities (or at least they’re acting that way publicly). So if Sanchez struggles early and the fans start to get restless, don’t be shocked if a change was made.
Would that be the right play? Not necessarily. But these are the Jets, after all, and they tend to bend to the every whim of their fanbase and make reactionary, attention-grabbing moves. You know, attention-grabbing moves like signing Tim Tebow.
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