Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Associated Press
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Tim Tebow might add a new job title to an already lengthy list.
The do-it-all backup quarterback could see time at running back in the New York Jets' banged-up backfield Sunday against the New England Patriots.
"That's a possibility," Coach Rex Ryan said Thursday. "The thing about Tim -- with him being a football player like we've always talked about -- by playing quarterback, he knows all the positions. So can you plug him in at running back? Can you plug him in at tight end or whatever?
"I think the answer is yes."
The Jets are a bit short-handed at the position with backups Joe McKnight (sprained left ankle) and Bilal Powell (separated right shoulder) likely out for the game.
That leaves starter Shonn Greene and rookie Jonathan Grimes, who has yet to play, as the team's only running backs. Lex Hilliard is the remaining fullback after the Jets waived John Conner on Wednesday.
Tebow's role has been limited in his first season with the Jets, but he has carried the ball 18 times for 64 yards -- all on direct snaps as the team's wildcat quarterback or in the read-option package.
He has lined up at quarterback, tight end, wide receiver, fullback and running back at times throughout the season, creating the element of surprise for opponents.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said earlier in the week that Tebow is "really a running back" for the Jets, so Ryan's acknowledgement should hardly come as a surprise to him.
"He's a good runner, he's a strong runner, very strong," Belichick said Tuesday. "He's mobile in the pocket, smart player, he can do a lot of different things."
By having Tebow lined up behind Sanchez, they could keep the Patriots guessing:
Will Sanchez throw it? Will Sanchez hand it off to Tebow? Will Tebow throw it? Will Tebow get a direct snap and try to make a play?
"I would be ready for whatever I would be asked to do, absolutely," Tebow said Wednesday.