For those of you that are more advanced in your football knowledge, I'm surprised no one is really talking about this. I see some of you talking about how he "looks improved" from last year, but nobody is really even pointing out why. It doesn't really look "better" so much as it is something most are more accustomed to seeing: a quarterback who drops back and then passes from under center versus being in shotgun.
Against the Bengals Tebow ran 20+ plays from under center, something that has always been a big point of criticism against him, including from former coach John Fox who stated last year Tebow would be screwed in a traditional NFL offense. Friday's offense was vanilla and generic no doubt, but it was a "traditonal" NFL offense.
For those that may not know the difference I'll try my best to give a brief description. The rest of yous can skip the next 2 paragraphs. In "traditional" NFL offenses the quarterbacks are usually asked to take snaps from "under center", whereas college offenses, and today's more modern NFL offenses, are putting quarterbacks in some sort of "shotgun" position, anywhere from 3-7 steps back(shotgun, pistol, etc).
The reason "traditional" or "conventional" NFL offenses were considered harder was because it required quarterbacks to perfect their footwork and timing, when "dropping back" 3, 5, or 7 steps then throwing, while at the same time going through their progressions(checking to see which receivers are open). In a college style spread option, the quarterback is already 3-5 steps back, which gives him more time to survey the field, and also has the option of running with the football if he can. Tebow is known for being able to run the spread option, so what we saw friday, was basically a fish out of water but it seemed to me the fish was learning how to swim.
Personally I feel today, more and more NFL offenses are including shotgun and spread as their base offense so the argument of a "traditional" NFL offense is kind of overrated anyway. Having said that, I thought he looked pretty good even under center, and despite hearing guys like Skip Bayless criticizing the Jets today for not letting him run the spread option, I like the fact they are teaching him how to take snaps from under center and letting him grow as a quarterback during preseason.
While I do believe that Tebow will have most success running a spread option offense, and that's what he'll most likely run more often in the regular season, I like that the Jets are helping him improve his skill set now when little is on the line. He also had 2 scrambles from under center, but it should be noted, his biggest one, the 14-yarder did come out of the shotgun.
The thought of Tebow alternating between under-center and shotgun, to keep defenses guessing, while still maintaining his ability to be a rushing threat out of both is very exciting. Because while some teams may begin expecting the spread option or "wildcat", which is hard to stop to begin with, a refined Tebow lining up under center and dropping back to pass...will create even more headaches for defenses.
In other words, so far I believe all we have seen is the weakest part of what this Jets offense will be and Tebow's game. It really was nothing but practice and training and showcasing the fact that Tebow can drop back and pass.
Just thought I'd point this out.