Friday, September 28, 2012

A 49ers Fan's Guide to the TebowCat Offense

One of the most talked about transactions leading up to the 2012 season was the Jets acquiring Tim Tebow from Denver.  The amount of media attention this received is a little over the top to put it mildly, especially when you consider that of the 193 offensive plays the Jets have run so far, Tebow has lined up at QB for a grand total of 13 of them, or 6.7%.

Nevertheless in the run up to this weekends 49ers matchup with the Jets the TebowCat offense was brought up during Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio's press conference.  The question was asked, "What does it consist of and how serious of a threat do you have to take it?"

In an effort to help you be the most knowledgeable fan, whether at the game, or watching it on TV here are the things you need to know about the TebowCat.

For starters of the 13 plays run so far out of the TebowCat, only 1 has been a pass.  The key to knowing what is coming is to watch for motion.  If they do not motion the play is a Read Option.

If they do motion, it will be Fly motion in to the side that the RB next to Tebow is on.  So far this season, every time they have utilized motion that was the direction of the play.  When this occurs the play will be either A) fly sweep to Joe McKnight/Bilal Powell B) Tebow will keep it and follow the Fly motion on an outside sweep or C) Tebow and the man in motion will run option.

The only exception to this key occurred last week against the Dolphins when the Jets were in the Red Zone.  On this play they ran Fly motion to the right as described above, however Tebow bootlegged to his left, where he had a 1 man route with the TE running an out in the end zone.  A very simple concept to defend if the backside defenders stick to their responsibilities.

To this point the TebowCat is very telegraphed, however as with anything, the TebowCat can be very dangerous if the defense does not maintain their responsibilities.

When you are watching the game on Sunday keep these keys in the back of the head and tell those that are sitting with you what the play is before it starts.  You will look like a football god.


  1. Jack, did you notice the plays where they've lined Tebow up as a WR? I predict, maybe in this game, the Jets will run the end around off that line-up, Tebow ending up with the ball, looking for someone open downfield.

  2. Good point Rib. I did, but for this post was only focusing on how the Jets use him in the Wildcat. That is a good call, and possibility. He just looks lost out there when lined up somewhere other than corner.