Things were supposed to look a lot different for the New York Jets’ offense.
There’s a new coordinator in Tony Sparano, a rededication to a run-first approach and the addition of the elusive and electrifying Tim Tebow.
So far, this year’s Jets look a lot like last year’s – and that’s not a good thing. At all.
“It’s the second preseason game,” quarterback Mark Sanchez said, trying to ease everyone’s fears. “It’s not time to hit the panic button. You have to improve and learn from this stuff. I know we can do it.”
But now they’ve got to show it. Through two preseason games, the Jets (0-2) have failed to score a touchdown, with their nine points coming on three field goals.
“I don’t think you can get frustrated,” Tebow said. “We haven’t even played a real game.”
Sanchez has been knocked around, much as he was last season, with a serious lack of pass protection that has led to him being sacked five times and prevented him from having time to do much of anything.
It wasn’t just him. Tebow was also visibly upset with the offensive line Saturday night in the Jets’ 26-3 loss to the Giants after taking one of his four sacks.
Tebow has yet to be the spark that was expected, save for one drive Saturday night that led to the team’s only points. But the NFL’s most popular backup quarterback could’ve gotten the crowd fired up when he spotted a wide-open Stephen Hill in the end zone on second-and-20 from the 29. Instead, Tebow short-hopped the throw, waved his hand as if telling Hill he should’ve come to the ball, and it was another opportunity lost.
“I mean, clearly we have to get more production in the regular season than we’ve gotten in these two preseason games,” coach Rex Ryan said. “There is no doubt. But I’m 100 percent sure when we kick it off for real, we will have more production.
“There’s absolutely no doubt about that.”
The starters for the Jets probably will play about three quarters next Sunday night against Carolina, and then will sit until the season opener against Buffalo. That means there’s not much time to start feeling positive about things.
“This is our last chance,” Sanchez said. “We need to play well. We need to put our best foot forward in this last dress rehearsal for Buffalo and I’m confident with a week of prep, our guys will be ready.”
Tempering concerns is the knowledge Sanchez is playing with essentially half an offense. Three of his top receiving threats – Santonio Holmes (rib, back), Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) and Chaz Schilens (ankle) – are out with injuries.
The Jets have also shown very little flavor in an offense that was expected to be, in Ryan’s words, “vanilla with some sprinkles” against the Giants. In other words, Sparano has not yet unleashed the wildcat-style scheme with Tebow that Ryan has warned opposing defenses they will have to prepare for.
Chiefs’ Lewis out ‘a bit of time’ with shoulder
Chiefs starting safety Kendrick Lewis is out with a right shoulder injury he suffered early in the Chiefs’ preseason loss to the St. Louis Rams on Saturday night. Lewis was helping to make a tackle when he appeared to hurt his shoulder, and he immediately left the game.
Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said Sunday that Lewis will miss “a bit of time,” but did not provide details on the injury or a more definitive timetable.
Lewis is expected to wear a sling for several more days before starting a rehab program, but Crennel said the two-year starter is not considered a candidate for injured reserve.
Raiders’ Curry still out with injured knees
Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen says linebacker Aaron Curry is running out of time to get back on the practice field from his injured knees in time to start the season opener.
Curry is back with the team after spending last week in Los Angeles getting his injured knees examined. He worked out on the side before watching most of practice Sunday for the Raiders.
Curry was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of camp. Allen said he won’t be taken off until he is able to change directions at full speed.