20 September 2008

Tim Tebow's "Jump Pass" is Like the Wishbone in the 60s

I just watched Tim Tebow score a touchdown against Tennessee, and he did it with a variation of the "jump pass" from last year. The pass looks for all the world like a weak basketball move, and I think when Tebow "invented" it, it was a totally improvised back-yard football move.

Tebow's 1st Jump Pass

The cool thing about this is that Urban Myer was smart enough to see its effectiveness and construct an actual play around it. Tebow, who's such a threat to run already, heads up toward the line of scrimmage and pulls the defensive secondary up into run support. It's the greatest play-action fake in the history of football, if you think about it. There aren't any reasons not to think he's going to try to punch it in the end zone.

And then what does he do? He continues him momentum forward, pulls the ball out, and makes a jump shot into the end zone. The secondary doesn't have a chance to react. Tebow doesn't stop and plant his feet. He doesn't pull out the ball out and strike that ubiquitous upper-body pose for throwing the football.

It's, as I said, a perfect fake that is really hard to defend against. Your secondary has to trust in the D-line and backers not to just charge into run support. Only a good, disciplined, stay-at-home defense is going to diffuse that play. There aren't too many of those defenses around these days, so expect to see more and more QBs trying this out. And since there aren't too many QBs around with the athletecism of Tebow, also look for some painfully inept versions of this coming to a TV screen near you.

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