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New York Jets won't show Wildcat until Week 1


The third preseason game traditionally is when teams veer as close to a regular-season look as we're going to get before the real games begin.

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If the New York Jets wanted to roll out the Wildcat this August, Sunday's tilt against the Carolina Panthers loomed as a fitting laboratory, but don't hold your breath. Rex Ryan told Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger he won't unveil the Tim Tebow-heavy sub package before the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 9.

"Well, let's get them to prepare for it a little bit," Ryan said, half serious. "But I don't see us really running the Wildcat in the preseason."

Instead, it will be another four quarters of the -- up-to-now, deeply vanilla -- base offense led by Mark Sanchez and friends. Rex confirmed Sanchez will play "into the third quarter," leaving Tebow to finish it out. (And Greg McElroy to fidget nervously, somewhere in the distance.)

Maybe Ryan's holding onto something special. Maybe the Jets explode onto the scene against the Bills, but we've seen nothing to suggest it this summer. Sanchez and Tebow have been two sides of the same coin, struggling to complete passes or generate points. The offensive line is in search of itself. Shonn Greene and the running game haven't exactly blown the doors off, and the lack of depth at the skill positions is concerning.

The Wildcat offense hasn't saved teams from these problems before, so it's a stretch to characterize the gimmick as some secret weapon being handcrafted in Florham Park. The to-do list for the Jets runs much deeper.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.