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Jets would face risk with Tebow in punt protector role

When the New York Jets acquired Tim Tebow, Rex Ryan made a special point to describe the quarterback as "a football player."

That we already knew, but Ryan's larger message was that the team planned to use him in different roles.

"I don't see Tim just holding a clipboard," the coach said.

Case in point: ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that the Jets have told Tebow they plan to use him on special teams as the punt protector. NFL Network's Albert Breer later confirmed the report, adding that the role would give opponents another element to account for in dealing with the Jets punt team, and special teams coach Mike Westhoff has always been creative in using personnel.

As Matt Bowen of NationalFootballPost.com astutely pointed out, the "pp" makes the majority of tackles in punt coverage.

Tebow has the size, speed and intangibles to succeed in this role, but aren't the Jets asking for trouble having their backup to Mark Sanchez sprinting down the field on punts like a mad man?

Yeah, yeah, Tebow is a football player. But he's also slotted into the most important backup position on the roster. The Jets would be wise to handle with relative care.

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