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Sanchez, Tebow fail to connect

This news story was published on September 24, 2012.
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By J.P. Pelzman, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) –

MIAMI — Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow often have talked about how they have become fast friends off the field despite the Jets’ unusual situation at quarterback.

But maybe their communication on the field could be a little better.

On third-and-3 from the Jets’ 27 in the third quarter of their eventual 23-20 overtime victory over Miami, Sanchez tried to throw to Tebow in the right flat. The ball went off Tebow’s helmet when he failed to turn around in time.

“I was not expecting it that quick,” Tebow said, “but I guess I’ll learn.”

However, Sanchez blamed himself.

“It probably wasn’t the best read,” he said. “I think they covered it better than I thought. Going through it in my head, probably not the best read.”

It was one of 11 plays during the game in which Tebow and Sanchez were on the field at the same time. Tebow also had three snaps as a Wildcat quarterback.

“I was in a lot of different places, all over the place,” Tebow said, “trying to give (the Dolphins) a lot of different looks. We didn’t know how they’d play it. We were in the huddle, and they’d see both of us (quarterbacks) or they’d see one of us. … It was just a little game-planning.”

But Tebow’s tangible contribution came in his other role as personal punt protector. On fourth-and-3 from the Jets’ 25 in the second quarter, the Jets faked a punt for the first time this season. Tebow bulled 5 yards for a first down and the drive eventually resulted in a field goal.

“It’s definitely gratifying,” Tebow said. “I was hoping we’d run another one later in the game, but they were playing it safe the whole game.”

Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff said it was a “special formation” and that Tebow had the option to check out of it if the Dolphins had lined up in a formation unfavorable to the Jets’ chances.

And it likely won’t be the last fake, as Westhoff made clear.

“I’ll come up with something else before I get back to New York, I promise you,” he said before leaving the stadium.

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