FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Matt Cavanaugh has worked with lots of quarterbacks over the years. None have been anything like Tim Tebow.
"It's been a learning experience for me," the New York Jets quarterbacks coach said Thursday. "Being around Tim and hearing about some of the other things he's done and what he's capable of doing, it's pretty exciting."
Cavanaugh, a former NFL backup quarterback himself, used a version of the wildcat at times with current Eagles running back LeSean McCoy when the coach was the offensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh from 2005-08. But Tebow's versatility and background as a playmaking quarterback is something completely different.
"It adds another dimension to coaching a quarterback when you talk about some of the things he can run," said Cavanaugh, who addressed the media for the first time this season. "We play around with it each week, put a little package together and decide if we need to use it."
Cavanaugh has talked to Tebow about his much-debated mechanics, but thinks it is something that has been "overanalyzed." He prefers to keep their conversations private.
He did acknowledge that he was on board with bringing in Tebow because "he's a football player who can help us win games," and the team is figuring out the best way for him to help the Jets.
Cavanaugh also had no concerns about how starter Mark Sanchez would handle the arrival of Tebow when the Jets traded for the popular backup in March.
"On the surface, wherever Tim showed up, there was going to be a stir because of his persona," Cavanaugh said. "But I think Mark's got enough confidence in himself and his game ... and he didn't tell me this, but I'm going to assume that he's human and there was probably some trepidation. I think he knows that he's a damn good quarterback, and he welcomed Tim. And, he wasn't phony about it."
Cavanaugh had a brief discussion with Sanchez after Tebow arrived, but "I could tell in his heart" that Sanchez was excited about having him as a teammate.
Sanchez is coming off a season in which he set career highs in several statistical categories, but also turned the ball over 26 times and didn't progress as many expected him to in his third year.