Ryan, Jets have plans for Tebow
Luck impressive in pro day effort
Each time Tim Tebow steps on the field for the Jets, defenses will know what to expect. The unexpected, of course.
The versatile quarterback was acquired Wednesday from the Broncos and will give the Jets’ offense a boost - for at least a few snaps a game.
“Instead of a team just preparing for our base offense, they will have to prepare for what we do and what we may do,’’ coach Rex Ryan said at LSU’s pro day Thursday in Baton Rouge, La.
Tebow won’t start as he did in Denver, not with New York committed to Mark Sanchez. But Tebow gives the Jets the option to run offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s wildcat offense - the one that confused teams while he was with the Dolphins - and provides an intriguing presence when games are on the line.
“He’ll fit our wildcat package,’’ said Ryan. “I know how hard it is to defend the wildcat. We can take it to another level with Tim. We will have things for Tebow each week.’’
“They want me to come in and compete and get better, and get better as a quarterback and to help the team any way possible,’’ Tebow said. “Whatever that role is, I will do my best every time I step on that field and give my heart and soul.’’
The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster - Sanchez, Tebow, Drew Stanton, and Greg McElroy. Stanton recently signed a $1.25 million, one-year contract but wants out with the addition of Tebow. The Jets are trying to trade Stanton.
Luck in the groove
Andrew Luck smiled, joked, and looked more comfortable than anybody in front of a jam-packed Stanford practice field for the school’s pro day.
Projected to go No. 1 overall to the Colts in the draft, Luck relished the spotlight as a dozen former Stanford players tried to impress about 125 NFL scouts and executives. The quarterback was helping his teammates shine, even if it meant bearing the elements on an unseasonably chilly day.
“I think I’m in a unique position. I feel very fortunate,’’ Luck said. “Obviously nothing is set in stone, but I should be drafted pretty high. Maybe a pro day is not going to hurt or help me as much as some other guys on our team. So I wanted to go out there and maybe show the strength of some of our receivers.’’
Luck completed 46 of 50 passes, and three of those incompletions were drops by his receivers, including a perfect 70-yard-plus spiral to Chris Owusu in the end zone - the final pass, requested by scouts to test Luck’s arm strength.
Spagnuolo a candidate
A person familiar with the situation said there are three candidates on the Saints staff to step in as interim coach: defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.
The league suspended Sean Payton for a year, general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six.
Senate gets involved
The Senate wants to grill the NFL about bounties. Senator Dick Durbin is setting up a Judiciary Committee hearing about bounties in pro football and other major sports in the wake of news that Saints players received cash for hits that hurt particular opponents.
The assistant Senate majority leader from Illinois said Thursday he wants to examine whether federal law should make such bounty systems a crime.
Bears sign Bush
The Bears agreed to a four-year contract with running back Michael Bush, who played four seasons for the Raiders, gaining 2,642 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and scoring 21 touchdowns . . . The Broncos added another target for Peyton Manning by signing free agent receiver Andre Caldwell. Caldwell spent the last four seasons with Cincinnati, where he caught 124 passes for 1,172 yards and six touchdowns . . . The Giants re-signed backup quarterback David Carr, who did not throw a pass in the team’s 2011 championship season . . . The Buccaneers signed free agent tackle Jamon Meredith to a two-year contract. Tampa Bay also has released defensive ends Tim Crowder and Nick Reed . . . Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who led the Lions in tackles last season with 111, re-signed with Detroit for five years . . . Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher signed his restricted tender, which will pay the former Maine star $1,972,000 in 2012 . . . The Panthers signed guard Mike Pollak to a one-year deal . . . DeMaurice Smith was re-elected NFL Players Association chief executive without opposition. The union will elect a new president Sunday; Kevin Mawae’s term has expired.