AFC's biggest coaching challenges

Managing Tim Tebow on and off the field will test Rex Ryan

Originally Published: July 26, 2012
By Herm Edwards | ESPN Insider

Training camp is the time for players to kick off the rust of the offseason. It's the time for fans to get a firsthand glimpse of their favorite team. And it's the time for the first challenges of a long season for NFL coaches. Players coming in out of shape. Veterans giving rookies a hard time. Guys not knowing the playbook. These are some of the concerns coaches deal with during training camp.

When I was coaching, I always expected five or six guys to go down with injuries that first day -- I just hoped it wasn't anything serious. There's nothing worse than losing a starter in training camp to a season-ending injury. But those are problems coaches can't control. There are plenty of things coaches can control, such as switching schemes, dealing with the media, controlling star players and making key personnel decisions.

While there are coaching challenges on every team, here are three of the biggest ones in the AFC: How do the New York Jets manage Tim Tebow on and off the field? When should Ryan Tannehill start for the Miami Dolphins? Can the Buffalo Bills fix their defense?

New York Jets: How do you manage Tim Tebow on and off the football field?

The Jets need to change how they run their offense with Tebow on the team. Overall, they have to get back to who they are, what they did prior to last season -- run the ball, play physical defense, take some shots when they have chances and play great special teams. That was their calling card for two years, and they got away from that last season.

Tebow is a versatile weapon who will keep defensive coordinators up at night. But that versatility comes at a cost. He'll be taking key touches away from the Jets' other offensive weapons. However, offensive players on the Jets need to realize this: Tebow was brought in to do a job. He's a good football player. Players can't worry about when Tebow is coming into the game. If they gripe about it, guess what I'd say: If you don't like it, you can stand over by me. This is my decision. That's why they hired me. That's why I'm the coach.


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