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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 08/07/2012

Jets scrap again; Tebow doesn’t take Esiason’s bait (updated)


The presence of the guy on the right, Tim Tebow, isn’t an issue for the guy on the left, Mark Sanchez, and the New York Jets, no matter what Boomer Esiason says. (Bill Kostroun / AP)
Updated at 1:05 p.m. with Ryan comment

Boomer Esiason thinks signing Tim Tebow was a terrible, horrible mistake of epic proportions by the New York Jets. Tim Tebow is turning the other cheek, as he always does with criticism. And the Jets? While their owner defended the acquisition, they scrapped some more in this morning’s practice and were vigorously punished by Coach Rex Ryan.

“If I was the Jets you want to know what I would do? I would cut Tim Tebow. I really would,” the former quarterback said Monday on WFAN’s “Boomer and Carton Show.” “I'm telling you right now I would, and I'll tell you why I would: it's just not in any way, shape or form benefiting this team. I just don't see how it benefits this team.

“I just think this whole thing — at least from my perspective right now in relation to who Mark Sanchez is, your starting quarterback — is a major mistake.”

Tebow has heard this a time or two in his career and has a ready answer, one forged in his devout religious beliefs: “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason,” he said (via the Jets). “I know he was a great player here, and I just wish him nothing but the best in his announcing and God bless him.”

Esiason added that Tebow has “played some of the worst football that any quarterback has ever played in the history of the game,” another bit of bait that Tebow wasn’t taking.

“I’ve pretty much heard a lot of it,” Tebow said. “From when I was in high school, when they said I couldn’t be a high school quarterback, when I was in college and my first year they told me ‘You’ll never play quarterback,’ and then ‘You can never win a championship,’ and ‘You’ll never play in the NFL.’ I’ve heard a lot of it and I just continue to use that as motivation and when I get my opportunities, try to make the most of them, just be the person that I am and not let that get me too excited or too down, but just be who I am and go out there and work as hard as I can every day and try and improve and be the best football player-quarterback that I can be.”

Woody Johnson, the Jets’ owner, said Tuesday morning at camp that he was “surprised a little bit” by the “enormity” of the coverage Tebow attracts and disagrees with Esiason. “I think Tim is going to be a valuable part of team moving forward,” he said (via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News).

The Jets were mixing it up in practice this morning and provoked a profanity-laced tirade from Ryan. Players had to run gassers as punishment and, no surprise, Tebow won the races to the sideline. (See Mehta’s video here.) Two days of training camp skirmishes doesn’t indicate that the Jets are undisciplined, Ryan says. Oh, no.

“Everyone has a right to their opinion...no matter how wrong they are.”

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