Tim Tebow officially joined the New York Jets today, then won over media members in a press conference that drew a horde more suitable for a Super Bowl than the introduction of a back-up quarterback.
But Tebow isn’t just any back-up quarterback.
First, the matter of incumbent Mark Sanchez: “I think the exciting thing is that me and Mark have a great relationship,” Tebow said. “We’ve been friends the past three years and have already texted back and forth. We are going to have a great working relationship and I think we’ll have a lot of fun together. ... I have a lot of respect for him as a football player and a person. I think we’ll have a great working relationship. ... I think Mark is very secure as a football player and as a person.”
He’d better be, even though Tebow was disarming in his upbeat, confident comments. With Jets bosses and Coach Rex Ryan attending NFL owners’ meetings in Florida, Tebow was on his own against the New York media and was only too happy to blame the suits for being trotted out to meet the press. “I have bosses, too, and they wanted me to stand up here and talk to you all,” Tebow said, “so I can blame them.”
Ryan said that Tebow is a “football player” and will be used at many positions, but Tebow left no doubt that he wants to be a quarterback. Although he said, “however I can help the team, I am open to it,” he also said he will try to “expand the role” he is given. “I play better when I have more on the line.”
Tebow did not mention his strong Christian beliefs until about 20 minutes into the 32-minute event. “I’ve never been ashamed of it,” he said of his faith. “I’m pretty sure I’m not the first athlete who has gotten on a knee and prayed, but it’s known as ‘Tebowing.’ I’m not sure why.”
Tebow failed to win over one critic, though. Joe Namath, the team’s Hall of Fame quarterback, said he’d changed his mind “slightly” about the Tebow, but that he didn’t think it ultimately think the trade for him would be very successful. “I think he’s going to help the team possibly but at the end of the day, no I don’t think it’s going to be a positive move, not in the long run,” Namath said in a Fox Business Network interview. “I am hoping it is, but until Tebow learns to improve his passing game, I don’t think [Santonio] Holmes is going to be happy, the wide receivers. There’s not one NFL team that’s used this kind of formation that hasn’t been suffering offensively. You’re gonna take your best player, your quarterback off the field, or one of your best guys and substitute and that’s showing a weakness right there.”
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