Tim Tebow is excited and Mark Sanchez isn’t worried. Such is the state of the New York Jets Quarterback Controversy — the first of 2012 — today.
“We’re adding another player and we’re not replacing anybody,” Sanchez said in a conference call after Tebow drew over 200 reporters to a press conference at which he introduced himself (the Jets’ brass was attending NFL owners meetings) as the backup quarterback. “I mean, he’s here to help us and I’m confident in my abilities. I know the team feels the same way about me. They have belief in me. ... I’m not worried about losing my spot.”
Sanchez skipped the press conference, carried live by ESPN, in order to work out and throw. “I heard he did a pretty good job. How did he do?”
Pretty snarky comment by a guy who has been conspicuously silent since the Jets made the trade for Tebow. “I just wanted to let the dust kind of settle,” Sanchez said Monday. “Let him do his press conference, welcome him to the team, and then give my comments at the right time. It was no slight on Tim at all.”
But Coach Rex Ryan “doesn’t see Tim just holding a clipboard. He is going to be playing for us. There is no doubt.” And that means things are likely to get interesting.
Tebow tamped down any idea that he’s going after Sanchez’s job, but clearly wants to be the starting quarterback. Athletes are like that.
“Mark is very secure as a football player and as a person in who he is,” Tebow said in an ESPN interview, “and I don’t think he’s going to let outsiders affect how he goes about his preparation and how he plays.”
In Denver, fans clamored for Tebow to be the starter when Kyle Orton struggled, putting up billboards around the city. There’s already one Tebow billboard on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel...
“That stuff happens whether you’re Tim Tebow or not,” Sanchez said. “They call for the backup any time you’re not playing to your potential, so that’s just part of the job if you’re not playing well.”
Sanchez drew a significant outside endorsement Monday from Joe Montana, who knows about quarterback controversies himself. “Mark is a better player right now and that’s it,” he said in an email to Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. “As long as Mark believes in himself and plays, it’s not an issue. It’s more of an issue for those of you who write, or blog or tweet and all the other methods of delivering content.”
Sanchez and Tebow go back to Sanchez’s days at USC, when he was a host during Tebow’s recruiting visit to the school.
“He’s been great to be around,” Sanchez said. “He’s almost one of those guys who’s such a good guy, people don’t want to believe it, like there’s no such thing as that good of a guy, but he really is. He’s a great player, great competitor and he’s going to be a great teammate.”
So, nothing more to see here.
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