Tebow’s arm better than advertised

Tebow drops back to throw against the Bengals in the preseason opener.
JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES

The knock on Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow has always been that he isn’t technically sound.

Sure, the former Broncos quarterback makes plays with his feet when the pocket collapses, but Tebow has never been known as a passer. All that might be changing and his chemistry with rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill is proof.

On Monday afternoon, Hill split cornerback Kyle Wilson and safety Antonio Allen to connect on a deep downfield pass from Tebow that turned into a 59-yard touchdown. Then on Tuesday night during the Jets open practice at MetLife Stadium, Hill made another long connection with Tebow, pushing aside cornerback Julian Posey in the process. Both passes were right where the receiver could make a play.

“He throws a great ball. It gets there. It is a great ball, definitely,” Hill told Metro. “I’m not surprised at all. Since I’ve been practicing with him, it’s looked great. It is a really great throw.”

While Hill has also has connected with starter Mark Sanchez, including on the first play of training camp when the rookie fought off All-Pro Darrelle Revis for a spectacular grab, the connection with Tebow has been stronger.

“I wish I knew why. When I got the chance to be in there with him, we seem to click,” Hill said. “We just go out there and work on it and each day it gets better.”

Need a sign that Tebow is better than advertised? On Tuesday night, the quarterbacks put a yellow trash can in the corner of the end zone and tried to drop a pass into the bucket from 25 yards away. It took several minutes of close calls, including Tebow rimming the bucket on four occasions, but a player billed as the Wildcat quarterback was the first to make the rainbow pass that went in.

Tebow pointed toward heaven after his winning pass, while starter Mark Sanchez’s shoulders drooped.

The crowd erupted in cheers, perhaps surprised that a quarterback not known for his arm had displayed such passing proficiency.

Jets notes

» Much-maligned right tackle Wayne Hunter did not attend Tuesday night’s practice. Head coach Rex Ryan said he was excused for “a personal thing.” Ryan said the reason wasn’t because Hunter, who gave up three sacks on Saturday night, would be booed by the fans at the open practice at the Meadowlands

» Calvin Pace was absent from practice, getting his wisdom tooth pulled.

» Ryan said wide receiver Chaz Schilens, out with an ankle injury, likely won’t play Sunday night against the Panthers.

» Hill, who has an injured finger on his right hand, is doing fine. “Just need to keep taping it up,” Hill told Metro.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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