Rex Ryan peppered with Tebow questions as Jets open camp

 Tim Tebow and head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets look on from the sidelines against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Getty Images
Tim Tebow and head coach Rex Ryan look on from the sidelines against the Patriots on Nov. 22, 2012.
Credit: Getty Images

News that Tim Tebow — former Jets backup quarterback, former personal punt protector and former distraction — was headed to Foxboro to sign with the Patriots was greeted by his old team with praise for the quarterback’s work ethic and character but little else.

Head coach Rex Ryan had nothing but positives to say about a player who had a minimal impact on the field last year but created a firestorm off of it.

Ryan poked a bit of fun at the move, as Tebow is not guaranteed to make the New England roster beyond this week’s minicamp and he could well start the season behind future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett on the depth chart.

“If they want to replace him with Brady, that’s fine,” Ryan said.

Tebow came to the Jets last year in a March trade with the Broncos and his new team promised to utilize him in a variety of ways. But he produced little on the field. He threw just eight passes last year and was never on the field as the quarterback in their conventional offense. It was thought that the Jets’ utilization of him last year — or lack thereof — might damage his prospects of signing with another team after he was released shortly after the NFL Draft this past April.

Reports even indicated that his management were prepared for him to never play in the NFL again. His former coach isn’t surprised Tebow got picked up by another team.

“It’s not surprising to me that Tim got picked up. Obviously as I’ve said before, a tremendous young man, very competitive,” Ryan said. “I’m happy for him. I look forward to competing against him.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for live updates and photos throughout minicamp this week.


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