When the Jets traded for Tim Tebow on March 21, there was plenty of talk
about incumbent starter Mark Sanchez having to share snaps with Tebow.
It became obvious on Thursday afternoon following the team’s offseason
conditioning session that Sanchez will have to share the spotlight with
But if there’s a controversy, neither Sanchez nor Tebow is letting on.
“I’m the kind of guy that competes against myself at all times. Whether
Tim is here or there’s another backup quarterback, I’m always competing
with myself first and then whoever else is in the room,” Sanchez said.
“It doesn’t matter either way, but he’s been great to work with.”
So far, both players are talking about making this awkward arrangement work.
“It’s been great, just working together, pushing each other, learning
from each other, spending extra time in the film room, talking about
college days — different team’s that we’ve faced — just going over
things together,” Tebow said. “We’re learning a new offense, something
we haven’t been in before. It’s been fun.”
But friendship aside, can they coexist? Perhaps only winning can answer
that problem, but for right now, it’s all about the harmony. As Tebow
said, “We’re not going to let outside circumstances affect our
But Tebow’s already a distraction and talking point with the Jets coming
off an 8-8 season where they failed to make the playoffs for the first
time under Ryan. He may be the backup, but midway through Sanchez
holding court outside his locker, the crowd waiting for Tebow to arrive
was nearly double in size. When the Jets should be focused on getting
better and improving, they’re instead being bombarded with questions
about their supposed quarterback controversy.
His teammates seem in awe of the buzz around their new backup
quarterback as a circle of photographers camped out for nearly 90
minutes around Tebow’s empty locker. Defensive end Mike DeVito, who was
in his second year in the league in 2008 when the Jets brought in future
Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre during preseason, likened the
situation to that media swirl saying, “It’s just as big.”
But in the eyes of Tebow and teammates like Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight
and Wayne Hunter -- who all reiterated that Sanchez was their starting
quarterback -- there is no quarterback controversy.
“They’re two totally different leaders. You look at Mark, he’s our
leader; he’s proven. I can speak for myself only, but that’s how I view
him. I view him as our starter,” DeVito told Metro.
“Then Tim, there’s so many things he can do and he’s great to come in
here for us. It’s exciting what he brings to the table. It adds another
weapon in our arsenal.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for all your offseason news.