When Drew Stanton was signed by the Jets earlier this month to be their backup quarterback, there wasn’t a rush of 250 media members to snap photos of him, no platform filled with three dozen television cameras on hand or 13 satellite trucks parked outside the team’s facility. There wasn’t even a conference call let alone a press conference.
Now, in the wake of the trade for Tim Tebow, Stanton’s request to get out of New York was granted with a trade to the Indianapolis. In his first public remarks since he was traded to the Colts, Stanton spoke with John Michael Vincent on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis on Tuesday morning to discuss what has been a whirlwind week.
He said the communication with the Jets and general manager Mike Tannenbaum was sporadic.
“Well I think there was a little confusion on their part, because the people that I talked to in the morning didn’t really know how it was going to go down. They said there was talks ... whether or not he was going to come in, but his role wasn’t clearly defined to me at that point,” Stanton said.
“They said, ‘Well, we still want you to be the backup,’ and that’s something I would’ve been all right with. And then it kind of changed later. And I talked to Mike Tannenbaum the next day and he said we want Tim to be the backup and we’re gonna try and trade you. They apologized profusely and said that this wasn’t their intent initially. And I understand circumstances change and whatnot, so it was time for me to move on and they did that very willingly and helped me get to a team that I’m very excited to be on.”
Stanton was brought in to backup Mark Sanchez after five seasons as the No. 2 in Detroit. Last season, Stanton didn’t have a single pass as he stood on the sidelines behind Matthew Stafford.
He was supposed to play a similar role with the Jets, but the decision last week to acquire Tebow changed all that. Stanton was a passive signing by the Jets, a player who would likely never challenge the incumbent starter. Given the popularity of Tebow and his stature, the same certainly is not true about the Jets’ new No. 2 quarterback.
Now there’s talk of Tebow supplanting Sanchez even before the team’s first mini-camp.
“I think it’s difficult because every move you make is going to be completely judged. As if you’re not under a big enough microscope already out there in New York — you have him, who is probably the biggest sports media darling out there right now that people look at, and it’s just hard,” Stanton said.
“You saw the effects that it had on Kyle Orton, who is a great quarterback in this league, [and] has won a lot of football games in this league. But the overwhelming cry for Tim Tebow when things start heading south, it can be difficult to deal with at times. And it’s nothing against Tim, because Tim’s a great guy. He’s earned a lot of the success that he’s had in this league. And the type of person that he is, he really is that good of a guy. But the whirlwind of media that follows him can be difficult.”
Stanton admits that he was looking forward to his time with the Jets even though he likely wouldn’t have played much and was entering a difficult locker room that dissolved into hysterics much of last year.
“I didn’t even get a chance to see what it was like. I know a couple of guys there that I played with at Michigan State and other Big Ten guys that I’ve crossed paths with. And I think it’s something that you would adapt to, and it’s probably not as bad as everybody thinks that it is,” Stanton said.
“I know there’s comments that have come out of there or whatnot. But like I said, that’s a market where everybody’s looking for things to poke and prod if you weren’t having the success that you should have. And Rex Ryan is a guy that’s going to put his business out there and make it known that he wants to be the king of the hill. So that whole bravado and everything like that was a big draw for me. … In a roundabout way I think that some of that stuff gets blown out of proportion.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.