If “Fireman Ed” has his way, he will be leading a sold-out MetLife Stadium in his infamous “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets” chant after plenty of Tim Tebow touchdown runs this year.
The most visible and vocal of all Jets fans, Ed Anzalone and his fireman helmet are on board with the trade for Tebow.
“You got a guy coming to the Jets who is a great guy, but he’s also a football player — a real football player. Is he a great quarterback? No. But the guy, he’s a winner. Does he help our team? Yeah.
“Here it is: What is it costing me? What kind of player am I getting? Everyone is going to talk about the circus but that’s the media is making the circus. Do I think that there’s pressure on Mark? Squarely. But here’s the bottom-line: It’s up to Mark. He can shut everyone up.”
In his first comments following last week’s trade, Anzalone told Metro New York that the deal will help the Jets because Tebow is better than Drew Stanton, who was originally signed in mid-March to be the backup to Sanchez.
“So I don’t know much about Drew Stanton, but I know he hasn’t played much in the league, and I’m wondering if they’re seeing something I don’t. So I’m the kind of guy who keeps his mouth shut and waits things out. Then the Peyton Manning thing happens and Tim Tebow becomes available — and I like the Tebow move. But when you first hear it, you go ‘What the hell?’ You go from an unknown to a guy who is obviously known. In New York, it’s always bigger than it is and Tebow is already big,” Anzalone said.
“But if they use him correctly, which I think they will, the bottom-line no matter what happens, is that Sanchez’s destiny is in his own hands. I love Mark. To be clear, I think we can win a world championship with Mark, there’s no doubt in my mind. But you have to surround him with players.”
Therein lies the rub with Tebow, whose playing style is far from the norm for a NFL quarterback. He thinks run first, pass second and despite his winning record he has been dismissed as a “gimmick.” Anzalone likes Tebow as “a player and a person,” but isn’t sure the Jets can win right away with Tebow under center.
“I think Tebow is a good football player. Do I think we can win a world championship with Tebow? No, not at this point, not this season. Maybe down the line he can be a better quarterback. I like to think we can win one with Mark, with a championship,” Anzalone said
“I do think Tebow can help us, he’s a good football player.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.