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Jan 22, 2013 1:57am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

FLORHAM PARK, N. Youth Justin Tucker Jersey .J. —Tim Tebow
was surrounded by dozens of cameras and reporters—a backup quarterback with
unmatched star power. He smiled throughout the 20 minutes he stood in front of
his locker at the New York Jets practice facility, and predictably said all the
right things. Potential quarterback controversy or not, Tebow appears unfazed.
“This is kind of the first time Ive had to talk to yall, so its really not
exhausting at all,” Tebow said Thursday with a big grin. “I think its more if
you let it become exhausting. I really dont. I just have fun and live my life
and am thankful I dont have to worry about it too much.” From the moment Tebow
was acquired from the Denver Broncos in March, there has been speculation about
what that meant for Mark Sanchezs job security. Will Sanchez fold under the
pressure? What game will Tebow take over as the starter? Can the two players
even co-exist on a team that is still trying to recover from locker room
in-fighting that helped derail last season? “I think itll be great,” Tebow said
of he and Sanchez playing together. “We have a great relationship, were friends.
We hang in the locker room and also outside the complex, so I think itll be
great.” Tebow is big news, no matter the topic, such as when he was asked about
his dog Bronco, whom he said he was thinking of renaming Bronx to be more
geographically appropriate. Well, that “news” became a trending topic on Twitter
within minutes. Meanwhile, Sanchez faced the same throng of media—about 25
feet away—just a few minutes earlier and also tried to assure everyone that
everything between him and Tebow is fine and that he has never felt his job is
in jeopardy. “I think its been nothing but positive to this point and thats the
way I anticipate it in the future,” Sanchez said. “Its been fun.” Coach Rex Ryan
and offensive co-ordinator Tony Sparano have said Tebow will have extensive
playing time for the Jets in various roles, including running the teams
wildcat-style package. As for now, though, Tebow is trying to catch on to a new
offence and has taken snaps in workouts only as a quarterback. “Its all on the
offence,” Tebow said. “Im just trying to learn that. Im sure thatll take a
little while putting in an entire offence, learning third downs and everything
we want to put in. Thats our main focus right now, and not necessarily special
situations or anything like that. Just trying to learn the offence.” That means
he hasnt been studying any other position—fullback, H-back or tight end—
and adds that “they havent told me anything” as far as whether he would play on
special teams. The Jets will likely start installing those plans later in the
off-season program, and Tebow insists hes game for anything. “You know, I always
put the team first and whatever they want me to do, they know that Ill do with
all my heart,” he said. “So, Im just trying to go out there every day and get a
little bit better.” Everyone from Ryan to owner Woody Johnson has made it clear
that Sanchez is the starter and Tebow is his backup. Both quarterbacks
understand their roles, and their teammates dont think the situation has
potential for creating friction or impairing Sanchezs ability to lead. “If the
two didnt get along so well, that could be the case,” tight end Dustin Keller
said. “They get along really well, have a good working relationship. Tims just a
great guy and you cant be mad at the guy. They brought him in and he has been
working hard, and thats all you can ask for.” Keller has seen the two talk
constantly around the facility, and even play jokes on each other. “You dont do
that to your enemies or guys you dislike,” he said. “Things are smooth and
theyre going to continue to be.” Both Tebow and Sanchez spoke about how they
push each other in the classroom and on the field, trying to make each other
better while fans and media speculate about whether this could all really work.
“I think well just have a good friendship and really not let outside
circumstances get in the way of our friendship or how we handle each other,”
Tebow said. “I think thats the cool thing about being friends: We can talk and
we have an open relationship.” The two young quarterbacks are driven to succeed,
and they have each had terrific success in the NFL and in college. Tebow was a
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida, and helped the Gators win two
national championships before being drafted in the first round by Denver in
2010. He took over the starting job with the Broncos last season, and helped
lead them to the playoffs—and a first-round victory over Pittsburgh—with
an impressive string of comeback victories. Sanchez led Southern California to a
Rose Bowl win over Penn State in 2009 and was taken fifth overall in the draft
by the Jets a few months later. He has been the starter since, winning four
playoff games on the road and helping New York to consecutive AFC title games in
his first two seasons. They both have their flaws—Tebows mechanics and
Sanchezs inconsistency—but are fierce competitors who have won at this level
as starters. “I hope every backup quarterback wants the job of the starter,”
Sanchez said. “Thats the way you have to prepare. Ive been in those shoes in
college: anticipating the game, studying like Im the starter and then getting to
the game and not playing. Fortunately for Tim, he has the ability to do other
things. Thats why hes on board. Hes a backup quarterback first and then hell do
plenty of other stuff.” Tebow repeatedly brushed aside questions about his role
and whether he wants to overtake Sanchez, saying he just wants to keep improving
and help the Jets however he can. “I think its fair to say that I always want to
be my best, as good