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Tim Tebow faced the New York media on Monday and handled the highly anticipated and highly scrutinized press conference with ease from the Jets’ facility.
The Jets acquired Tebow in a trade that was finalized late Wednesday after some confusion when a contract snag allowed the Jaguars to enter trade talks. Tebow addressed how it all occurred, starting with the Broncos’ signing of Peyton Manning.
“(Broncos head coach John Fox) told me some of the opportunities that were out there. The next thing I know, I get a call from Mr. (Mike) Tannenbaum and Coach (Rex) Ryan and they said I was a Jet,” Tebow said. “Then the media circus happened, there was a snag in the contract and I wasn’t a Jet. Coach Fox kept me updated on what was happening.”
Tebow came short of confirming reports that he had the choice between the Jets and Jaguars. He was in communication with Fox throughout and said he told his former coach he wanted what was best for the Broncos. When it came down to the two teams that wanted his services, though, Tebow said the coaching staff in New York was the big selling point.
“I had a better relationship with the Jets’ coaches,” Tebow explained. “I knew them. I know Coach (Mike) Mularkey is a great coach, but I hadn’t met (the Jaguars' staff). I didn’t have an opportunity to get to know them. It would have been fun to be home, but this is exciting. I’m so proud to be a Jet.”
Tebow mentioned that his relationship with Ryan has “always been great.” Sparano coached Tebow in the Senior Bowl. The three also all share the same agent — Jimmy Sexton. Both coaches watched last season as Tebow brought the Broncos back in victories over Sparano’s Dolphins and Ryan’s Jets, respectively.
Multiple controversies came to the Big Apple with Tebow, starting with potential competition with Mark Sanchez, who recently received a contract extension.
“The exciting thing is that me and Mark have a great relationship,” Tebow said. “We have for the last three years. We text back and forth and have talked already. We’re going to have a great relationship and a great working relationship.”
As for Sanchez’s confidence level, Tebow is not concerned.
“Mark is very secure as a football player and a person. I don’t think he’s going to let outsiders affect how he goes about his preparation or how he plays.”
With his Jets career beginning in front of more than 200 media members at a press conference for a backup quarterback, Tebow was asked if he will be a distraction.
“I don’t feel like it will be too big a distraction,” he said, then turned the spotlight on the Jets’ brass. “The reason we’re doing this is because I have bosses, too, and they wanted me to stand up and talk to you. I can blame them because they made me do it.”
When reporters asked Tebow about the accusations that the Jets’ trade for him was a “publicity stunt,” Tebow did not waver from the way he has handled the media frenzy that has followed him throughout his football career.
“I don’t take offense to that. I don’t think it’s true. The Jets get a lot of support as it is. I think (the trade) has more to do with the coaches believing in me,” he said.
A majority of the presser revolved around the hoopla that follows Tebow to New York as opposed to his upcoming role on the football field. Ryan has discussed using him in the “Wildcat” formation and Tebow maintained that he will play whatever role is best for the team.
“I’m a football player first,” he said, though clarifying that he does believe he is a quarterback. “However I can help the team make a difference, I’ll be open to it.”
Tebow rarely lost his smile throughout, politely handling the barrage from the country’s top media market. He got one last test at the end of the press conference, when asked his reaction about some of his new teammates who reportedly have been less than thrilled with the move. Tebow would not be fazed, though.
“My job is to come in here and earn guys' respect by how I work. I want them to respect me coming in here and working hard,” he said. “I’m just having fun with it.