3:16 pm Mar. 26, 2012
Proof of how far Tebowmania has gotten away from actual football considerations came toward the end of his introductory press conference today in Florham Park, when a reporter asked the following question:
“Pat Robertson said that you were treated shabbily by the Broncos, suggesting that if Peyton Manning got hurt, it would serve them right,” a reporter began. “Do you understand the anger people have for how you were seemingly cast off after saving that season?”
This is probably the first time a backup quarterback was asked, in front of 250 credentialed reporters, to respond to the prophecies of Pat Robertson. Of course, this is also probably the first time a backup quarterback was introduced in front of 250 reporters (and 38 cameras, and 13 television trucks).
So what did all those reporters learn about Tim Tebow, the new New York Jet? Not surprisingly, not much.
Tebow was “excited” to be a Jet, he said dozens of times. He finally clarified that he indeed had final say over whether to be traded to the Jets or Jaguars, and that he chose the Jets because of his preexisting relationships with Rex Ryan (the two share the same agent) and Tony Sparano, who coached Tebow at the Senior Bowl.
He also refused to acknowledge, in his uniquely sweet but strange way, any possibility of awkwardness between himself and incumbent Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Instead, he talked about how much he likes Sanchez because of his “integrity,” and how much fun they plan to have during quarterback meetings.
He and Sanchez, Tebow said, “Would be stronger together than we would be apart.”
This was a recurring theme in the press conference: Jaded reporters, most of them from New York, peppered Tebow with questions on uncomfortable topics, and Tebow killed them with kindness. First he’d form a bashful, saccharine grin as the question was coming in. Then he’d fashion an earnest, innocuous reply in that run-on cadence that makes him seem more juvenile and meek than his physique and cultural stature would suggest.
As for football—which, when all is said and done, is what this acquisition will be judged on—Tebow basically said everything you’d expect him to say and not much you wouldn’t.
On the question of whether he saw himself as the eventual starter, his response was predictably vanilla: “If you can’t control it, don’t worry about it. Honestly, I’m just gonna try to be the best teammate and be the best football player I can be, and try to set a good example. And aside from that, I’m not gonna worry about too much else.”
His responses might have been boring. But in light of Rex Ryan’s declaration yesterday that the Jets might feature Tebow and the wildcat offense up to 20 plays a game, or between a third and a quarter of the offensive snaps, the Jets offense certainly won’t be.
More by this author:
- Gary Cohen, the anti-Michael Kay, also broadcasts during his time off
- Blue blood: The harsh logic behind the cutting of Bradshaw, Canty and Boley