(Long Island, N.Y.) Perhaps it’s not your quintessential quarterback controversy or battle for the starting job, but make no mistake about it – both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are showcasing for the future. Sanchez to ensure that he keeps a tight grip on his position and Tim Tebow to show the coaching staff (and everyone else watching) that he is fully capable of handling the duties if necessary.
All along, Rex Ryan has maintained that Sanchez is number one on the depth chart and the acquisition of Tebow was an overall football move, not to have an open competition at signal caller. But even he has to feel better every time the new backup makes an impressive play on the practice field, albeit working with the first or second team.
“The hardest thing to do is to have touch on that deep ball and he really does have it,” the Jets head coach said of the former Bronco. “That’s why I’m surprised that the ball doesn’t come out a little quicker. But, overall, I am impressed with Tim and how he throws the ball down the field. Sometimes, the touch on the shorter passes, he’s working hard at getting better at those things, as well.”
Getting Tebow acclimated with the new offense is a work in progress, but he is also getting reps with special teams as the punt protector, something that Ryan is fully behind.
“You have to think twice before you send them all out (for a potential blocked punt) because this guy can fake it,” commented Ryan. “He can throw it, run inside, run outside…do a lot of different things. He’s smart.”
That is for sure, and the fans that have flocked to Cortland, New York have been heard loud and clear. When Tebow does something positive, he receives a deserved cheer. At the same time, though, he also hears it when skipping a pass. But the young man merely shrugged it off when asked about the latter.
“I don’t really pay attention to that,” said Tebow. “I didn’t really know until someone reported it so (I heard it) but if anything, I just find it funny. There will always be fans giving you a hard time.”
Welcome to the Big Apple, Tim. That will be something that the third-year pro will have to endure while playing for the Jets, whose infamous fan base is known for their crass behavior and letting the players know what they feel. During his college days at the University of Florida and even in Denver, Tebow basically walked on water. He will not have that luxury playing at MetLife Stadium and appears to have the right character and attitude to deflect or take in whatever is given to him on Sunday.
However he is used in the potential multiple roles the coaches have in mind, Tebow will be in the spotlight and will hear a huge ovation the first time he lines up over center for a Wildcat play. What he hears next depends on if he makes a play or not.