March 28, 2012 |

Tebow In New York: It Had To Be

We all should have known. The Tim Tebow story which captivated pro football fans last season, had to get to New York.

It was a good story in Denver, when the quarterback supposedly lacking skills required to succeed, led the Broncos to a division championship and a first round playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But, where else but the premier stage of New York would the saga continue?

And so it happened when Payton Manning became available and the Broncos decided to gamble that he’ll regain his health Tebow had to go. And the Jets became his new destination.

I see this as a risk for both teams. If Manning doesn’t last long the Broncos will have made a terrible mistake. And if Tebow flops or disrupts the chemistry of a pretty good team that has Mark Sanchez at quarterback the Jets will similarly have blundered.

I watched Tebow’s press conference on television Monday and my mind was filled with thoughts.

First, let’s realize he is one of the greatest players in college football history.

Second, he’s quite articulate. He handled a huge media circus with a lot of poise.

He’s also a straight shooter who didn’t back off from questions about his religious zeal. He admitted Jesus Christ is the most important person in his life. He also said he hasn’t in the past and won’t now spread the gospel among teammates.

There seemed to e no disagreement that his passing needs work. We also heard he’s a hard worker, but after two years in the NFL his passing hasn’t improved much.

So how did he lead the Broncos back from a 1-4 start with a series of astounding fourth quarters?

He found a way to win games, often with his running but in the playoff win over the Steelers with a line drive throw that resulted in an 82-yard touchdown.

It seems to me this guy is a winner.

The most newsworthy portion of the press conference came when Tebow revealed he’s been a good friend of Sanchez for three years.

He said they get along well and will enjoy working together. Of course, that can happen only if the Jets don’t trade Sanchez, the former USC star who got off to a fast start in the NFL but didn’t have a good year in 2011.

The Jets’ plan is that Sanchez will start and play a lot in a conventional NFL offense. But Tebow will come in to run a Wildcat offense for about 20 plays a game.

I think that could be effective, but some NFL experts don’t agree. And what if Sanchez is injured? Could Tebow handle the quarterback job fill-time?

Jets coach Rex Ryan makes it clear that Sanchez is the starter and Tebow the backup.

“I’m happier with the quarterback situation than at any time I’ve been the Jets’ coach,” he said.

Last season the Broncos beat the Jets, so the Jets’ players got a glimpse of what Tebow can contribute.

In New York some Giants fans have suggested the Jets acquired Tebow as a publicity stunt.

Tebow deflected the criticism by saying the Giants have a large following and will continue to be in the spotlight.

The Jets admitted Sanchez wasn’t informed in advance that the team was dealing for Tebow.

“Mark’s job is to play quarterback, not be the general manager,” said Ryan.

Ah, New York. Drama, drama and more drama. I’ll be happy to watch this drama unfold from a distance.

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