Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jets owner Johnson talks Tebow

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Eagles triumvirate of owner Jeff Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Joe Banner have yet to be spotted in the hallways of the Breakers Resort where the NFL will open its three-day March meeting Monday morning.

Jets owner Johnson talks Tebow

Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez are now teammates. (Barry Gutierrez/AP file photo)
Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez are now teammates. (Barry Gutierrez/AP file photo)

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Eagles triumvirate of owner Jeff Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Joe Banner have yet to be spotted in the hallways of the Breakers Resort where the NFL will open its three-day March meeting Monday morning.

But Jets owner Woody Johnson offered his first public comments on his team’s acquisition last week of Tim Tebow. Nothing earth-shaking. But he did speak, which puts him one step ahead of Lurie, who already has put out word through the team’s public relations department that he is much too busy to talk to reporters down here.

"Tim Tebow will be a good additon to our team," Johnson said. "From a football standpoint, he adds flexibility, versatility. He’s a great athlete. He’s a big athlete. He can do a lot of things besides being the quarterback, besides being the backup quarterback. All of those things make us a better and stronger team going forward. I’m excited to have him onboard. Tim Tebow has been a winner all his life."

Johnson insists neither he nor general manager Mike Tannenbaum are worried about Tebow’s presence having a negative effect on starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is coming off a disappointing year.

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"I’m really not," he said. "They know each other. They know each other. Being an NFL quarterback is among the hardest jobs from a pressure standpoint, from an athletic standpoint, etc. Pressure is something Mark has no problem with. We’ve all seen him in the fourth quarter. Wish he’d get better in the first quarter perhaps.

"He realizes he has to make some improvements. The reason we signed him to the extension that we did is we have so much confidence in him. I look at him as a No. 1 quarterback, No. 1. Mark Sanchez is our starter. He’s a backup quarterback who can do a lot of things. He gives you versatility, particularly in our division, in our conference, that’s going to be hard to deal with. He’s going to be hard to prepare for."

Johnson dismissed a question suggesting the Jets traded for Tebow to try and wrestle the back page of the New York tabloids from the Super Bowl-champion Giants.

"The Giants have my highest compliments," he said. "They pulled it off (winning the Super Bowl). I’m proud to share billing with them. They did what we want to do too. Which is peak at the right time."

Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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