As tweets counted down the hours and minutes to Tim Tebow’s news conference today, the media gathered in droves at the fieldhouse at the Jets’ practice facility in Florham Park, N.J.
Forty-five minutes before the noon start time, 146 cars were in the media lot, 15 satellite trucks were outside, 29 camera were set up. That number increased to 37 camera and more than 200 media members in anticipation. The event was to ari live on ESPN, the NFL Network and several outlets in New York. An ESPN anchor referred to it as “the largest news conference in the history of football.” That reference is because of size, not import, to be sure.
Because of the demand, the Jets moved the “availability” – the team is not calling it a news conference since no news is really expected – to the practice bubble instead of the room inside the main building where the Jets usually hold news conferences.
Tebow is the only scheduled speaker for his introduction to New York. Owner Woody Johnson, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan are all at the NFL owners’ meetings in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Tebow walked across the field with a Jets public relation person, wearing a suit with a green tie and made a
A smiling Tebow began, “How’s it going? Good to see all of you. Such an honor to be here. I’m excited to be a Jet … I’m looking forward to my time with the Jets. I’m looking forward to my future and very excited about it.”
Tebow also thanked the Broncos for his time there and said the team was very gracious in allowing him to come to New York. He also said he would have loved to play with his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars.
Question Two immediately went to the issue of the dynamic between Tebow and Mark Sanchez, the incumbent Jets’ starter.
“Everybody who puts on a uniform wants to go out there and play the game of football,” he said. “I’m excited to help the team any way I can … Every day in practice, I’m going out and compete and try to get better.”
He stressed that he has been working hard this offseason on becoming a better quarterback and is "excited about his future."
About Sanchez, he said, “Me and Mark have a great relationship. We’ve been friends for 3 years. We’ve texted back and forth, we’ve talked already. We’re going to have a great working relationship and I think we’ll have a lot of fun together.” He got back to his relationship with Sanchez throughout.
Tebow did speak, though, about expanding his role. Tebow said that “first and foremost, I’m a football player … My dream is to be a quarterback.” He did say that he would be willing to do whatever – “how ever they can use me,” – in order to “being the best Jet I can possibly be.”
As for the scene, Tebow said, “It’s an honor for all of you to show up to hear me say a few words. I really don’t think it’s going to be a distraction. The reason I’m doing this today is I have bosses too and they wanted me to stand up here, so I can blame for making me do it.”
He was asked if how much more pressure he was feeling with everything swirling around him. His answer, "None, actually."
As for the notion that this move was all about the show and not a football decision, he said, "I really don't take offense to that. I don't think it's true."