Tim Tebow was officially unveiled as a New York Jet today and was as certain with his press conference answers as some are uncertain of his quarterbacking skills.
Ahead of the briefing, the New York Post wrote: “All of the attention on Tebow has some Jets shaking their heads…The idea of a backup quarterback having a press conference is something they can’t wrap their heads around, and they know it’s just the beginning.”
But as he strode alone onto the stage, Tebow joked of the news conference: “They [his bosses] made me do it.”
The event was, unsurprisingly, packed with more than 200 journalists, and Tebow was almost note perfect. Within the first ten minutes he had said he was “excited” 30 times.
On Mark Sanchez – the current Jets Number One quarterback – Tebow said: “From my conversations with him he is excited. We will have a great working relationship, supporting one another.”
On whether he will be happy in a back up spot, he said: “Everybody who puts on a uniform wants to go out and play. I will help this team any way I can. It depends on how well we are doing.” However, he veered away from describing himself as a “backup”.
On his new coach Rex Ryan: “We’ve always had a good relationship… I got to see Hard Knocks and how he coached and that was fun.”
And on his faith: “Pretty sure I’m not the only athlete that has gone on a knee and prayed but somehow it’s known as Tebowing.”
The young quarterback added that he doesn’t try to approach teammates with faith, but that he thinks being an example is best way to get that message across.
When talking about being a role model, Tebow spoke movingly about being seven-years-old and waiting for an autograph from fellow Heisman trophy winner and University of Florida alumni Danny Warfuel.
The only moment when he veered fractionally off course was after talking about his former team – “I wish the Broncos nothing but the best. It will be a lot of fun when we play each other” – he added that his “worry” now was the Jets. He quickly moved back to being “excited” about playing for his new NFL franchise.
Tebow left Denver to join the Jets last week after the Broncos signed former Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning. A first-round draft pick by the Broncos in 2010, Tebow stepped into a struggling team last year and helped lead it to the AFC West title with some dramatic victories.
When the Broncos asked which team he wanted to sign for – the Jets or his hometown team, the Jacksonville Jaguars – Tebow said: “I would love to be a Jet.” On the media buildup he faces in New York, he replied: “I don’t really feel too much pressure. I’m sure there’ll be some pressure leading up to it [the season], but I’ve enjoyed pressure. … It’s something [where] I play better when I have more on the line.”
Minnesota Viking Geoff Schwartz tweeted: “I will give Tebow lots of credit because he handles the media so well. They ask tough questions and he is always composed n well spoken.”
Such is the hype surrounding TebowMania that as ESPN’s main channel broadcast the news conference live, ESPN2 ran tweets from its reporters at the same event.