Tebow downplays Jets quarterback controversy

Tim Tebow talks during a news conference. The new Jets backup QB said he has a good relationship with New York starter Mark Sanchez.



FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Tim Tebow got his first New York close-up Monday.

And he handled it all with the same cool approach – smiling, polite, composed – that has won over so many football fans around the country.

Speaking at news conference in the Jets’ field house, because the media crush so great the session couldn’t be held in the team’s normal press room, the headline-grabbing New York backup quarterback went out of his way to play down any conflict between himself and starter Mark Sanchez.

“Me and Mark have a great relationship,” Tebow said. “We’ve been friends the past three years and have already texted back and forth. We are going to have a great working relationship and I think we’ll have a lot of fun together.”

Acquired last Wednesday from Denver, the exciting but flawed quarterback is coming off a season of incredible comebacks with the Broncos, taking them from a 1-4 record to the playoffs. The Jets are hoping he has more surprises left in him.

“Hopefully, by me being here, we can be a little bit better,” Tebow said. “I think I can add something, and that’s my hope and prayer.”

Tebow’s new club threw him a quick challenge on Monday, sending him out alone to take questions at what was probably the biggest news conference ever for a second-string NFL player. Not a problem.

“I have bosses, too, and they wanted me to stand up here and talk to you all,” Tebow explained, grinning, “so I can blame them.”

Coach Rex Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson were not in the building. They were at the NFL meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., far away from the wild scene at the team’s headquarters with more than 200 members of the media.

“Ultimately, I’m just going to be myself and just have fun with it,” he said.

Ryan suggested on Sunday that Tebow could be used at a position other than quarterback. He kept referring to Tebow as a “football player,” his ability not limited to QB.

“I don’t see Tim just holding a clipboard,” Ryan said. “He’s going to be playing for us. There is no doubt.”