Tim Tebow being used on the punting unit

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Fans chanting his name and carrying banners proclaiming his greatness — or otherwise — will have to wait a couple of days. As the New York Jets reported to training camp Thursday in Cortland, N.Y., Tim Tebow simply was another player.

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In addition to practicing as the backup quarterback, the Jets' Tim Tebow worked on special teams as the punt protector, where he can take direct snaps on punt fakes.  BILL KOSTROUN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
BILL KOSTROUN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
In addition to practicing as the backup quarterback, the Jets' Tim Tebow worked on special teams as the punt protector, where he can take direct snaps on punt fakes.

Well, almost. Tebow had to chuckle when asked about the legions of media that follow his every move, even on a rainy afternoon when nothing more is required of him or his teammates than showing up.

With perhaps 50 reporters, cameramen and broadcasters on hand at SUNY Cortland, it didn’t look much different than one of Tebow’s postgame gatherings in Denver last season. Surely, the focus is not the same: Tebow now is a backup to Mark Sanchez, as everyone from the head coach to the offensive coordinator to Sanchez himself made clear for the, oh, millionth time.

Still, it was Tebow who drew the most attention, including a comical episode in which the TV folks had to scramble for position when Tebow lined up elsewhere from where they anticipated.

“I really try not to let this affect my life,” a laughing Tebow said about the media crush that is likely to continue through the rest of the summer. “I try to live my life and not worry about what I can’t control.”

Tebow then glanced all around him and smiled.

“This is like the first day of college.”

How much football he will play is the big question. It figures that during the preseason, when starting QBs don’t get on the field for much game action, Tebow will be the Jets’ main man.

But in practices, and certainly when the regular season kicks off against Buffalo on Sept. 9, the Jets expect him to be part-time Tebow behind three-year starter Sanchez.

“We clearly have a starting quarterback and that’s Mark,” coach Rex Ryan reiterated. “I know the history of the league and the saying, ‘When you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any.’

Vikings: Minnesota has placed running back Adrian Peterson on the active physically unable to perform list to start training camp.

The move was expected, considering the team’s preference to be cautious with their franchise player and his comeback from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Peterson can come off the PUP list at any time, but he can’t take part in drills with the team until then. He still counts against the 90-man roster.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Friday that Peterson put up a fight but the decision is best for the team.

Two other offensive players competing for backup spots were placed on the active non-football injury list. Wide receiver Stephen Burton has a jammed toe, and tight end Mickey Shuler has a sore heel.

Jaguars: Coach Mike Mularkey has told players that talking publicly about injuries could incur a hefty fine. Cornerback Rashean Mathis, the team’s NFLPA representative, said the fine would be nearly $10,000.

Mathis adds that players had no objections to the proposed fines, saying “we’re supporting the coach and that’s what it’s all about.”

Dolphins: Unsigned top draft pick Ryan Tannehill is not in camp, but he has reported across the state to the IMG Performance Institute that trained Cam Newton and Christian Ponder during last year’s labor lockout, according to ESPN.com.

Tannehill arrived in Bradenton, Fla., on Thursday night and began training Friday with former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke, who is the director of football operations at the IMG Madden Football Academy located on site at the 400-acre performance facility.

Tannehill also has a full staff of strength and conditioning coaches, a performance coach and a certified athletics trainer at his disposal.


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