“I don’t see Tim just holding a clipboard. He’s going to be playing for us. There is no doubt,” Ryan said at the league meetings. “He will have a role. We know that. There won’t be a better Wildcat quarterback in the game. Is that his only role? I don’t believe that – we’ll see what happens.”
Tebow, who considers himself a quarterback, will surely be asked about Ryan’s comments when the Jets unveil their new superstar at an introductory news conference at noon Monday at their training site in Florham Park.
Tebow first arrived in Jersey on Thursday, but contract details needed to be reconciled before Tebow could officially become a Jet.
Saturday night he hit Broadway, attending the play “Wicked.” Monday, he will be on stage and the media turnout is expected to be so large that the Jets are holding it in their massive fieldhouse. When they traded up to draft
Sanchez in 2009, his news conference was in the small room where Ryan holds his briefings during the season.
Ryan won’t be there to greet Tebow. Ryan, owner Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum are all at the league meetings here this week. But Ryan certainly gave Tebow something to think about.
“We have a No. 1 quarterback. Mark is our No. 1 quarterback. Tim Tebow is our No. 2 quarterback, but he’s also going to do other things for this football team,” Ryan said. “He’s a football player. That’s what I keep wanting to put out there. Let’s not just look at him as a quarterback. I look at him as a football player.”
Ryan would not be specific where else he planned to use Tebow other than the initial blueprint the Jets are developing for him as the Wildcat quarterback. He did rule out pass rusher, where the Jets have the greatest need. “We’re not bringing him in to be a guard,” Ryan said.
But when asked if Tebow will be playing other positions, he said with a smile, “Well, I don’t know. This guy is a football player. I think we all recognize that .”
Maybe Sanchez can take the snap and flip it to Tebow, who can either run or throw it. There are lots of possibilities.
Perhaps he can be used as the blocking back on punts with the ball snapped to him directly. The Jets could use a red zone receiver to replace Plaxico Burress. Ryan said the idea of adding
Tebow started with Tannenbaum and everybody endorsed it 100%.
Ryan said it’s up to him and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano to be “creative” in developing ways to get Tebow on the field. “He is a quarterback,” Ryan said. “There is no question he’s a quarterback. But his skills – I see a
football player. That gets me excited.”
In an interview with Dan Patrick in December 2009, five months before the Broncos drafted him in the first round as a quarterback, Tebow said he would consider a position switch if he didn’t produce at quarterback. “I’ll work as hard as
possible to become a quarterback and be one at the next level,” he said. “I just want an opportunity and a chance and if I get that chance and it doesn’t work out and they don’t think I can do it – then move me to another position and I’ll play my heart out there and do my best to succeed at that position, but just give me a chance to play quarterback.”
Ryan said this is the best quarterback situation he’s had in his four seasons with the Jets. The depth chart going into training camp will be Sanchez, Tebow and Greg McElroy. Tebow is extremely competitive, he took the Broncos to the playoffs last season and won a playoff game, so he’s not going to be satisfied as a backup quarterback.