Tim Tebow said he's "so excited about being a Jet" as he was formally introduced as a backup quarterback on Monday, and sought to downplay any potential drama between him and No. 1 quarterback Mark Sanchez.
"It's such an honor for me to be here," Tebow said at a packed midday news conference.
The event, unprecedented for a second-string quarterback, was moved from the team's regular press room at its Florham Park facility to its indoor training field to accommodate the media bonanza around Tebow, a cultural phenomenon.
Tebow, widely known for his Christian religious beliefs and for praying on the field during games, was asked repeatedly about his religion on Monday and whether he plans to spread it among his fellow players or throughout his new fan base.
He gently deflected those questions, saying his beliefs are his own and the best way he spreads them is by actions, not words.
In acquiring the popular and electrifying Tebow, the Jets have created the potential for a messy situation. Sure, things will be fine when Sanchez, who's expected to show significant progress this season, has his good moments. But whenever he struggles and Tebow comes in and gets the offense moving, the inevitable question will be: Are the Jets better with Tebow in there all the time?
That's something Sanchez, Tebow, coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum must be prepared to address.
The quarterback hierarchy has been clearly set by the Jets. Sanchez, who took the team to back-to-back AFC Championships his first two years in the league but struggled last season, is No. 1, and Tebow is No. 2. But many wonder how long that will last.
Tebow said Monday that he has spoken with Sanchez and is happy to be his teammate.
"I have a lot of respect for him ... I think we'll have a great working relationship," Tebow said.
Asked about the media attention that follows him wherever he goes, Tebow predicted that it won't affect Sanchez on the field.
"I don't think he's going to let outsiders affect how he goes about his preparation and how he plays," Tebow said.
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