Antonio Cromartie wrote on Twitter this week that the Jets don’t need Tim Tebow, and then the Jets promptly traded for Tim Tebow. But Cromartie now says he didn’t mean any harm toward his new teammate.
Instead, Cromartie told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, he just meant he supported Mark Sanchez as the Jets’ starter. But now he says he supports Tebow as the Jets’ backup, too.
“I don’t have any regrets,” Cromartie said. “I think a lot of people took what I said the wrong way. People took it as me dissing Tebow. I never dissed Tebow. I just said we don’t need him on our team because Mark is our quarterback. I would never degrade an NFL player because he’s in the NFL for a reason.Tebow’s proven over the past couple years why he’s in the NFL. I would never take a shot at any NFL player. He’s been a winner all his life. He’s pulled his teams out of predicaments. I’m not the kind of person that would degrade or belittle someone in the NFL.”
Cromartie, who appeared to avoid a collision with Tebow on the game-winning touchdown when Tebow led the Broncos to a win over the Jets last year, said he thinks the team can rally around Tebow now.
“He’s a guy that brings a different atmosphere to the locker room and the huddle,” Cromartie said. “We were missing that last year — a guy that can take control and do the things that we need to.”
Of course, Sanchez, as the starting quarterback, is supposed to be the leader of the team. And Tebow’s presence is surely going to lead to a segment of the fan base saying that Tebow can lead the team in a way Sanchez can’t.
“Fans are going to root for who they want to root for,” Cromartie said. “They’re going to be fans. For guys in the locker room, our job is to make sure that whatever goes on in that locker room or meeting rooms is kept in-house. We are going to back our quarterback no matter what goes on. Mark is our No. 1 quarterback. He’s our starting quarterback. He’s our guy. Tebow’s coming in as the No. 2 guy that can push Mark to his full potential. And that’s what we’re looking for. He’s a guy that can bring a spark in different packages. It’s a win-win situation for us.”
Even if it’s a situation that, just a few days ago, Cromartie said the Jets didn’t need.