When Jets owner Woody Johnson claimed that his team “passed on” Peyton Manning, it was an attempt to portray the franchise as completely committed to Mark Sanchez, even though it was actually Manning who passed on the Jets. So now that the Jets have re-committed to Sanchez but also traded for Tim Tebow, it’s not surprising that Johnson is doing his best to portray the Tebow trade as a move that merely enhances the roster around Sanchez.
Johnson backed Sanchez when asked about whether he’s good enough at handling pressure, although in the process he also offered a criticism.
“Pressure is something that Mark has no problem with,” Johnson said, via the New York Daily News. “Neither does Tim Tebow from what I gather. I don’t know him very well. Mark is very, very good. We’ve all seen him in the fourth quarter. Wish he would get better in the first quarter perhaps.”
Johnson said the purpose of adding Tebow is simple: He can add to what the Jets do on offense.
“I think Tim Tebow will be a good addition to the team,” Johnson said. “From a football standpoint, he adds flexibility, versatility, he’s a great athlete, he’s a big athlete. He can do a lot of things besides being quarterback, besides being the backup quarterback. I think all those things are going to make us a better and stronger team going forward. I’m excited to have him on board.”
Tebow, of course, does a lot more than just add flexibility to the offense. He also adds a whole lot of attention to the franchise. But Johnson denied that the Tebow acquisition was about selling tickets, jerseys or personal seat licenses, and he denied that the Jets are trying to take some of the attention in New York away from the Giants.
“My highest compliment to the Giants. They pulled it off. I’m proud to share a building with them,” Johnson said. “They did what we wanted to do too and that is peak at the right time. They were horrible at the beginning of the year, but then they put pedal to the metal at the end, extremely successful, no flaws. . . . This is what we are all searching for.”
And if the Jets are going to follow the Giants in winning the Super Bowl, according to Johnson, they’re going to do it with Sanchez as the starter and Tebow adding some flexibility to their offense.