Tim Tebow is capable of throwing an accurate ball. He’s just not capable of doing so consistently.
But he says he’s not bothered by criticism of his throwing ability.
“First of all it is not my place to try and debate and make myself look good,” Tebow told ESPN New York’s Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruoco, via SportsRadioInterviews.com, after Smith told Tebow that Smith doesn’t have confidence in the way Tebow throws. “That’s not my place at all. I appreciate you complementing me saying that I have an impact and that I can win football games. I really appreciate that and just as far as getting better throwing I’ve been working extremely hard on that.”
That’s classic Tebow, turning the backhand into a bouquet. And then, after saying it’s not his place to make himself look good, he tries to make himself look good.
“I feel like in my career I’ve done some good things. I think second in the history of college football as far as my rating. . . . did pretty well,” Tebow said. “Definitely some things I am working on as far as mechanic-wise to get better in the NFL and improve. You can see that in certain situations I’ve done that. In certain situations I have tried to be very careful with the ball and not have a lot of turnovers and so there are some situations where I probably should have forced some more balls in there. There are some situations where I feel like I have done some good things. I am just going to continue to get better, but I appreciate the complements and the rest I use as motivation.”
Tebow also addressed the fine line he’s walking between supporting starter Mark Sanchez and “absolutely” competing with Sanchez. Smith say it’s a contradiction. (And we agree with Smith.)
“I disagree with you that it’s contradicting yourself,” Tebow said. “I think there are things that are more important than football games. Your relationship, how you treat people, and relationships in general, that’s more important to me than football games. We spend a lot of time, we’re passionate about it, but ultimately football is not the most important thing, but as far as rooting someone on, supporting them? You can do that with still trying to go out there and do your best. And if your best is better, than so be it. If it’s not then you have to do the other roles you are asked to do. I don’t think you have to have an attitude where you have to say, ‘I don’t want someone to do their best.’ Absolutely not. I want them to do their best. I just want to do my best and continue to develop to the best that I can be and if that’s good enough to go out there and be a starting quarterback then that’s great. If it’s not I am going to ask whatever role I am asked to do.”
Tebow doesn’t know what role(s) he’ll be asked to do. “I gotta be 100 percent honest. You know, I’m not sure,” Tebow said. “I think for me it’s whatever I’m asked to do, I do it with all my heart. I try to do a great job at it. We’re in day four, so just continuing to learn. We’re continuing to learn the coaches, they’re learning us, learning the offense, learning installs. So it’s so early in the process that I have to say I can’t give you a straight answer on that.”
He can honestly say he’s not sure about his role(s) because he’s honest in his ambition to become the starting quarterback. If he’s not the starter, then he’ll be the Wildcat quarterback and the personal punt protector and a member of the kickoff team and a member of the kick return team and maybe a fullback/H-back/right tackle.
But Tebow wants to be the starter. And that will serve only to fuel the media and the fans who want to see Tebow play if Sanchez struggles.
And that’s why the Jets would be better off if Tebow were to stand up and say that he fully supports Mark Sanchez, that Tebow accepts the team’s repeated statements that Sanchez is the starter, and that Tebow will do whatever he is asked to do as the backup quarterback and whatever else the team asks him to do.
But Tebow is less likely to do that than he is to run wind sprints in the rain with his shirt on.