No escaping Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow dynamic
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- With less than 48 hours before the Jets pop the top off their Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow experiment, the exact nature of the chemistry between the two quarterbacks continued to be the main topic of discussion at the team's practice facility Friday.
Tebow, who will play his first regular-season game in a Jets uniform Sunday against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium, seemed surprised to hear that wide receiver Santonio Holmes had said Sanchez initially was "rattled" when Tebow joined the team.
"I didn't know anything about it," Tebow told reporters after practice Friday. "Mark called me a few hours after [the trade] happened and we had a great talk. I feel like our relationship has been great since, and before that even."
Holmes told reporters on Wednesday that Sanchez called him the day the Jets traded for Tebow in March and that the quarterback had been "rattled" by the news. On Friday, however, Sanchez told ESPN radio that Holmes' characterization of their conversation was hyperbolic.
"I think he made it a little more dramatic. When you read it in the paper, it sounds like a Lifetime movie script or something, [like] he's talking me off the ledge or something like that," Sanchez told ESPN. "Anybody in that situation would have a couple of questions about a trade like that. But as soon as I talked to the team, I really started to understand that [Tebow] is an addition. He's not changing anything. He's here to help."
Exactly how he's going to help and what he will look like doing it remains a subject of debate. On Friday, general manager Mike Tannenbaum said on ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" show that Sanchez will take 80 to 90 percent of the snaps this season, presumably leaving 10 to 20 percent of the snaps for Tebow.
Tebow told reporters after practice that he has not been given a percentage or told exactly how he's going to be used.
"I honestly don't know," he said when asked how much he will play. "I think that's up to the coaches based on how the game is going . . . There's stuff that's scheduled, but how often does a game go as scheduled?"
Not often, most Jets fans would tell you, which is why so many are excited about seeing what happens Sunday. Even coach Rex Ryan doesn't seem sure how Tebow and the Wildcat offense are going to look.
Said Ryan: "I'm eager to see it. I'm a fan of football. I'm excited to see it."
Notes & quotes: Jets defensive tackle Sione Po'uha, who has a back injury, was listed as questionable on the team's injury report, though Ryan said earlier Friday that he doesn't think he will play. "He's close. He's real close," Ryan said of Po'uha. "He's been begging us to play, but I think we're going to be smart and give it some time." . . . Jets safety Eric Smith (hip, knee) and offensive lineman Dennis Landold (hamstring) are out . . . Tight end Dustin Keller (hamstring) is listed as questionable, but it sounds as though Ryan is leaning toward playing him. "He looked good," Ryan said of Keller's practice Friday. "I think he's ready to roll."