New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Woody Johnson says Tim Tebow will be here through 2014
Had enough of Tebowmania in New York? Well, you’d better get used to it, because Tim Tebow may not be going anywhere for quite some time.
Jets owner Woody Johnson, in an interview this morning on CNBC, was asked if Tebow would remain with the team beyond this season.
“Are we going to keep Tebow? Absolutely,” Johnson said. “He’ll be with us for three years, and he’ll be a real asset in terms of helping us win games.”
Tebow’s contract runs through the 2014 season. The Jets acquired him in a trade last March with the Broncos after Denver signed free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.
Johnson also expressed support for embattled starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has struggled so far this season and has prompted some to wonder whether Jets head coach Rex Ryan will soon turn to Tebow to replace Sanchez. Asked if there was any wavering on Johnson’s or Ryan’s part about Sanchez and whether Tebow might start, Johnson replied: “No. No. There will be never be.”
“No matter what?” Johnson was asked.
“Never is a long, long time period, but I see the same things in Mark Sanchez that I saw when I first met him [in 2009]. He’s still a young quarterback. This is probably the most difficult position athletically and mentally that there is in all of sports. Everybody's trying to deceive you and the other guys trying to get at you, and it’s a hurried environment.”
Johnson said the team still believes Sanchez is a quality performer.
“We think he’s that good,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t look at the numbers too seriously, 31 or 28 [uncertain what he meant by those numbers]. A quarterback's job ultimately is to win games and Mark Sanchez has proven he can. Like he pulled out a game a few weeks ago at the last couple of minutes when we played Miami. That was an ugly game in many respects, but we pulled it out.”
Johnson also said the Jets are capable of beating quality teams. They’re coming off a 23-17 loss to the Texans, who improved to 5-0 after Monday night’s win at MetLife Stadium.
“I think we were very competitive,” Johnson said of the game. “We were in there all the way to the end. We made a few little mistakes and that cost us the game.”
Johnson also attempted to walk back a remark from an interview last week on Bloomberg TV in which he said it was more important to him that Gov. Mitt Romney become the President than it was for the Jets to have a winning season.
“Well, I think you always have to put country first,” Johnson said. “So I think it’s very, very important that for - not only us - but in particular for our kids and grandkids that this election come off with Mitt Romney and (Paul) Ryan as President and vice president.”
He was asked about the remarks on CNBC and replied, ‘I said country first, but probably I would have characterized it by saying that I’ve got great passion, I’ve devoted my life to both those things.” He then added, “And I will point out, and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but right after that, Romney had his debate [last Wednesday] and did extremely well.”