Tebow gets more attention than Sanchez
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The cameras descended upon Tim Tebow's locker as the media jockeyed for the best positions to capture every word and every smile.
Tebow had yet to enter Thursday but the cameras were poised to record his first steps into the Jets' locker room. About 25 feet away, hardly a soul stood in front of Mark Sanchez's locker. The disparity in the receptions for the quarterbacks was striking. But starter and backup -- Sanchez and Tebow, respectively -- said they don't expect their coexistence to be an issue or a distraction.
Their working relationship may be in its beginning stages but they are becoming fast friends, joking around at quarterback meetings and in the weight room. Sanchez praised Tebow's competitive fire, while Tebow called Sanchez "a great leader."
"It's been fun," Sanchez said. "Nothing's been too tough to handle. We've been great about going out on the field, being in the classroom, watching film together. It's an ongoing working relationship, that's the way it's got to be and that's the way you want that quarterback room to work."
"I hope every backup quarterback wants the job of the starter," Sanchez said. "That's the way you have to prepare. I've been in those shoes in college -- anticipating the game, studying like I'm the starter and then getting to the game and not playing.
"Fortunately for Tim, he has the ability to do other things. That's why he's on board. He's a backup quarterback first and then he'll do plenty of other stuff."
But so far, Tebow said he has taken reps only at quarterback. The Jets spent the past few weeks working on basics and have installed only one offense, according to tight end Dustin Keller. So the Wildcat, special packages and trick plays will come later. Tebow also said he hasn't been told he'll be used on special teams. But he reiterated he's open to any position.
"I always put team first,'' he said. "Whatever they want me to do, they know that I'll do it with all my heart.''
Tebow initially danced around the subject of wanting the starting job. When pressed, he said: "I think it's fair to say that I always want to be my best, as good as I can possibly be, push myself to the limits as far as a quarterback, a passer learning defenses, learning offenses, just trying to be the best football player and person I can possibly be."
Sanchez repeatedly said he wouldn't discuss hypotheticals about Tebow's impact on his playing time. He did say he wouldn't be fazed if fans were chanting Tebow's name during games. "They're cheering for the Jets, so . . .
"Whatever's helping us win, we're all on board," Sanchez added. "Tim's going to support me when I'm in there, I'll be rooting for Tim when he's in there and it's all going to help the team."
Tebow agreed. He also said he doesn't anticipate having an impact on Sanchez's ability to lead.
"I think Mark has been a great leader and he'll continue to be a great leader," Tebow said. "He's someone that works very hard in the weight room, in the classroom, on the practice field, and I think that's a big key."
Notes & quotes: Wayne Hunter admitted he was the "weakest link" on the offensive line last year. He said the Jets told him he would start this season, even though GM Mike Tannenbaum told reporters Hunter will be competing for his job. "I'm the starting right tackle," Hunter said, "and that hasn't changed, whether people like it or not." . . . DL Mike DeVito said he's happy the team took DE Quinton Coples in the first round. DeVito said a few years ago the lack of depth on the defensive line resulted in guys getting "gassed."