FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Tim Tebow is a consummate professional, a hard worker and a good teammate, the Jets’ Eric Decker and Darrelle Revis said. Tebowmania, however, is less pleasant.
“He brings a boatload of people whatever he’s trying to do, even here,” Revis said yesterday after news spread that the former Jets quarterback had signed a minor-league contract with the Mets. “If that’s what he wants to do, that’s on him. He’s a good guy. I didn’t even know he played baseball in high school.”
Decker dealt with the hoopla surrounding Tebow when he was on the Broncos.
“It’s going to be mixed emotions [in the clubhouse], I’m sure,’’ Decker said. “But he’s going to be a good teammate. I think he’s going to be very respectful. That’s the biggest thing. He’s not going to come in with a chip on his shoulder or he’s Tim Tebow and here’s the red carpet, in my experience. Guys will respect his work ethic.”
The Mets announced yesterday morning that Tebow, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy but hasn’t played baseball since his junior year of high school, will participate in the Mets’ instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Florida, which set off a flurry of reactions on social media and beyond. Some accused the Mets and Tebow of staging a publicity stunt. Others were thrilled at this latest chapter of the cultural phenomenon that took over the football landscape in 2010 and beyond. It was only a few years ago, after all, that “Tebowing” was common football parlance.
Those who have played with Tebow could only wish him well.
“From the outside, I could see how it looks as a publicity stunt,” Decker said. “I think he’s got a good gig right now [as a broadcaster] with the SEC Network and I’m sure he could do a daily talk show if he wanted. He’s well-liked. I think it’s just him being competitive and wanting to get that fire going.”
Tebow was released by the Eagles last year right before the start of the regular season. He’s only 29 — ancient for a prospect but young in every other respect — and Decker said he probably just wants to get on a field again.
“Best of luck to him,” he said. “I believe Tim has got a big heart. He’s a good person. I think his mindset is that he’s such a competitor that this is an outlet for him.”
Added Revis: “I’m rooting for him.”
And hey, even though he’ll be in Florida, there’s every chance Tebowmania could make another stop in New York. The Mets’ Class A team plays in Brooklyn, after all. And not even Decker is immune to a little Tebow speculation.
“So,” he said, addressing the media, “how far do you think he’s going to go?”