Tebow is familiar with being used as a short-yardage specialist, performing in that role at the University of Florida as the backup to Chris Leak during the Gators’ run to the national title in the 2006 season.
“There was a lot of goal-line, a lot of red zone,” he said. “I had a lot of opportunities to play in a lot of big moments, key moments _ fourth down, big games, big drives. I think my freshman year that really helped me just as far as the experiences of being in those big plays and being able to realize what those moments are like so when I came back for my sophomore year, I felt like I was a lot more prepared and ready to go.”
“That might make some sense,” said Ryan, quickly adding that New York won’t, of course, line up for 2 each time they score.
Tebow’s popularity off the field has been apparent since the day the Jets arrived in Cortland for the start of training camp last Thursday, when dozens of media converged on the small town in central New York. The fact a major network is providing live coverage of practices makes Sanchez shake his head.
“Other than us and Denver, it’s like nobody else is playing right now, which is crazy,” a smiling Sanchez said. “Oh my God, there’s 30 other teams. What’s happening? That’s just the nature of this year and the kind of draw Tim has and the kind of draw Peyton Manning has.”
Sanchez said the team has done a good job of ignoring all of the potential outside distractions, adding that he has seen the Jets garner lots of attention since he was taken in the first round of the 2009 draft. All this, even while the defending Super Bowl champion Giants are 150 miles away in Albany.
“I mean, that blows your mind,” Sanchez said.
The Jets are used to all the cameras, though, especially since they were the subject of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” two summers ago.
“It’s been pretty similar, but, you know, Tim brings a lot _ of fans and media,” Sanchez said. “It’s like a cult following, you know? You’d think the Grateful Dead are playing here or something. It’s crazy.”
Follow Dennis Waszak on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DWAZ73
By Elaine Donnelly
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