“Oh, please, he’s not going to listen to me, and he shouldn’t,” Rex Ryan said. “He’ll just do what he does, and that makes sense.”
Ryan never found a way to use Tebow productively after the Jets acquired him to great fanfare following his trade from the Denver Broncos in March 2013.
“I’m happy for the young man to get another opportunity in the league,” Ryan said. “Obviously, Tim had more success in Denver than he did here.”
New York went 6-10 last season, while New England was 12-4 and advanced to the AFC title game. With the Jets, Tebow completed six of eight passes and ran 32 times for 102 yards.
Tebow had a lot more success in college at Florida. With the Patriots, he’s reunited with two former college teammates, tight end Aaron Hernandez and linebacker Brandon Spikes.
“It’s good to see a Gator in the building,” Spikes said. “I was happy for him. He got to get his job back and … come out here and compete, so that’s good to see him smile, that big smile I’m used to seeing the last few years down in Florida.”
Hernandez caught 111 passes in three years as Tebow’s college teammate and was surprised when the Patriots signed him.
“I was a little shocked and I was happy because we had a long relationship in college and it’s good to play with a college teammate again,” Hernandez said. “Great teammate. Great leader.”
On the Patriots, he’s merely a player looking to compete for a roster spot.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Tebow said. “I’m looking forward to working hard every single day and getting a lot better and learning under some great people. So that’s all I got, but thank you all so much and God bless. I’m sure we’ll be talking more soon.”
AP sports writers Larry Lage in Detroit, Dennis Waszak Jr. in Florham Park, N.J., and Barry Wilner in New York contributed to this report.