Jets owner defends Tebow signing

WoodyPALM BEACH, Fla. — Shortly after arriving here at The Breakers resort on Sunday afternoon — for the NFL annual meeting, from Monday through Wednesday — I got a tip that New York Jets owner Woody Johnson would talk to the press in the lobby.

Here’s the story I filed earlier, plus some bonus quotes below.

(By the way — I love Canada’s winter weather like I like post nasal drip. It was hot and sunny and super muggy today. But, of course, I was working in a media room all day today, which got progressively colder as the day went on. Natch.)

 

JOHN KRYK
QMI Agency
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Owner Woody Johnson (right) on Sunday said that selling more tickets had nothing to do with the New York Jets acquiring Tim Tebow.
“Let me be really clear about this: We work for the fans,” Johnson told a small group of NFL writers in the lobby of The Breakers resort. “The fans want us to win games. So all of the decisions that we make regarding the team are just for football.
“It’s hard to predict other things. I think if you get confused in terms of what your mission is, you’re not going to accomplish your mission. Our mission is to win games, pure and simple.”
While Johnson would not reveal the “internal discussions” as to who, or how, the idea originated on the Jets to pursue a trade with the Broncos for Tebow, it all happened fast, he said. And GM Mike Tannenbaum was deeply involved.
“Mike’s job is to look at all opportunities,” Johnson said. “He always says, ‘Under every rock.’ The fans expect that from us. They expect us to look at every opportunity, and Tim Tebow was one of those.
“I think Tim Tebow will be a good addition to the team. From a football standpoint he adds flexibility, versatility. He’s a great athlete. He’s a big athlete. He can do a lot of things, besides being the backup quarterback. I think all those things are going to make us a better and stronger team going forward. And I’m excited, and I’m on board.”
Johnson even compared Tebow — who will be introduced Monday as a Jet — to Brad Smith of the Buffalo Bills.
“Mark Sanchez is our starter. (But Tebow) can do a lot of things. Whether he’s like a Brad Smith, (I don’t know). I think he gives you a versatility — particularly in our division, and in our conference — that I think (will) be helpful for us.”
Johnson is here for the NFL annual meeting, Monday to Wednesday.

EXTRA QUOTES:

ON TEBOW NOT THE ONLY JET WITH A CAPTIVATING STORY: “We think that Tim Tebow is a winner all his life, going back to if you look at his high school career — as a kid, I don’t know. Typical (of what) we want in our guys. There are 53 guys on our team and everybody has a story. Not everybody is as popular as Tim Tebow, but if you dig deep you’ll find remarkable tales. Almost every one of them…”

ON WHY THEY’RE HAVING AN INTRODUCTORY NEWS CONFERENCE FOR A BACKUP QB (Tebow): “It really was driven by you guys, not by us … It’s basically in response to the news media that want to follow it. It’s an interesting story, I guess, and they want us to do that. If you asked us to have a news conference for every one of our players, we’d probably grant it to ya. Really.”

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