Tim Tebow Transcript

New York Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow 3/26/12

Opening Statement…..

How’s it going?  Good to see all of you.  A lot of people here.  It’s such an honor for me to be here.  I’m so excited about being a Jet.  Thank you all for coming.  First and foremost, I just want to thank the Broncos for my time in Denver.  It was an amazing tame.  I want to thank my teammates and fans for being such great teammates and such great fans.  I’m looking forward to my time in New York and my time as a Jet.  I’m so honored and humbled to be a Jet.  I’m so thankful that they wanted me.  I’m so excited about meeting my teammates.  I’ve had the pleasure to meet quite a few already.  I’m looking forward to my future as a Jet and I’m very, very excited about it. With that, I’d love to open it up for questions.

On the discrepancy between John Elway’s and his account on the trade to the Jets…

Well, I guess a little bit of the story was when I woke up Wednesday morning and talked to Coach Fox, they were very gracious the whole time.  Coach Fox, I specifically talked to him a lot throughout the process.  So he kind of told me some of the opportunities that were out there.  So I talked to him about it.  The next thing I know is I got a call from Mr. Tannenbaum and Mr. Ryan and they said I was a Jet.  I was really excited about it.  I’m like ‘All right, I’m excited.  When is the next flight out to New York?’  I was excited about it.  Then obviously the media circus happened and I found out a few minutes later there was a snag in the contract and I wasn’t a Jet.  Then it was like five hours kind of waiting.  Coach Fox was keeping me updated on what was happening.  Then later on in the day, they said we have a few teams that are interested, similar deals.  He was very gracious to ask me what I thought.  So I talked to him very honestly about it.  I told him I would love to be a Jet.  I told him also the Jaguars are my hometown – whatever was best for them.  He said the same for me.

Ultimately, you know, they had my contract, they had all the power.  But he listened to me and what I had to say.  It was very gracious of them because they didn’t have to do that.  They could have just done whatever.  But he listened to me and talked to me.  I told him I would love to be a Jet.  I love the coaches.  I had an opportunity to be with Coach Sparano at the Senior Bowl, I’ve had an opportunity to know Coach Ryan several times.

I also told him I would love to be a Jaguar, that was my hometown, so that would be exciting for me and whatever was best for them.  So I’m excited to be a Jet and I’m excited to be here.

On if he wants to be the starter…

I think everybody that puts on a uniform, you want to go out there and you want to play.  That’s why you play the game of football.  I’m excited to be a Jet, to go out there and to help this team any way that I can.  Whatever my role is, however I can expand that role, I’m going to try to do that.  Every day in practice I’m going to go out there and compete and try to get better as a quarterback, try to figure out any ways possible to help this team any way that I can.

On how he feels that his presence on the team could create an issue…

I really don’t pay too much attention to it.

I think the exciting thing is that me and Mark have a great relationship.  We have had a great relationship for the last three years I think.  We’ve been friends.  We’ve texted back and forth.  We’ve talked already.  We’re going to have a great relationship and a great working relationship. I think we’ll have a lot of fun together.

On if Coach Ryan has defined his role with the team…

I have had time to spend with Coach Ryan.  I think a lot of it has to do with how well it works, how it does in practice.  Obviously, you’re not going to put something out there if it’s not executed and not running well.  I think it matters how well we do, how well I can pick everything up, go out there and how well we’re doing.  My goal is to go out there and try to execute as well as I possibly can and improve every single day and really feel comfortable with my role and expand that role by going out there and competing and playing well.  So I think it’s just exciting that he’s had faith in me and he believes in me as a football player and as a person to bring me here and make me a Jet.  I’m excited about the opportunity.

 

On how Sanchez was on the phone and how well they will work together…

Well, from my conversations with him, he was excited.  He was excited about working with me.  I’m excited about working with him.  I have a lot of respect for him as a football player, as a person.  He’s always handled himself with so much class and integrity.  He’s won a lot of games as a quarterback. I think we’ll have a great working relationship.  We talked about that – just supporting one another in our roles.  I’m excited about that opportunity.  I think we’ll have a great relationship and hopefully we’ll be able to thrive together.

On if he is comfortable playing a position other than quarterback…

I think, first and foremost, I’m a football player first and then a quarterback, although that is my dream, that’s what I want to be.  That’s what I believe I am, is a quarterback. But however I can help the team, however I can make a difference, however they can use me, I’ll be open to it and work as hard as I can every time I step on that field.  I would give my whole heart to be the best Jet I possibly can be and help this team win football games.

On why he is so excited to be a Jet…

First and foremost, it was my relationship with the coaches.  It was having football coaches that believed in you, having football coaches that saw ability in me, and having coaches that I really respected for how they coach the game, for who they were.  I’ve always had a great relationship with Coach Ryan.  (I have a) relationship with Coach Sparano.  (I’m) also excited about working with Coach Cavanaugh.  Also you have so much support from Mr. Johnson, from Mr. Tannenbaum.  Look at these facilities.  They don’t get much better.  There’s a lot of pros here, not many cons.  I’m excited about that.

On how he can make sure he does not allow his popularity become a distraction to the team…

It’s an honor for all you to show up to hear me say a few words today.  I really don’t feel like it will be too much of a distraction because I honestly will try not to pay too much attention to it.  The reason we’re doing this today is because I have bosses, too, and they wanted me to stand up and talk to all of you.  I can blame it on them because they made me do it, so…  (Smiling).

On he thinks Sanchez will respond to the pressure of having a player so popular as his backup…

I think Mark is very secure as a football player and a person,  and who he is.  I don’t think he’s going to let outsiders affect how he goes about his preparation or how he plays.  I think, you know, I’m excited about my role here, too, and my opportunity, my opportunity to compete.  I think working together we’ll be able to encourage one another and be stronger together than we would be apart.

On if the criticism of him as a passer is fair…

I think I’m improving every single day.  I’ve been working very hard in L.A. with Coach Mazzone, who is a former Jets coach, working extremely hard to improve in every area of my game.  I’m excited about my future and just improving as a quarterback, as a football player, understanding defenses, understanding the schemes, how we go about it, how we take advantage of defenses, reads, fundamentals, all those things.  I’m excited about the opportunity.  I’m excited about my future.

On his relationship with Sanchez…

When was the first time we met?  I think it might have been at the ESPYs a few years ago.  I know we had to do one appearance at a Super Bowl a few years ago where we were throwing to fans and other people.  We had a good time with that.  We had to do a question and answer at one of those Super Bowl appearances as well where we got to hang out backstage for a while and then go out and have to answer some questions.

But we’ve always had a great relationship every time we’ve been together and hung out.  He’s a very classy person with a lot of integrity.  He’s also fun to hang around.  I think our quarterback room will be a lot of fun.

On how much pressure he is feeling from joining the Jets…

None actually.  I don’t really feel too much pressure.  Just enjoying this opportunity, how exciting it is.  I’m excited to be a Jet.  I’ve got a long way to go before OTAs or training camp.  (I’ve got to) just continue to prepare and just continue to try to improve.  I’m sure there will be some pressure leading up to it.  But, you know, I’ve always enjoyed pressure.  Before every time I get up and give a speech, before every practice, before every football game I play, I always get a little bit nervous.  That’s something that excites me.  I think that’s something that I play better when I have more on the line.  That’s something that I’ve always tried to thrive on.  When that feeling goes away, that will probably be the time when I stop playing football.  So I’m excited about just the support that we have as a Jet, the fans, how passionate they are.

I’ve been very blessed in my past to have passionate fans when I was at the University of Florida.  You know, Gator Nation is very powerful and it’s everywhere.  So that was a lot of fun.  Being a Bronco, they have extremely passionate fans, which I was very blessed to have support me.  Now being a Jet, it’s awesome because you have so many fans that support us as Jets and they’re so passionate.  I realized that when we played the Jets last year and we were playing them at our home field, and they had a lot of fans there.  They were cheering pretty loud.  That was exciting to see.  Now being a Jet, I’m looking extremely forward to our first game to see what the atmosphere is really like.

On his relationship with Coach Ryan…

Well, my relationship with him has always been great.  We’ve continued to build a relationship throughout the last few years.  Just in our conversations — he actually has the same agent I have in Jimmy Sexton.  Gosh, I’m trying to remember the first place we met. (It) might have been at a Pro Day where we met.  I know we spent some time together at the Super Bowl this year.  We got to have a great conversation there. I’ve always watched him.  I got to see ‘Hard Knocks’, see how he coached, and that was fun.  From our conversations that we’ve had the last few days, I think he’s just excited that I’m here.  I think it’s a day-by-day process to see what happens and how well the Wildcat is working.

On what his role will be…

I think it’s a day-by-day process, figuring out what works, how I can fit into this team and try to make this team a little bit better.  And that’s my goal, by being on this team, be a great teammate, hopefully a good asset, and someone that can help us try to win a few football games.

On if he feels the wild cat can still work in the NFL…

I think one misconception is people think that the Wildcat is just a direct snap to a running back and you fake it and you run power or outside zone or inside zone.  I think that’s a big misconception because I think when you have the ability to have 11 people touch the ball — not 11 people, but you have five or six people that have the opportunity to touch the ball on every single play, I think it can be confusing.  I think it can make defenses play slow.  I think when you have a great offensive coordinator like Coach Sparano that can put together packages and plays, not necessarily have tendencies, then I think it can be effective.

On if he takes offense to the notion that this trade is a publicity stunt…

I really don’t take offense to that.  I don’t think it’s true because I think the Jets get a lot of support as it is and have a lot of great fans.  I don’t think it has much to do with that. I think it has more to do with just some coaches believing in me and hopefully thinking that I’m an okay football player.  I’m just excited I have the opportunity to be a Jet and hopefully I can add something to this great franchise and organization.

On how he feels that he is embraced because of his faith…

Well, obviously I’m someone that is very outspoken about my faith.  I’ve never been ashamed of it.  Anytime I get the opportunity, I always thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because that is the most important thing to me.  But I don’t think all the attention is just because of my faith.  I think sometimes it adds a little bit to it.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the first athlete that has gotten on a knee and prayed.  Somehow it’s known as Tebowing, and I’m not sure why.  It probably has a little bit to do with the hype.  But, you know, I think it’s not all a bad thing.  If people are still somehow talking about prayer or talking about my faith, then I think that’s pretty cool.

On what advice Sanchez has given him about dealing with New York…

He did say to get ready for y’all (the media) (smiling).

It’s fun.  We have a great relationship.  He just said it would be fun working together.  You spend so much time watching film in the QB room, it’s so important to have people in there that you like, that you can get along with, that you can joke around with, that you can make fun of, that you can have a great time.  Just as far as that goes, we’ll have a great relationship.  Also you’ll have McElroy in there, Alabama guy, so that will be tough, but it should be okay.

 

On if he plans on establishing a foundation in the New Jersey area…

Absolutely.  I’m looking forward to doing things here in New Jersey and in New York, figuring out a way to just try to make a difference and to try to help.  My foundation is something that is extremely important to me, something that I’m very proud of.  I’m so proud of the 650 orphans that we support, or the 18 Timmy’s  playrooms that we’re building, or the hospital in the Phillipines that we’re building because ultimately I know that’s more important than anything I do on the football field, the ability to brighten a kid’s day, the ability to make someone smile.  We’re put on a pedestal as a football player which makes us no more important or no more special than anybody else.  You have an opportunity, I believe more than that, it’s a responsibility to be a good role model, to set a good example and to make a difference in kids’ lives, especially kids that are looking up to you because you play football.  I can still remember when I was eight years old and Danny Wuerffel came to my church as a Florida Gators quarterback.  I was probably the 120th kid in line and I waited an hour.  But he signed all the autographs and waited until I got to him and I still remember how that made me feel as a little boy.  I still have that autograph in my parents’ house in Jacksonville, Florida, because I know how it made me feel.  Sometimes we can get so busy and caught up in the hustle and bustle, forget about being a role model, setting a good example and making a difference in people’s lives that are looking up to us.  Ultimately I know that my biggest goal in being here and being a football player, is to set a great example, and I’m excited about this opportunity.

On how he will handle the demand of being in New York…

You know, I feel being at the University of Florida, you have a pretty big platform there.  Then just being a quarterback for two years in the NFL gives you a pretty big platform.  Ultimately I’m just going to be myself and just have fun with it and honestly not worry about what I can’t control.  It’s something I learned early on at Florida is if you can’t control it, don’t worry about it.  Honestly, I’m just going to try to be the best teammate, try to be the best football player that I can be and try to set a good example.  Besides that, I’m not really going to worry about too much else.

On if he felt the Jets were a better fit for him than the Jaguars…

I can tell you this, I had a better relationship with the Jets coaches.  I knew them.  I know that Coach Mularkey and the coaches they have are great coaches, but I never met any of them.  I haven’t had an opportunity to get to know them.  It would have been exciting.  It would have been fun to be home.  But this is exciting.  I’m so proud to be a Jet.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

This is a blessing for me and it’s going to be a great opportunity.

On if he has to be careful in spreading his faith in New York and in the locker room…

Well, I think first and foremost it doesn’t matter what market I was in, I don’t think that necessarily played a big part in it. I just want to be myself.  When I’m asked about it, I won’t be ashamed of saying that I serve my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  In the locker room, it’s not something that I’m super outspoken about.  It’s just that’s who I am and that’s how I live.  I don’t try to share it with a lot of guys.  I don’t try to approach a lot of guys with it because I think the greatest way to share the gospel is by acting it and by them seeing who you are as a person.  That’s how I approach it.  It’s not by what I say, it’s more about how I act and who I am as a person.  I think it is the greatest way you can have an impact on people’s lives is your integrity, character and how you go about handling yourself.

On if he learned anything about himself from this process…

That’s a very good question.

You know, I think I learned a lot of things about myself.  I think what also came to mind was you can’t worry about what you can’t control.  That was something that was reemphasized.  I think also something is you can’t worry about sometimes how people can take something so little and make it big.  As far as like Tebowing goes, I’ve been doing that same routine for the last seven years, since my senior year in high school.  All of a sudden this last year it became a big deal that I was going to the end zone and getting on a knee before a game and praying.  I’ll get up and do a few jumps and sprint down the sideline.  It’s funny because all of a sudden it became a big story, but it’s something I’ve done the last seven years.  For me it’s not about changing anything, it’s not about being anyone different, it’s about being who I am and who I’ve always been and just trying to be the same person, continuing to work hard, continuing to treat people like I want to be treated, continue to do what’s right and do my best.  Other than that, I really won’t worry about too much else.

On if he is concerned that one of his sponsors (Jockey) placed a billboard outside of Lincoln Tunnel…

I don’t think so.  Hopefully they know that I have nothing to do with that.  I don’t think that it will really have an effect on the people in the locker room because there’s not much I can do to control that (laughter).

On if he has an issue with discussing what his religious beliefs…

Not really.  We are at a press conference for a football team.  It’s not exactly the platform to get up here and share everything you believe.  I have no problems ever sharing what I believe.  You know, I’m a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ.  That is first and foremost the most important thing in my life.  For me, it’s about having a relationship with Christ, and that’s pretty much it.  That’s the basis of what I believe.  It’s exciting for me to get opportunities to share that. But at the same time this is a press conference for the New York Jets football team.  So I feel like it’s an opportunity to answer questions about my opportunity to be here as a Jet, and I’m excited about that.  Anytime I get an opportunity, I’m always going to talk about Jesus Christ and what He’s done in my life.

On if he feels he needs to win over the locker room…

I don’t think I’m necessarily trying to win over the locker room.  I’m trying to, every day in my actions, earn a little bit of respect from the guys in the locker room, by showing up, working hard, trying to be a great teammate, trying to improve on my skills, trying to make the Jets a little bit better because I’m on this team.  Whether that is by on the field or being a great teammate or encouraging other guys, I just want to make this team a little bit better because I’m here and earn their respect a little bit at a time by how I work and who I am as a person.

On if his marketing partners are excited about him being in a larger market…

I guess.  I haven’t talked to anybody about that.  It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind.  It was: I was traded, I wasn’t traded, I was back as a Jet, then I was on a plane here.  My whole time here has been meeting with the coaches, getting to know them, getting all the physicals, getting the paperwork done.  That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.  I haven’t had too much time to talk to any of them.  But I guess they are pretty excited, so….

On how far he thinks the Jets can go this season…

I’m blessed to be on a very good football team, a great defense, great offensive line, great skilled athletes.  It was a great game when we played each other last year.  I’m excited to be on a football team that’s a tough football team, that’s a physical football team, a football team that has won a lot of games over the last few years.

Hopefully by me being here, we can be a little bit better and I can add something to this team.  That is my hope and prayer.  I’m excited to be on this football team, excited to have the support that we have.

It truly is a blessing to be on this team, to be on a team that has won so many football games.  When you watch the New York Jets play, you see a team that is physical, that wants to win, and that’s exciting.  It’s always a lot of fun to be on the tough team and the physical team.  I believe that’s what you have when you’re on the New York Jets.

On if he understands people anger about him being traded from Denver after helping the Broncos win a playoff game…

It was a special season last year, that I was able to be a part of just a little bit of, with some great teammates, some great coaches.  Will have a lot of great memories a long time from last season, some of the comebacks, some of the wins, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.  That will always be part of my career and special memories.  They went away that they thought was best for the organization.  I’ll never blame them for that.  I’m excited about being a Jet, excited about the support I have here.  I wish the Broncos nothing but the best.  They got one of the best quarterbacks to ever play this game in Peyton Manning.  He’s always been extremely classy and very supportive of me.  I wish him nothing but the best.

There’s no ill will towards the Broncos, Peyton Manning or anybody.  I wish them nothing but the best.  It will be a lot of fun when we get to play each other.  I wish them nothing but the best.  I know they’re going to have a great team and win a lot of games this next season.  I’ll always have a lot of friends on that team.  I’m always going to root for those guys ’cause we went through a lot together.

It will be exciting to watch and see how they do.  But I’m worried about being a Jet and I’m excited about being a Jet.  This is where I want to be.

On if he has a message for Giants fans…

Not really.  I’ll leave that talk to other people.  I’m not qualified to get in that argument.  I’m excited to be here.  You have to congratulate the Giants on winning a Super Bowl and having a great team.  I wish them nothing but the best as well.

On how he will deal with the locker room…

Honestly it really doesn’t bother me at all.  I think it’s my job to come in here and try to earn guys’ respect by how I work.  I want them to respect me by me coming in here and working hard, proving myself in the weight room, in sprints, when we’re running, on the practice field.  I can’t control doing this press conference.  You can blame the guys upstairs.  They wanted me to do that, so I have no say over that at all either.  I’m just having fun with it, make the best of whatever situation I’m dealt.

I’m so honored to be here.  It’s such a blessing for me.  I’m excited about getting to know those teammates, building a relationship.  I have been able to know quite a few of them already.  I’m excited about it.

It truly is an honor to be a Jet and I’m so grateful to be here.

Thank you all.  God bless.


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