New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez put on his best happy face last night and said all the right things about his new backup— Tim Tebow.
Speaking at a paid appearance in White Plains, N.Y.— where he signed autographs and had a Q & A with fans— Sanchez put a nice spin on the quarterback controversy and said he had spent the past few days getting to know his new teammate as the Jets begin their offseason program.
"He's been as advertised, as good of a guy, if not better, than anybody said," said Sanchez. "So, he's been a great addition so far. I'm thrilled to work with him."
After the Jets traded for Tebow last month, there was speculation that Tebow would be used to push the underachieving Sanchez or even take over the starting job. Head coach Rex Ryan has said Sanchez will remain the team's starter.
Starter or not, it sounds like some of Tebow's rigorous training habits are already rubbing off on the incumbent QB.
"From a competitor standpoint, he's great," said Sanchez, a third-year pro. "He's what you want in an offseason program — working hard, competing with the guy in the weight room. This is a big, strong guy, so it's good for me. That's been one of my goals in the offseason— putting on a little more muscle mass. I've been taking a beating during the season. It's been a good transition and Tim's been great."
Sanchez also has a new offensive coordinator to contend with and poked some fun at Tony Sparano's gruff style of coaching.
"Coach Sparano is tough," said Sanchez. "He sounds like Joe Pesci sometimes when he's installing plays. He'll say, 'You got it? You got it? I'm not speaking for my health. You got it?' It's 'Yes sir' [from] the entire room."
Sanchez was at the Westchester Mall to meet the fans and his handlers told a New York Post reporter that he was not allowed to give any interviews.