|"If Mark Sanchez 'doesn't play well, we all know what's going to happen next." - Broncos CB Champ Bailey (Getty Images)|
During a radio interview last week, Tim Tebow skirted questions about whether he considers himself a starting quarterback. "Well, more than anything," he redirected, "I think of myself as a competitor."
That's Tebow speak for "I consider myself a starting quarterback." It's just not part of his well-crafted image to come out and say it. But if he won't, others certainly will. Former Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer said Monday that "Here's a guy, all the pundits say what he can't do, that he can't play. These are guys he probably looked up to growing up. All of a sudden, you get your opportunity to be on the big stage, and all these guys are talking bad about you, and he's still -- no matter what happens in the fourth quarter -- he makes plays and win games. There's something to be said about that.”
The Broncos said adios, and the Jets insist that Tebow is primarily a wildcat specialist, though we doubt even Mark Sanchez believes that.
A day later, during the ubiquitous Nike press event for the unveiling of the NFL's new uniforms, Broncos model and cornerback Champ Bailey said that Tebow's work ethic will ultimately land him a starting gig.
"(Tebow) is gonna challenge (Sanchez), absolutely," Bailey said according to ESPNNewYork.com. "Sanchez can't feel too comfortable in his seat. If he keeps playing well, he doesn't have to worry about it. But if he doesn't play well, we all know what's going to happen next."
While Bailey knows that Tebow won't complain about his current position on the depth chart, all the talk of Tebow-specific wildcat packages is just that: talk -- at least in the short term. "Will he like doing it for the rest of his career? I don't think so. … The guy is going to be a starter at some point, whether here or somewhere else, because he's going to work to get it done . . . He's a great competitor. He works hard."
Bailey continued: "I know he's not content with the way he plays right now. He wants to get better at a lot of different things. If he gets better, he'll be a consistent starting quarterback in this league at some point."
To recap: Tebow has been a member of the Jets for less than two weeks, the NFL season is 155 days off, and Sanchez's job is already in the crosshairs. God help us all if he gets off to a slow start in 2012. (Related: if this is Rex Ryan "fixing" the Jets we'd hate to see how he'd go about wrecking the locker room.)
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