Page last updated on Wed Dec 13 19:29:50 EST 2017
Tue, 08 May 2012 03:44 AM EDT

Five weeks after the trade that rocked the NFL, Rex Ryan finally got his 1st look at Tim Tebow on the practice field. The N.Y Jets’ coach said Tebow looks “outstanding” in limited drills. Basketball lines

“Same thing with Mark Sanchez,” Ryan announced at a charity event, quickly including his starting QB in the conversation. “Both those guys are in exceptional shape.”

Phase two of the N.Y Jets’ offseason program started last Monday, allowing coaches to be on the field during player exercise programs, per the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement. Ryan raved about the team’s overall conditioning, claiming he expects an upswing in team speed.

Ryan giggled when asked what he’s seen from Tebow.

“I saw sufficient of Tebow last year, to be truthful with you,” he revealed, making reference to the Jets’ crushing loss to the Denver Broncos — a game than stopped on Tebow’s 95-yard touchdown drive. “I still see that last drive.”

Ryan mocked critics that panned the Jets’ draft, announcing that Tebow, whom they acquired for a 4th-round pick, should to be included when evaluating the overall draft.

“Everyone put everyone (in our division) before us, which I suspect it hilarious, but I think we had a heck of a draft,” Ryan claimed. “And when you put Tim Tebow in there as a 4th-round pick, it appears to be even better.”

Due to the CBA limitations, the trainings this week have been glorified walk-through, focusing principally on formations. Still, this is an important time for the Jets because they’re learning a whole new offensive system under new coordinator Tony Sparano, who has created a Tebow package that will include the wildcat.

“With Tony’s background, he has a great vision for Tim, what we would like to do with him,” Ryan said. “It’s exciting to have a young guy which has experience in the playoffs and is learning the system. I suspect he’s an excellent backup QB. I suspect he’s a superb football player. We shall see what we will come up with.”

Sanchez reported to the offseason program at 230 pounds, 5 pounds heavier than last season. He worked with his personal trainer in California, adding muscle to help absorb up the weekly poundings.

Sanchez, too, attended the charity event, but he wouldn’t answer football-related questions from reporters.

The Sanchez-Tebow dynamic will be one of the most scrutinized quarterback situations in the NFL. The Jets have insisted that Sanchez is the clear-cut starter, but they plan to use Tebow in the wildcat — an unconventional plan that may cost Sanchez some playing time.

Just a few days back, Tebow was named the 95th-best player in the NFL by his peers, who voted in the NFL Network’s Top 100 survey. Ryan said Tebow merited the recognition.

“That’s really asserting something about the young man,” Ryan announced.

“Everybody recognizes the competitiveness. The guy’s a winner, no question. Folks become bored with me saying it, but how does one not describe this guy as a football player?

“That’s what he is. He has got size, he’s got strength, he’s got speed and he will be able to throw the football.”

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