As the Jets ready for their first preseason contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, backup quarterback Tim Tebow is making sure his teammates keep things in perspective.
“Friday night is not the destination,” admitted Tebow. It’s just another step in our journey to get better, so when we play Buffalo, we’ll be ready to go.”
On both Monday and Tuesday morning the Jets were involved in minor skirmishes during practice with head Rex Ryan punishing his players with wind sprints for failing to control their emotions.
While the fights garnered a great deal of media attention and negative publicity, according to Tebow, fights are just an ordinary occurrence at NFL training camps.
“You know it’s hot, guys are tired, everybody is getting very competitive, you want to win, you want to do a good job, so sometimes tempers can come out when that happens," remarked Tebow on the Jets training camp tussles. “We’re also just playing hard, and sometimes when you’re competing and playing hard, you’re going to have a few scuffles every now and then.”
Earlier this week Ryan told his team that the enemy is not wearing Green-and-White and each player needs to take care of one another out on the practice field. With New York finalizing preparations for Friday night’s exhibition contest, kickoff can’t seem to come soon enough.
The Jets outspoken head coach delivered a heartfelt message to Gang Green this week, relaying the importance of team unity and camaraderie both on and off the field.
Ryan’s words certainly resonated with Tebow.
“I think the number one thing I took from it was his passion and his belief in us as players,” said Tebow. “Together, what we can accomplish if we’re looking out for one another, if we’re playing for one another, if the coaches are invested in the players and the players in the coaches and the players in one another. Just a sense of belief and a passion of coming together and let’s see what can happen.”
With New York chomping at the bit to wash away the bitter taste of last year’s disappointments, in Tebow’s mind, Friday night is merely a tune-up for when the meaningful football games begin in September.
“I think through the whole training camp, it only matters on 16 days a year,” said Tebow of his team’s progress throughout camp. “Even preseason games, you want to be ready, you want to do a great job, but the whole thing is to just build up. Just continue to get better, get better, understand, learn and grow, so when that first game comes around we’re ready to go.”
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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