Jets owner says Tebow trade was all football

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Jets owner says Tebow trade was all football

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The bump the Jets will get from Tebowmania? An ancillary benefit, according to owner Woody Johnson.

Speaking at the NFL Owners Meeting Sunday at The Breakers, Johnson fielded questions about the most discussed trade for a soon-to-be-backup quarterback in NFL history.

"Lemme be really clear about this: We work for the fans and the fans want us to win games, so all of the decisions we make regarding the team are just for football," said Johnson.

Seemingly segueing to Tebow's popularity (Johnson has a meandering speaking style), the owner added, "It's hard to predict other things. If you get confused as to what your mission is, you're not gonna accomplish your mission. Our mission is to win games, pure and simple. We think Tim Tebow has been a winner all his life. If you look back to his high school career, maybe when he was a little kid, I don't know."

The Jets -- ever concerned about making sure Mark Sanchez is propped up -- have been careful about making it known Tebow is a backup.

"I think Tim Tebow will be a good addition to the team," said Johnson. "From a football standpoint he adds flexibility, versatility, he's a great athlete -- he's a big athlete. He can do a lot of things besides being quarterback -- besides being the backup quarterback.

Asked if he's concerned about how the sometimes jittery Sanchez responds to having a full-fledged cultural phenomenon ready to take over for him, Johnson pooh-poohed.

"I'm really not (concerned)," he said. "Being an NFL quarterback is among the toughest jobs you can have from a pressure standpoint. From an athletic standpoint, etc. Pressure is something Mark doesn't have a problem with. Either does Tim Tebow from what I gather, I don't know him very well. But Mark is very, very good. We've all seen in the fourth quarter. Wish he'd get better in the first quarter perhaps, but in the fourth quarter. . .

"He realizes he's got to make some improvements," Johnson added, referring to Sanchez. "And the reason we signed him to the extension that we did is that we have so much confidence in Mark and the body of work that he's given to us and the fans I think made it seem meritorious to us to extend him. So we did."

There's been a fair amount of eye-rolling already about Tebow holding a press conference Monday. Johnson pinned it on media interest and said the Jets were only trying to be accommodating to the media.

"It really was driven by you guys, not by us," he said, somewhat dubiously. "The press conference will be tomorrow and will be large but it's basically in response to the news media that wants to follow it. It's an interesting story I guess and they want to do that.
If you asked us to have a news conference for every one of our players, we'd probably do it."

And that, perhaps, is just another of the Jets' problems.

Celtics-Hawks preview: Thomas 'not worried about' Schroeder

Celtics-Hawks preview: Thomas 'not worried about' Schroeder

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. –  Isaiah Thomas has respect for the Atlanta Hawks team.

So when I asked him about the Hawks, Thomas spoke glowingly about Paul Millsap as being a “special player” and Dwight Howard having a huge impact on shot attempts whether he’s blocking them or not.

But he knows all eyes will be on him and Hawks point guard Dennis Schroeder who had some not-so-nice things to say about Thomas following Boston’s 103-101 win at Atlanta on Jan. 13.

The two waged a feisty, highly combative game most of the Jan. 13 game with Thomas getting the better of Schroeder in just about every statistical category such as scoring (28 points for Thomas compared to 4 for Schroeder), assists (nine to three), and minutes played (36:16 to 22:36).

And then there was the one statistic that mattered most … the win.

But after the game, Schroeder told reporters that Thomas had spoken badly about his mother.

“I’m playing basketball,” Schroder told reporters after the game in January. “If he think that he got to curse at my mom or say some dumb stuff about my family, that has nothing to do with basketball. That’s his choice. I’ve got too much class for that. Next one, we are going to get it.”

The news got back to Thomas who emphatically denied he said anything along those lines.

“I don’t talk about nobody’s mom,” Thomas said when he became aware of Schroeder’s comments. “I don’t cuss at anybody’s mom and I don’t talk about people’s family. So whatever he said, that’s a 100 percent lie and he knows that.”

When I asked Thomas about Schroeder following Boston’s 104-98 win at Detroit Sunday night, he had little to say about the Hawks point guard.

“Man I’m past that. I’m not worried about that guy,” Thomas said. “Once he did that the last game, where he tried to damage my character, (saying I was) talking about his parents … I’m past that. Hopefully we can beat the Atlanta Hawks. I’m not even worried about him.”

Schroeder may not be on Thomas’ radar as a major concern, but the players he spoke of earlier – Millsap and Howard – are two players who can have a significant impact on whether the Celtics can continue to build off of the good things they did against the Pistons.

And Atlanta (32-26) will come in extremely thirsty for success having lost their last three games – all by 15 or more points - and four of the last five.

Despite the Hawks recent struggles, the Celtics understand that despite their success this season they are in no position to take any team lightly.

“They’re a good team. They play the game the right way,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “They have some really good players, some really good shooters, really good bigs down low. We have to come out and play harder than them, match their intensity, execute, move the ball, share the ball and have fun.”

Shaughnessy: Why I'm not a fan of Celtics not trading at deadline

Shaughnessy: Why I'm not a fan of Celtics not trading at deadline

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Sunday and talks with Felger about why he hated the Boston Celtics not making any moves at the deadline.