The avid sports fan that he is, President Barack Obama could not resist the opportunity to weigh in on the New York Jets’ proposed two-quarterback system that will feature Tim Tebow in special situations.
Everyone else has had something to say about it. Why not the nation’s No. 1 Sports Fan?
The president said he would be “concerned” if he were a Jets fan because of the potential controversy that could come between Mark Sanchez, the starter, and Tebow, the “wild cat” specialty player.
Ordinarily, coach Rex Ryan, who never met a controversy he would not address, would weigh in with so much to say. But maybe the 160 pounds Ryan lost since last season has doused some of his penchant for commenting on everything controversial.
For, Ryan only said in response: “I’ll say this, I respect President Obama and I respect the fact that this is his opinion.”
Reporters waited for more from Ryan, something flippant, something funny, even arrogant. He gave them nothing.
“That’s it,” Ryan said, grinning.
Maybe it was too easy for him. “I’m not taking the layup and all that jazz,” Ryan added. “That’s it.”
This is the kind of thing Ryan might have had a little fun with in the past. Ryan is the guy who, on his first day as head coach, said he thought the Jets would make a championship visit to the White House in Obama’s term.
Jets players who had heard Obama’s remarks — and a startling number said they hadn’t — disagreed with the assessment that quarterbacks were not the recipe for a stable situation.
“We don’t have a two-quarterback system,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie said. “We have a one-quarterback system, and that’s with Mark. The Jets fans shouldn’t be worried at all.”
“Shout out to Obama — I’m behind him 100 percent,” wide receiver Patrick Turner said. “But I think this will be the first time a two-quarterback system will work. Tebow, for what he did last year, I felt like he kind of changed the game a little bit. That’s why he’s here. Guys are behind him. I’m behind him 100 percent. What he can do is something special.
“When you can offset an old-fashioned, a regular quarterback with something out-of-the-normal like Tebow, I think it’s a good counter for what we’re trying to do. Left guard Matt Slausonkept his comment simple.
“He doesn’t play football for the Jets,” he said of Obama.