While the presence of quarterback Tim Tebow was mostly inferred during the "Hard Knocks" discussion, there was no escaping his name April 3, when numerous NFL stars unveiled the NFL's new uniforms in Brooklyn-and, it seemed, answered questions about Tebow and the Jets.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he thought fans would begin calling for Tebow over Sanchez during the first preseason game. Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, a teammate of Tebow's the last two seasons, said he'd never seen anything like Tebowmania in a 13-year career that included one year playing with Deion Sanders on the Redskins.
"For anybody to think he's not going in there to win the starting job, you're fooling yourself," Harvin said.
Not surprisingly, Jets stars D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Dustin Keller struck different tones during earlier promotional appearances for the NFL. "I'm not looking for, or expecting, any major changes in that," Ferguson told reporters at the NFL Store in Manhattan. "I think it's just going to be a complement to whatever Mark does. Like I said, Tebow has talent and we hope to benefit from that in some form or fashion."
Keller, who was at the NFL Store on April 2, said he has been in regular contact with close friend Mark Sanchez and that the incumbent is not worried about job security and is looking forward to having a backup with recent experience starting in the NFL. Sanchez' backup the last two seasons was Mark Brunell, who turned 41 early in the 2011 season, was last a regular starter in 2006 and has made just one start in the last five years.
"He understands the whole thing that a lot of people have been saying: He needs a backup quarterback that is going to push him and everything," Keller told reporters. "And this may be that. So hopefully it works out for the best."
Tebow raised some eyebrows when he appeared on ESPN 1050 Radio in Manhattan four days after his presidential-sized press conference at the Jets' facilities. It wasn't so much what Tebow said-a typically vanilla rehashing of his Monday comments-but that he made an exclusive appearance on the Jets' radio network, which also hosts Sanchez once a week during the regular season.
The New York Daily News reported that the Jets will limit what the newspaper called "Tebow's 'outside' endeavors" such as a weekly appearance on a radio station. Owner Woody Johnson sidestepped the question when he was asked about the Daily News story.
"Tebow will be managed just the same way that the 53 players will be managed, said Johnson, who, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, repeated the answer when asked if Tebow would have a weekly spot on the radio.
Believe it or not, some Jets players were asked about something other than Tebow. Running back Shonn Greene, who is coming off his first 1,000-yard season and will be the unquestioned bellcow in the backfield with LaDainian Tomlinson not expected to return, said at the unveiling of the NFL's new uniforms in Brooklyn that he was looking forward to working with new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. The former Dolphins head coach is expected to return the Jets to the "ground and pound" philosophy that netted consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game in Greene's first two seasons.
"Seeing how Miami did things (under Sparano), running the ball a lot-obviously I'm a running back, that's a good thing," Greene told reporters. "Just looking for a brand new fresh start and some new things."
Apparently, Bart Scott's final act as a Jet won't be flipping off photographers. Scott, who was granted permission to seek a trade by the Jets, gave his first interview of the offseason to New York's WNBC TV and said he is "all in" with the Jets and Rex Ryan.
"Me and Rex had a great conversation," Scott told the station. "I'm comfortable with my place and my role on the team. I look forward to having a great bounce-back year."
According to the New York Post, Scott appeared noticeably trimmer in the interview. Scott had 4.5 sacks last year, the second-most of his career, but recorded just 53 tackles, his fewest since emerging as a regular player with the Ravens in 2005. Scott, who turns 32 in August, is guaranteed $4.2 million this year.
ESPN New York reported Wednesday that the Jets and tight end Dustin Keller have begun discussing a contract extension. Keller, who is due to make $3.05 million in the final season of his current deal, was the Jets' best receiver last year, when he led the team with 65 catches, 815 receiving yards, 39 catches for first downs and 20 receptions of at least 20 yards.
The Jets may have signed an unusual backup for Keller in Australian rugby player Hayden Smith. His coach in Australia, Tim Brewster, tweeted that the Jets signed Smith, who projects as a tight end at 6-6 and 265 pounds. The Jets have yet to confirm the deal.
Guard Robert Turner became the second Jets reserve in a matter of days to sign with the Rams. Turner, who missed 2011 due to a broken ankle, agreed to a deal with the Rams. Former Jets backup tight end Matthew Mulligan signed with the Rams March 26. Qin there, what's 100 more?" -- Jets tight end Dustin Keller on the possibility of more reporters covering the Jets after the acquisition of Tim Tebow.