When Tim Tebow walked into the locker room Thursday, with a crowd of reporters already camped out at his locker, his teammates sensed the moment -- a massive scrum/news conference -- and sounded off.
"Te-bow! Te-bow!" several players chanted.
A couple of players were creative and yelled out, "Lo-lo! Lo-lo!" That was a reference to U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones, who recently told HBO's "Real Sports" that she doesn't believe in premarital sex. Tebow, a devout Christian, shares that sentiment.
That the players razz Tebow shows they like him. As Tebow said, "If they didn't, then it means they didn't care. It is awesome, because they give me a hard time about it and that is great. If they didn't, that is when you have to worry."
Said CB Darrelle Revis: "Guys like to have fun. I hope Tim can handle it." Revis said he tweaked Tebow during practice, telling him after one of his interceptions, "Hey, thanks for throwing a turnover to us."
THINKING OF JIM: Rex Ryan insisted the team hasn't ruled out the possibility of re-signing safety Jim Leonhard, who is recovering from major knee surgery.
"I'm never going to say that," Ryan said.
Ryan's words notwithstanding, Leonhard's return appears to be a long shot, especially since they signed veteran S Yeremiah Bell. Leonhard's best chance might hinge on the health of LaRon Landry (Achilles tendon), who isn't a lock to be ready for training camp.
REX LOVES BART: Ryan offered unsolicited praise of LB Bart Scott, who only two months ago seemed like a goner. Scott has dropped 12 pounds and appears to be re-focused after a disappointing 2011 season. That they drafted his heir apparent, Demario Davis, might have a little something to do with it.
"Bart is ready to be Bart Scott, the guy we brought in here," Ryan said. "Bart would tell you that he had kind of a disappointing year last year, just like I'll tell you I had a disappointing year last year. This whole football team, definitely Bart and I, we want to have a great year this year. I think you see that."
Scott slowed down last season and struggled in pass coverage, and he was eventually removed from sub packages. Ryan noted that, with David Harris (calf) nursing an injury, Scott is working as the "Mike" LB in the sub package.
Wait, weren't they ready to trade this guy?
TAKE THIS PAD AND ...: RG Brandon Moore, a member of the NFLPA executive committee, doesn't think much of the league's new rule to mandate thigh and knee pads in 2013.
"I guess they're worried about thigh bruises and knee contusions ... but I don't know how that's helping player safety -- a thigh bruise," he said, alluding to bigger issues -- i.e. head trauma.
Asked if he thinks it was a PR move by the league, Moore said, "I don't know what it is, but I don't know how it falls in with player safety."
THIS AND THAT: As expected, DE Quinton Coples and WR Stephen Hill, both named rookie starters after the draft, worked with the first team. ... In addition to Scott, Ryan also singled out DE Muhammad Wilkerson as a player "jumping out at me." ... Ryan likes the tempo under new O.C. Tony Sparano. The offense is trying to work at a fast pace.