EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tim Tebow has always presented himself as the ultimate team player with the Jets. Stripped of his former starting status with the Broncos last season and getting limited reps, Tebow maintains that he is just following the script.
But there was a moment in the Jets' 23-17 loss to the Texans on Monday night when that may have been more difficult.
Tebow got the Jets to within three yards of the goal line after a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter. On first down, his second consecutive play, he ran for no gain -- but then it was back to the sideline. Mark Sanchez came back in, threw two incomplete passes, and the Jets settled for a field goal.
That was tough for Tebow to watch from the sideline.
“I was hoping with a few opportunities I could have punched one of those in," said Tebow. "I’ve just got to keep working, get better.”
Perhaps it is tougher to get into a rhythm under these circumstances, but Tebow knows that with so few plays -- he had seven on Monday night -- he has to make each one count.
“I was excited for the opportunity I got with those two plays,” Tebow said. “Should have punched it in when I had the chance.”
Tebow had 19 rushing yards on five carries in the game, and he nearly connected deep with new wide receiver Jason Hill on a downfield pass in the second series of the game.
“I’ve got to make that play for Tim,” said Hill, who knew he was the first read on the play and dropped the pass.
“Who knows?” Tebow said. “It would have been a big play in the game.”
Tebow, who also has been on the Jets' punt protection team, later ran a fake from the spot on 4th-and-1 on the first play of the second quarter. He got three yards and the first down.
“They had a really good look to stop it, we had some good blockers up front,” Tebow said.
Tebow was on the field hours before the game on Monday just throwing the ball, warming up his arm. Although it looked like he was preparing for a bigger role, Tebow said it was just out of boredom.