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“"I'm just sorry that I can't agree with this situation. I think it's just a publicity stunt. I can't go with it. I think it's wrong," Namath told "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN1050 in New York. "I don't think they know what they're doing over there." Asked whether he hoped the deal would ultimately fall through, Namath said, "Absolutely." "And I'm a Tim Tebow fan, but I'm a bigger Jet fan than I am a Tim Tebow fan," Namath said. Ryan, however, wants the Jets to get back to being a power-running team, and New York has only one proven back, Shonn Greene. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound Tebow rushed for 660 yards last season, including a 20-yard touchdown in the final minute to beat the Jets 17-14 in a November game at Denver. A few weeks earlier, Tebow beat Sparano and the Dolphins with one of his trademark comebacks, overcoming a 15-0 deficit to win in overtime 18-15. There's also some thought that Tebow and his clean-cut image could help polish the negative perception of the Jets' locker room, torn by discord last season. But others close to the team said that was no factor in the decision. The potential for backlash remains, however. Tebow brings with him a flock of fervent fans for reasons that have to do as much with his faith as his football skills. A devout Christian, he's been a role model since his days at Florida, where he led the Gators to two national titles and captured the Heisman Trophy. Tebow's enormous popularity could turn into a distraction, especially for Sanchez. If Sanchez struggles, the fan base could turn on him and start clamoring for Tebow. "We obviously know Tim has a magnetic following and he's a dynamic person, but every starting quarterback has a backup quarterback," Tannenbaum said Wednesday. "If you struggle, we understand the popularity of any backup quarterback. This one is a little more unique than others. Mark, in this market, has shown resilience and toughness." This also will be an adjustment for Tebow as he returns to a backup role. He became one of the most popular athletes in the nation last season, replacing Kyle Orton and leading the Broncos -- seemingly dead after a 1-4 start -- to an 8-8 record and the AFC West title. He did it with a run of miraculous finishes, one more improbable than the next. Tebow won his first playoff game, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime. The following week, Tebow crashed hard in a 45-10 loss to the New England Patriots. Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway anointed Tebow the starting quarterback going into training camp, but that didn't prevent him from entering the Manning sweepstakes. Clearly, the Broncos were troubled by his flawed mechanics as a passer. Tebow completed only 46.5 percent of his throws last season. "As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim," Elway said in a statement Wednesday. "He was put in a difficult situation, and I commend him for how he handled it with the same first-class manner he displayed throughout his career in Denver." It should be interesting to see how Tebow is welcomed in the Jets' locker room. During the run-up to last November's game, the Jets' defensive players weren't complimentary when discussing his passing skills. Cornerback Darrelle Revis said Tebow's unorthodox style as an option quarterback couldn't sustain long-term success in the NFL. As it turned out, Tebow made the playoffs and Sanchez didn't. Sanchez struggled down the stretch, fueling speculation about his future. Publicly, team officials backed him, but also promised the quarterback depth chart would have a different look in 2012. They weren't kidding. Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and Jane McManus, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Mark Sanchez is, has been and will be our starting quarterback.” -- Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum
on Tebow trade affecting Mark Sanchez