Darrelle Revis raves about Tim Tebow

Updated: May 17, 2012, 10:53 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Tim Tebow exudes leadership -- even when he's chowing down in the New York Jets' cafeteria.

Tebow's new teammates are paying close attention to their new backup quarterback, and they've noticed he's passionate about everything he does, eating lunch included.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis, who criticized the Denver Broncos' Tebow-led offense last season, raved about Tebow's approach -- and Revis isn't one to gush.

"He's a born leader, he really is," Revis said Wednesday. "Very few athletes have the gift he has. He tries to lead by example all the time. He tries to be positive, which is awesome, and that (has resulted) in his success on the field."

Revis Some people have it, some guys don't. It's the passion within, wanting to be a leader, wanting to win. You see it all the time, eating lunch, walking down the hallway. You see it.

-- Jets CB Darrelle Revis on Tim Tebow

Asked to define Tebow's leadership, Revis smiled.

"I wish I was God, I'm not," he said. "I don't know. Some people have it, some guys don't. It's the passion within, wanting to be a leader, wanting to win. You see it all the time, eating lunch, walking down the hallway. You see it.

"He's like that cartoon character Zeus (sic). He's one of those guys. He's very positive. He has passion for whatever he does. You can see it on him."

The Tebow love-fest continues.

Tebow has yet to take a competitive snap -- OTAs don't begin until next week -- but he already has received more praise from teammates and coaches than some players get in a season. It's reminiscent to summer 2008, when the Jets traded for Brett Favre and the hype machine ran non-stop. Of course, that was a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback; Tebow is the No. 2 quarterback, backing up Mark Sanchez.

Nevertheless, the Jets like what they see from Tebow, who shows up at 6:15 a.m. to lift weights, likes to be first in line during weight-lifting sessions and willingly engages in locker-room banter with teammates.

During an open locker room Wednesday, Tebow and linebacker Bart Scott exchanged playful barbs. Scott, within earshot of reporters, called over to Tebow, referring to him as "Baby Jesus." Tebow, a devout Christian, laughed.

Scott, 31, complained about being sore. Tebow called him old and told Scott to take a cold tub. The quick-witted linebacker asked Tebow if he'd baptize him.

"He's meshing really well with the team already, all the guys," guard Matt Slauson said.

That Tebow received Revis' praise is significant because, in the days leading up to last November's game at Denver, the All-Pro cornerback claimed a read-option offense couldn't achieve long-term success in the NFL unless Michael Vick and Chris Johnson were running it.

Tebow went out that week and beat the Jets with a 95-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes. On one of his scrambles, Tebow ran through a would-be tackle by Revis.

"He's a playmaker, he makes plays, he wins games," Revis said. "Having him as a teammate is kind of different because you actually get to see him every day. You get to talk to him every day, you get to eat lunch with him. You get to know him as a person. It's totally different."

Revis was in the weight room recently when he told Tebow he once watched him on TV in a high school state championship. Tebow, raised in Florida, was taken aback.

"Everybody's watching you, buddy," Revis told him.

The Jets seem smitten with Tebow, but they also have an incumbent -- Sanchez -- with a 27-20 career mark plus four playoff victories. Locker-room friendships only carry so much weight, according to Jets legend Joe Namath.

"The one-eyed monster tells no lies," Namath said Tuesday night at a charity event in Manhattan. "That's how they practice, how they play -- on tape. On that camera. It doesn't have a voice. Every player, every coach can see the execution, who's working right, who isn't working right, who isn't working as well as they should. That'll be the deciding factor."

The Tebow gushing doesn't mean the Jets haven't forgotten about Sanchez. Revis said Sanchez and Tebow are both "dangerous" players, saying they'd be hard to stop if used at the same time.

"You wouldn't be able to prepare for it because nobody has ever seen it," Revis said. "You'd have to be cautious on the defensive side."

Sanchez also is regarded as a team leader, and he has said in the past he wants it to be "his" offense. Can there be two leaders at the same position?

"Everybody can lead on this team," Revis said.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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