"There's a lot of people here!"
"How's it going? Good to see all of y'all," Tebow began before marveling at the number of people who had turned out to hear what he had to say.
After arriving with the Jets by way of a drawn-out deal with the Denver Broncos, the 24-year-old quarterback officially introduced himself to New York on Monday while sporting a grey suit with a light green tie. Standing in front of a dark green backdrop printed with team and sponsor logos, a beaming Tebow dropped one "gosh" and a "yes, m'am" on the massive media contingent while repeatedly returning to the mantra that he is "excited to be a Jet."
After thanking the Broncos during his brief introductory remarks, Tebow opened the press conference to questions. Without any of Jets coaches, executives or PR staffers at his side, he faced a pair of pointed queries right out of the gate.
Welcome to New York!
Asked about the disparities between his account of his involvement in the trade versus the version shared by Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway, Tebow responded that "I told him I would love to be a Jet. I also told him that the Jaguars were my hometown."
Tebow was then asked about a looming quarterback controversy with incumbent signal caller Mark Sanchez.
"Me and Mark have a great relationship. We have had a great relationship for three years," said Tebow, later adding that he got the impression that Sanchez "was excited" about his arrival.
While Tebow cordially answered every question that was fired at him, he made it clear that this media circus was not his idea.
"It's an honor for all of you to show up to hear me say a few words today," he said. "The reason for doing this today is because I have bosses, too. They wanted me to stand up here. I can blame them."
Faced with several questions about the intersection between his faith and his public life, Tebow managed to be forthright about his beliefs while still trying to keep the focus on football.
"In the locker room, it's not something that I'm super outspoken about. That's just who I am and how I live," he said of his Christian faith. "I think the greatest way to share the gospel is by acting it."
At ease throughout the media session that lasted slightly more than a half hour, Tebow passed his first test. It remains to be seen how this move will play on the field for the Jets or any of their quarterbacks, but, judging by the drama surrounding the trade and the strong media presence today, there is no doubt that whatever happens will be thoroughly chronicled.
Here are some of the top Twitter reactions to Tebow's first exchange with the local press:
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