New York went 6-10 last season, lost its final three games and finished tied for last place in the AFC East with Buffalo. New England, meanwhile, went 12-4, won the division and advanced to the AFC title game.
“I felt like it was a learning opportunity for me. There was a lot that I’ll take from it,” Tebow said at the end of the season. “There’s a lot that I learned, and there are lot of relationships that I’ve built, so I know that it happened for a reason.”
Now, he joins a rival who swept the Jets last season, including an embarrassing 49-19 loss that New York endured at home on Thanksgiving night.
“It’s not a surprise to me that Tim would be picked up. Obviously, as I’ve said before, he’s a tremendous young man and very competitive. I look forward to competing against him,” said Ryan, who is getting used to seeing his former players and staff members catch on elsewhere.
“If you look throughout our league now, you’ve got Tim with New England, (tight end) Dustin Keller in Miami and (defensive coordinator) Mike Pettine and Co. in Buffalo, so there’s a lot of my former guys throughout the league,” Ryan added. “(Running back) Shonn Greene in Tennessee, who we’re going to go up against (too). With that, I’ve always wished those guys the best.
“Unless they play against us, obviously.”
The last time Tebow threw a pass in Foxborough, Denver lost in the divisional playoff round to the Patriots 45-10 in the 2011 season. He completed 9 of 26 passes for 136 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions and five sacks in that game and gained 13 yards on five rushes.
When he was traded to the Jets with great fanfare in March 2012, there was speculation he might replace Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback. But when Sanchez struggled, he was replaced by Greg McElroy late in the season. Tebow threw only eight passes all year and played primarily as the protector for the Jets’ punter.