NEW YORK (WFAN) -- Joe Theismann knows a thing or two about playing quarterback in the NFL. And as a New Jersey native, he's all too aware of what it's like being a Jets fan.
So it goes without saying that the former Washington Redskins signal-caller has followed Tebow-mania all summer long.
His assessment: "Tim Tebow is not a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez."
The Jets have insisted all along that Sanchez is -- and will be -- the team's No. 1 quarterback. Publicly, Sanchez and Tebow have said all the right things: Whatever it takes to win; our relationship is strong.
Let's just say that doesn't sit too well with Theismann.
"This strikes at the heart of Mark Sanchez's pride," he told WFAN's Joe Benigno on Friday. "He's gonna get booed. He's gonna get thrown under the bus. And I want to see what kind of cojones he's got. That's I'm looking for. ... I'm sick and tired of hearing this nice-guy stuff: 'Oh, Timmy's a nice guy. Oh, Mark's a nice (guy).'
"Hey, if I'm Mark Sanchez, 'I'm the starting quarterback and it's great to have Tim here to help us win football games.' That's the statement. It's time for somebody to stand up believe in themselves if you're a Jet. Enough of this nicey two-shoe garbage. Stand up for what you believe in. You're the starting quarterback. This guy's not. That's the way it is. Deal with it."
LISTEN: Theismann with Benigno
Theismann may not be enamored with Tebow's passing game, but he admitted the "great kid" with a "great personality" will be an impact player for the Jets.
Coach Rex Ryan is expected to let Tebow scramble away in the wildcat-style offense. That, of course, is still under wraps, though we've already seen the 25-year-old in action with the punt unit.
According to Theismann, Tebow shouldn't be anywhere near special teams.
"Rex sent 19 guys to a leadership conference, OK? " he told Benigno. "He might have considered going with them just because of making Tim Tebow a personal protector on the punt team."
On Wednesday, the Jets had 19 starters — including Sanchez and Tebow — take part in a leadership training session in Bedminster.
"Rex has had a style. He's perfect for New York, the New York media. I think he's a terrific defensive coordinator," Theismann said.
"Some of the things that he's got going on (with) this football team, a session in a leadership conference is not going to fix," he added. "You've got Santonio Holmes. You don't have much of an offensive line. You've got quarterbacks throwing the ball to other people all the time."
Sanchez, Ryan and the Jets will get their first crack at showing Theismann just what they can do on Sept. 9, when they open their season against the Buffalo Bills.
Are you with Theismann on this one? Be heard in the comments below!
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