With his roster spot on thin ice, Tim Tebow turned in his finest performance of the preseason, throwing for 91 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception as the Patriots knocked off the Giants on Thursday night.
However, Tebow’s outing didn’t come without fault. He took four sacks, at times holding the ball much longer than necessary. This allowed Big Blue’s pass rush — comprised of fringe players similarly fighting for jobs — to seize the opportunity.
That opportunity, Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin says, is something many players revel in.
“Oh, of course,” Austin said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “They’re trying to go out there, get a sack, and do the Tebow (pose). That’s what everybody was talking about going out there, putting their hands around Tebow, because he’s a guy who’s gotten a lot of media attention and stuff like that. You know, if you’re going to try to make a team, you go out there and put your hands around him, you could get your name out there.”
The target on Tebow’s back is nothing new; it’s been there since Tebowmania first exploded onto the scene. Although Tebow goes to great lengths to blend in with his teammates, his media and fan following is well-documented and unlike any other in recent memory.
For as long as he’s in the NFL, Tebow will be cannon fodder for opposing defenders with a chip on their shoulders. Austin’s comments simply reaffirmed as much.