Pettine: Defense supports Tebow

November, 15, 2012
11/15/12
6:13
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Before leaving the room at the end of his weekly news conference, Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine remained at the podium and, unprompted, weighed in on the Tim Tebow controversy.

"As a defense, we fully support Tim," Pettine said.

Welcome to Damage Control, Day 2.

Pettine called Tebow a "great man and a great football player," adding, "If I was ever involved in selecting members of a football team, he'd be at the top of the list."

Pettine believes the Tebow fallout has "kind of galvanized our guys a little bit," adding that he senses harmony and "no sniping" on the practice field between offense and defense.

Evidently, the possibility of an offense-defense fracture crossed Pettine's mind, because he said the defense addressed the matter in Monday's meeting. On Sunday, the offense-defense questions came up after the 28-7 loss to the Seahawks. The offense was terrible and the defense scored the only touchdown.

"Let's worry about things we have control over," said Pettine, describing the tenor of the defensive meeting. "We're full speed ahead. We have standards to live up to. We're not going to let outside distractions affect our room."

Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano declined to address the Tebow situation, saying he wants to focus on the Rams.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter
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