Devout Christian quarterback Tim Tebow appears to have taken the biblical axiom "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5:38, 39) to a new level after former Jets player and current football analyst Boomer Esiason said the New York team should cut him.
"I've heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason," said Tebow, in comments distributed by the Jets to the media. "I know he was a great player here, and I just wish him nothing but the best in his announcing and God bless him."
Tebow's response came after Esiason, during his New York radio show on Monday said, "If I were the Jets . . . I would cut Tim Tebow, I really would. It's not in any way, shape or form, I think, benefiting this team.
"All you have to do is watch him throw the ball. I just think this whole thing, at least from my perspective right now in relation to who Mark Sanchez is – your starting quarterback – is a major mistake."
It's not the first time that Esiason has blasted Tebow for his skill sets or suggested a team should cut him, according to a CBS New York article.
Esiason thought the Denver Broncos should cut Tebow after a game last season in which he played poorly. The local New York CBS station reported that the quarterback "got mocked and flat-out rocked. Of course, he went on to lead Denver to the playoffs and a first-round shocker over Pittsburgh."
Apparently Esiason took the "other cheek" that Tebow has so masterfully offered to his critics as an invitation to verbally slap the QB again as a Jets player.
"You can say whatever you want about Tim Tebow," said Esiason. "He played some of the worst football that any quarterback has ever played in the history of the game last year at times."
The New King James version of Matthew 5:38, 39 reads: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist ... But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."
As for Tebow, he has been on record as saying he has heard all the criticism and negative outlook about his career before.
"I've pretty much heard a lot of it," Tebow said. "From when I was in high school, when they said I couldn't be a high school quarterback, when I was in college and my first year they told me 'you'll never play quarterback,' and then, 'you can never win a championship,' and 'you'll never play in the NFL.' I've heard a lot of it and I just continue to use that as motivation and when I get my opportunities, try to make the most of them, just be the person that I am and not let that get me too excited or too down, but just be who I am and go out there and work as hard as I can every day and try and improve and be the best football player/quarterback that I can be."
Tebow has brought extra attention to the Jets summer training camp this year with many observers speculating as to exactly how the team will be using him in addition to his backup role to Sanchez.
Jets owner Woody Johnson said he was expecting more media coverage of the team because of the addition of Tebow, but was astounded by the amount of intensity, according to The Associated Press.
"I think the enormity of the coverage kind of surprised me a little bit," Johnson said during the team's workout on Tuesday. "Well, I knew there would be press, there would be interest," Johnson said, "but even by our standards, this is pretty amazing."