(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)
Tim Tebow may only be a backup quarterback for the New York Jets, but that hasn't stopped his peers from voting him onto NFL Network's list of the Top 100 players in the league for 2012.
"It's a huge honor for me and something I'm very thankful for, because as a player when you put in all the hard work, you want to be respected by your teammates and your competitors and the people you go against every single week," Tebow said in an interview with NFL Network. "And it truly is an honor for me to be on this list, because there are so many great players in the NFL and for just a few of them to respect me enough to put me on this list, it really means a lot."
Tebow, an unabashed Christian, now holds the title of 95th best player in the NFL. The New York Post reports that Mark Sanchez, the starting quarterback for the Jets, didn't make the list.
When asked if he thought Sanchez should be on the list with him, Tebow deflected as he does so often in interviews.
"I have a great relationship with Mark...I feel like we're pushing each other to get better. He's a great person, he's a great player, and I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with him throughout the season," he said.
Tebow was also recently named on TIME's list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World," but the honor of being named one of the NFL's best players may be even more significant for a quarterback who has previously been heavily criticized for his inconsistent play.
Tebow was a backup quarterback at the beginning of the 2011 season. He took over as the starter for his former team, the Denver Broncos, in week seven of the season and was able to successfully lead them to a playoff victory after a rocky 1-4 start.
Now he is a backup once again. In March, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets after being replaced in Denver by former Indianapolis Colts great Peyton Manning. Although NFL Network's Top 100 list reveals that his peers see him as a better quarterback than Sanchez, the Jets have made it clear that Tebow will serve in a backup capacity.
When asked if he feels he has done enough to earn a spot among the Top 100, Tebow showed his usual humility.
"I'm not sure...I'm just trying to work hard every single day to become a better player," he said. "I'm never satisfied with what I've done or where I've been."