ESPN’s newest analyst is polite, thoughtful and perhaps delusional.
In a conference call Tuesday, Tim Tebow was thankful for the opportunity he will getting at the sports network and sounded to make an impact in broadcasting. He also said his No. 1 priority is to be a quarterback in the NFL.
“They have been so generous to me and allowing me to pursue my dream of being an NFL quarterback and I will continue to push myself to be better every single day not only as a quarterback, but as an analyst,” Tebow said.
“If I get the opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL I would love to do so, but I want to be the best analyst I can be for many years to come … and this felt like the best time to start.”
Tebow starts at ESPN on Monday as part of the pregame coverage before the BCS title tilt between Auburn and Florida State. After that he will appear in various spots until his full-time role begins in August with the launch of the SEC Network. Tebow will then be a member of the weekly traveling pregame show, though he does not think that will have an effect on his NFL chances.
“Who knows what the next few months will hold?” said Tebow, who was cut by the Patriots before the season after barely seeing the field for the Jets in 2012.
“I’ll continue to train to be the best quarterback I can be and I have been training very hard over the past few months and I feel like I am the best I have ever been as a quarterback. I hope I get the opportunity to show that, I am looking forward to showing that, but I also look forward to my opportunity at ESPN.”
Tebow said he has been in talks with ESPN for several months and was part of a bidding war that included CBS and FOX, according to The Big Lead. While details were not given, it sounded as if Tebow would be able to leave ESPN, who he signed a multi-year deal with, if an NFL opportunity came along.
“It was important for Tim that he had the ability to pursue his interests in becoming an NFL quarterback and that is something we were certainly willing to include as part of bringing him aboard this team,” said Justin Connolly, ESPN Senior Vice President Programming, College Networks.
“In terms of specific situations, I don’t want get ahead of ourselves and comment on any particular eventuality or scenario you can put together. But that is a key piece of this relationship and we will honor that perspective.”
It may sound unlikely after his NFL standing has seemingly declined yearly – going from playoff quarterback with the Broncos to Jets backup to out of the league in the past three years. But he did laugh when it was suggested that he would not be able to stay in shape because of his role at ESPN.
“I don’t think it will impact my training. Right now, I’ll be doing one game, so I don’t think I’ll get too out of shape. I’ll find time,” Tebow said.