Second-year quarterback Greg McElroy is the forgotten man on the New York Jets depth chart.
With football pundits predicting a potential quarterback controversy in New York, McElroy’s name is never mentioned in the same breath as Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow.
And he likes it that way.
“I understand my role, admitted McElroy. “I’ve been a backup at every level including high school and college and this situation as well. “I’m behind those two guys and my job is to help them out anyway I possibly can. The reason I’ve been able to have some success so far in camp is being able to see the example they’re setting.”
The Jets seventh round pick during the 2011 NFL draft, McElroy went out on top of the college football world, winning a National Championship with Alabama. As if things couldn’t get any sweeter, the former Crimson Tide star scored a near-perfect 48 on his Wonderlic Test during the NFL’s scouting combine.
After riding on cloud nine for so long, McElroy fell on some hard luck.
At the start of his NFL rookie campaign, McElroy dislocated his thumb in the second quarter of a preseason contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, an injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
McElroy enters training camp with a clean bill of health, but plenty of competition at the quarterback position. According to McElroy, Tebow’s presence has brought nothing but positive energy and enthusiasm to the meeting rooms.
“It’s so friendly it’s unbelievable," said McElroy. “That’s the great thing about working with these guys. It’s such a great amount of fun. Especially when we’re in the room we’re giving each other a hard time. We’re laughing, we’re joking, we’re making fun of each other for bad plays. And when we get on the field it’s all business. And that’s the great thing about it. It doesn’t carry over. There’s a time for fun and there’s a time to be serious and this group has done a good job of recognizing it.”
McElroy and Sanchez took time in the meeting room to poke fun at Tebow’s “Baywatch moment" following Saturday’s practice.
“Of course we joke," noted McElroy. “When we walked into the quarterbacks meeting we told Tim we’re just glad you kept your shirt on for this meeting. Sure enough there it came off and he [Tebow] sat shirtless for about 30 minutes.”
Even with the playful bantering, McElroy and company have formed the unlikeliest of bonds amidst the Jets three-ring circus act.
“It’s so much fun," noted McElroy. "We have a great dynamic and great relationship among all of us. There’s a great level of give and take and a tremendous amount of respect for each other.”