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Woody Johnson defends Sanchez, plans to keep Tebow

Houston Texans v New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: (L-R) Tim Tebow #15 and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets talk during warm ups against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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One thing that has become clear five games into the Tebow experiment is that there’s no way the Jets can keep both Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez in 2013.

Well, that’s clear to everyone but owner Woody Johnson.

Appearing Wednesday morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Johnson defended Sanchez’s performance -- while also saying that Tebow will be a Jet for the balance of his rookie contract.

As to Sanchez, Johnson offered some excuses. “He had some open receivers,” Johnson said. “He had some dropped balls. He had some tipped passes.”

Johnson attributed the tipped passes to Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. “We should have done a better job of accounting for him, and keeping an I Spy on him wherever he is,” Johnson said. “Essentially don’t throw in that area or throw extremely high. He’s six-six, and he can jump 30 inches, so he’s probably like 15 feet by the time you add it all up.” (Coach Rex Ryan surely appreciates Johnson’s input into offensive game planning.)

Johnson said there’s no wavering on whether Mark Sanchez is still the starter.

“Never is a long, long time period,” Johnson was asked as to whether the Jets ever will flip the switch from Sanchez to Tebow. “We see -- I see the same things in Mark Sanchez as that I saw when I first met him. He’s still a young quarterback. This is a very, very -- probably the most difficult position athletically and mentally that there is in all of sports. Because you look out there, everybody’s trying to deceive you and the other guys [are] trying to get at you.”

Johnson then addressed the question of whether he’s simply saying those things to boost Sanchez’s confidence.

“It’s not bolstering his confidence,” Johnson said. “It’s really -- we think he’s that good. He really is that good. I wouldn’t look at the numbers too seriously. . . because a quarterback’s job ultimately is to win games. And Mark Sanchez has proven that he can do that. Like he pulled out a game a few weeks ago, at the last couple of minutes when we played Miami. That was an ugly games in many respects, but he pulled it out.”

On Tebow, there likewise was no wavering. “Are we gonna keep Tebow?” Johnson said. “Absolutely. He’ll be with us three years, and I think he’s gonna be a real valuable asset in helping us win games.”

And then one of the hosts asked Johnson if he knows whether Tebow is still a virgin.

And then we had to make sure that we were watching CNBC and not ESPN.