Mark Sanchez came clean Thursday on his relationship with Tim Tebow, describing it as a respectful, but intense competition -- even though it wasn't technically, you know, a competition.

"Tim wanted to play, I wanted to play and only one guy plays at this position," Sanchez said. "So, I guess, it wasn't the most advantageous (situation), but that's the way things happen. We both competed our best, tried to be the best friends we could. Honestly, under different circumstances, we would be really good friends. It's just hard when you're competing like that.

"There's just a professionalism about it. You don't get too close to guys like that. You're just professional and you're cool. If the guy has a flat tire on the side of the road, I'm going to stop. I'm not just going to blow by him. But at the same time, I'm not going to send him gifts on his birthday or anything."

Tebow, of course, is gone, released Monday after months of speculation about his future. In a recent radio interview, Sanchez said last season wasn't the best situation for either of them, almost suggesting he was distracted by the Tebow hype. He doesn't have to worry about that anymore.

The new competition is rookie Geno Smith. Sanchez said he'll try to help him, but he also doesn't see them becoming buddy-buddy.