Three days after a report was published saying Tim Tebow told the New York Jets coaches that he didn’t want to be a part of the team’s Wildcat offensive package last week, the quarterback issued a firm denial.
“I never said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to do anything or I won’t do anything,’” Tebow told reporters Wednesday, via the Associated Press. “That wasn’t the talk at all. [Rex Ryan] knows that, and everybody on this team knows that. I’d never not do something if I was asked, and I think that’s what’s disappointing about the whole situation, people saying, ‘You quit,’ or, ‘You didn’t do this.’ It was not it at all.
“It was just me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn’t me asking out of anything.”
ESPN New York reported that Tebow was so upset about being passed over for the starting quarterback job that he told Rex Ryan on Tuesday he didn’t want to participate in the Wildcat package. The Associated Press and other outlets confirmed that Tebow had asked out.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who says he spoke with Tebow on Sunday night, later reported that Tebow told Ryan on Friday that he was willing to do whatever the coach wanted. He says the relationship between the two was strained during the week after Tebow learned he was being passed over.
As we all know, the Jets began working with receiver Jeremy Kerley as the Wildcat quarterback during practice, and then they used him in the game.
If you listen to Tebow’s side, there seems to be one key piece of information missing. He admits he was disappointed and frustrated, and he says he spoke to Ryan on Friday to say he was willing to do whatever the coach wanted. So if he didn’t ask out of the Wildcat, why did the Jets suddenly turn to Kerley? And why did Tebow approach Ryan on Friday to say he was willing to do whatever?
I think Tebow is trying to cover his tracks and do damage control because he realizes his behavior was wrong and that it makes him look bad.
Tebow’s reaction was understandable. It certainly was not one of a model teammate, but it was understandable. Also, did Brady Quinn pull the same stunt when Tebow passed over him in Denver? I don’t think so.
“When people talk about how you play football and how much, that’s one thing,” Tebow said. “That really doesn’t bother me. I think the only thing that’s been disappointing these last few days and frustrating is people saying, ‘Oh, you quit on your team or you’re not a good teammate.’
“For people to not know the situation and then start to bash your character and then say you’re a phony or you’re a fake or you’re a hypocrite, I think that’s what’s disappointing and that’s what’s frustrating. Your character is who you are as a man, and that’s a lot more important.”
Tebow later added: “You work your whole life to build a reputation, and then people try to bring you down when they don’t understand even what happened. It’s disappointing.”
Again, I think you’re hearing the way Tebow wished he had handled things, but not the way he actually did handle things. It sounds like he pouted for a few days and then came to his senses. He probably doesn’t want people judging him based on the way he acted from Tuesday-Friday. I would have respected him a lot more if he just came out and said he was upset, explained why, and said that his reaction was wrong and that realization is why he approached Ryan on Friday.