Rex Ryan wasn't in a Christmas giving mood Monday when he sidestepped reporters' questions about whether or not quarterback Tim Tebow actually refused to play in the Wildcat formation during the New York Jets loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
During a 20-minute conference call with reporters, the would not divulge any specifics about Tebow's reaction to being passed over as starter for Greg McElroy except to say his Wildcat quarterback was "disappointed."
Ryan's answers didn't confirm or deny if Tebow had demanded his exclusion in any Wildcat schemes on Sunday and he danced around the questions regarding Tebow's status on the team.
Maybe the head coach was taking this whole "Silent Night" thing a little too seriously.
"He is a competitor and he was disappointed," Ryan said. "He was disappointed that he was not named the starter."
Even with Tebow's limited role this season, yesterday's interview still centered on the polarizing quarterback and if he asked out of the Wildcat offense.
According to various sources, Tebow was irked when Ryan announced he was passing him up for McElroy last Tuesday. The angry quarterback voiced his frustration to Ryan then didn't speak to his head coach for three days. On Friday, Tebow finally told Ryan he was available for any role the team deemed him nessessary for.
Tebow was inexplicably active but did not play in the 27-17 loss to the Chargers. Ryan was evasive about answering questions why Jeremy Kerley was used as the Wildcat quarterback in that game — the position that the ballyhooed Tebow was brought to the Jets for — while Tebow lingered on the sidelines.
"If I would have asked Tim to play in anything," Ryan said Monday. "Tim would have gone into the game and done that ... I don't think there's any doubt about that.
"I'm not going to give you a private conversation that I would have with a player," continued Ryan. "That's between him and I. If he wants to share whatever the conversation is — Tim or anybody else — that's up to him."
While the normally transparent and usually unflappable head coach danced around the questions surrounding Tebow's reported insubordination, Ryan also didn't delve into who was the true No. 2 quarterback — Tebow or Mark Sanchez.
"There's no way I'm going to answer that now ... ever. I'm just kidding," said Ryan. "We had both quarterbacks up and, depending on how the game was going ... I just wanted to make sure I had both options open."
Ryan avoided direct answers as to whether or not the Tebow trade was an unmitigated disaster and was partly to blame for to the Jets failures this season.
"I thought he'd do a great job in the Wildcat," said Ryan. "I wanted to get that part back into our offense. I thought we'd do some better things out of that Wildcat. It hasn't happened. I'm not blaming it on Tim Tebow."