Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 9/18/12

The new and mellower Rex Ryan got a little bit surly Monday after he was questioned about his team's poor performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers and, in particular, the Jets decision to pull Tim Tebow and the Wildcat offense just when it seemed to light a spark in his struggling team in the third quarter.

Ryan, who was more than happy to wax poetic on the Wildcat all summer, became agitated yesterday when asked for the reasoning behind pulling Tebow — after two consecutive third-quarter first downs — and replacing him with ineffective starter Mark Sanchez on a second-and-16.

When a reporter began to ask, "If Tebow can pass ...," Ryan interrupted, "He can pass," before the question could be finished.

When asked about the sparse use of the Wildcat in the first two games, Ryan clenched his teeth.

"Well, we've always said from day one, we can do it 20 times, 40 times, 10 times, two times, whatever. But we determine that, OK?," said Ryan. "Does that mean that given the exact same scenario against a different opponent that you may or may not use it? That'll be up to us."

For all the talk about Tebow's skills as a runner and passer, the big question remains: Why won't the Jets let the fullback-sized quarterback throw the ball?

Through the first two games, Tebow has not attempted a single pass.

"We always do what's in the best interest of our team," said Ryan.

Apparently having the awful Sanchez go 3-for-17 for 22 yards during a stretch — the same total Tebow picked up on his first play — was in the best interest of the Jets.

Can Tebow be more interesting?

"What I loved about Tim when he was in there when he made that big run, the emotion and all that kind of stuff," Ryan said. "It was great to see. How many times we'll run it this week, we'll see."

You think Ryan would have seen these questions coming a mile down the pike as soon as Sanchez sputtered and would have been prepared.

He later told ESPN radio he wasn't rankled by the Wildcat questions.

"I was upset with the loss," Ryan said. "I'm not worried about a question about Tim Tebow."

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