|Tim Tebow says the story about him not wanting to play anything but QB was false. (US Presswire)|
Following the Jets' loss to the Chargers on Sunday, during which backup quarterback Tim Tebow was not used at all -- in either the wildcat package or as the personal protector on special teams -- there was a report that Tebow had told coach Rex Ryan that if he wasn't going to be the quarterback, he didn't want to play at all.
The report raised many eyebrows because one of Tebow's calling cards has always been his committment to being a team player and putting the team first.
Tebow was almost as disappointed with how the story was handled as he was with not being elevated to the starting role when quarterback Mark Sanchez was benched and Greg McElroy was elevated from third-string to the starting role. He said the story was untrue, that he never asked to be removed from anything, that he told Ryan simply that he was disappointed at being passed over for the starting spot.
"I told (Ryan) that I was frustrated," Tebow said. "I was definitely disappointed and frustrated and I told him that. He definitely understood that."
Tebow said he told Ryan only that he wanted a chance to play quarterback and believes that Ryan may have misunderstood that, thinking that when Tebow said he wanted to play quarterback, he meant he didn't want to participate in any other way. Tebow said on Wednesday, addressing the media for the first time since Sunday's game, that that was not what he meant.
"I never said I don't want to do anything or I want to do anything," he said. "That's what's disappointing in the whole situation. I was just asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love. It was definitely disappointing (not to be chosen as the starter). I can't lie about that."
Tebow confirmed that he went to Ryan on Friday to make sure that his coach knew he would do whatever was asked of him. "I reiterated that I would do anything for this team," Tebow said.
Ryan would not specify what took place in his conversation with Tebow but said, "He's a full-time quarterback with running back skills. That's something you look at as an ideal guy at that spot."
While Tebow said he's used to all sorts of media attention, this was more upsetting because he knew the story wasn't true and was questioning his work ethic and professionalism. He said it actualy impacted his Christmas holiday.
|The home of the Super Bowl|
"You work your whole life to build a reputation," he said. "Then people try to bring you down when they don't understand even what happened."
When asked what his gut feeling was about Ryan's confidence in him as a starter, Tebow carefully side-stepped the question and said only, "My gut tells me that he's a good football coach."
Tebow is still recovering from his broken ribs, and now McElroy has a strained abdominal muscle, so there is a possibility again that all three quarterbacks, including Sanchez, could all be active as they were in the last game. If that's the case, all eyes will be on what role Tebow does -- or doesn't -- play.