Sources: Rex Ryan leaning toward starting Greg McElroy Sunday

Rex Ryan is taking his sweet time picking a Jets quarterback to start against the Jaguars on Sunday, but league sources tell CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora that Ryan is leaning toward starting Greg McElroy at Jacksonville.

The staff has noted the improved pace and verve of the offense during McElroy's brief stint replacing starter Mark Sanchez and rallying the team for a win over Arizona. The players responded well to the novice passer in the huddle, and there was a renewed spirit from the moribund offense, which Sanchez continued to slump and turn the ball over.

One source suggested to La Canfora it was 65-35 in McElroy's favor but noted that Ryan still was set to meet with general manager Mike Tannenbaum about the issue tonight. Tannenbaum moved up to draft Sanchez and has rewarded him handily with contracts, and Sanchez is likely bound to New York next season with $8.25 million fully guaranteed on his deal with no offsets and language requiring that full sum to be paid within 30 days if the former first-round pick is released.

So the issue is tricky in that regard, with ownership/management having a vested interest in this most critical of positions. as a purely coaching/football decision, sources told La Canfora the staff would favor McElroy.

Tim Tebow is not regarding as a starting candidate, regardless of the health of his ribs, and the coaches have been reluctant to play him at all.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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