Te­bow will­ing to lead wild­cat,

QB cites pos­si­ble mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion by Jets coach Ryan.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Dennis Wasza­kjr.

FLORHaM PaRK, N.J. — Tim Te­bow has been crit­i­cized for years about his quar­ter­back skills, his arm and how he throws.

He re­fuses to ac­cept any­one call­ing him a quitter or phony.

The New York Jets backup quar­ter­back in­sisted Wed­nes­day that he didn’t ask out of run­ning the team’s wild­cat plays last week, but ac­knowl­edged what he said in a meet­ing with coach Rex Ryan might have been mis­in­ter­preted as such.

“I never said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to do any­thing or I won’t do any­thing,’” Te­bow said. “That wasn’t the talk at all. He 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.”

Last Tues­day, Ryan chose to go with third­stringer Greg McEl­roy over Te­bow in place of the benched Mark Sanchez for Sun­day’s game against the San Diego Charg­ers. Af­ter hear­ing the news, Te­bow went to Ryan to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion and told him he wanted to be “a reg­u­lar quar­ter­back.”

“I was def­i­nitely dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated,” Te­bow said.

ESPN New York first re­ported Sun­day that Te­bow had then asked out of the wild­cat, and a per­son with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion con­firmed that to The As­so­ci­ated Press.

But Te­bow thinks it was a sit­u­a­tion in which he wishes he was “more clear” when he ini­tially spoke with Ryan.

Te­bow re­al­ized that Ryan might have mis­in­ter­preted what he said when they met when he wasn’t in wild­cat pack­ages dur­ing prac­tice Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, and then sat down with the coach last Fri­day to clear the air.

“I just asked for an op­por­tu­nity to play quar­ter­back and he def­i­nitely un­der­stood that,” Te­bow said, “and then Fri­day, I went up to him again and re­it­er­ated that, ‘Hey, I’ll do any­thing for this team like I have all year.’”

While Ryan never con­firmed or de­nied the re­ports, the coach said, “If I would have asked Tim to play in any­thing, Tim would have gone into the game and done that.”

Te­bow never played in the Jets’ 27-17 loss to the Charg­ers, as wide re­ceiver Jeremy Ker­ley han­dled the ma­jor­ity of snaps in the wild­cat package.

More than any­thing else, Te­bow said, he’s most dis­ap­pointed by the at­tacks on his char­ac­ter and rep­u­ta­tion dur­ing the last few days — adding that his Christ­mas “wasn’t the best” be­cause of all the talk about how he let his team down.

KATHY WILLENS / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Jets quar­ter­backs Tim Te­bow (right) and Mark Sanchez stand next to each other dur­ing their game against San Diego on Sun­day. Sanchez, the former starter, lost his job last week to Greg McEl­roy.

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