Last week, Tim Tebow could not hide his frustration as he talked about being leapfrogged by Greg McElroy, who vaulted past him to start Sunday for the New York Jets with quarterback Mark Sanchez benched.
But his frustration was so deep that, according to ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini and Jane McManus, he told coaches he didn’t want to be used in any Wildcat packages Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. The report capped a weird day, even by Jets standards, on which Tebow was initially listed as inactive 90 minutes before kickoff, then listed as active.
Asked after Sunday’s game who had told him he wouldn’t be in the Wildcat, Tebow, who did not play a single snap in the game, told reporters, “It just kind of happens.” His coach, Rex Ryan, said through a team spokesman that it was a “coach’s decision.” Earlier, he told reporters the Jets were using Jeremy Kerley, who’d played at quarterback in high school, to surprise the Chargers. ESPN reported that the team activated Tebow in case of injury to McElroy, choosing not to play Sanchez at home.
Keeping Sanchez off the field in the home finale would protect him from fan reaction, given that his enormous contract makes it unlikely that he and the Jets will part ways. The same isn’t true of Tebow. On Saturday night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Tebow is likely to play next season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the only other team interested in him when Denver was shopping him last spring. Tebow was asked about that report and said only: “We’ve just got to find a way to beat the Buffalo Bills.”
He continues to say that he believes he can be an NFL quarterback as the situation around him in New York has deteriorated into anonymous swipes from teammates and the indisputable fact that, with Sanchez experiencing a horrific season, he can’t get on the field.
“I believe in my God-given ability to play this game of football and I think I can play it for a long time,” Tebow said, “and I look forward to playing it some more.”