New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Rex Ryan says more nice things about Tim Tebow
Of all the people out there who may be getting Tebow fatigue, Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn’t believe Tim Tebow is among them.
“I don’t know specifically about” whether Tebow is becoming frustrated with his mostly benchwarming role, Ryan said during his daily briefing Thursday. “I know how competitive he is. When you look over at that sideline, him and a lot of guys are, like, ‘We want to change the situation. We want to win.’
“I think that’s everybody we have -- feels that same way. Specifically, him being frustrated, about his role or anything else, I don’t see that.”
The team’s recent bumbling -- and Mark Sanchez’s below-par production -- are the ongoing Jets narrative. As with virtually any struggling football team, an inordinate amount of attention is put on the quarterback play.
“There’s something inherent with that position,” Ryan said, “that you have to be tough, the old skin like an armadillo -- that’s armor, not skin, but still -- you have to have that thick skin. Because not everybody is going to write beautiful things about you.
"And if you have a poor game, it’s going to be right there in front. If the left guard has a poor game, it’s probably not going to be mentioned as much, OK? Well, maybe in this market it would. But obvious, [the quarterback] is in the spotlight, especially here. I think it takes a special guy to be a quarterback in this city, but I think Mark has that, that charisma, even, to play in the city."
Ryan, himself, judges that his is “probably a defensive tackle, nose tackle personality, or something. But, obviously, I think I’m competitive like that. I just don’t have the arm of a quarterback.
“I’ve always said this, ‘Give me a quarterback that wins.’ His job is so important to your team’s success.”
Which leads right back to questions about Tebow, and whether Ryan believes he has lived up to what role he told Tebow to expect when the team acquired him.
“One thing,” Ryan said. “Tim likes the competitiveness of this group. He is a competitive guy and I think, when we even talk to him about protection -- ‘What do you think of this?’ -- this guy is all for it. He’s not a guy that, ‘I’m not going to do this, I only want to do this,’ or whatever. He’s just the opposite. Right now, to him, if you said, ‘I need to to line up and play defensive tackle, Tim would go, ‘No problem. Tell me where to line up; let's go.’ That’s the mentality he has.”
And if he were to line up at quarterback, Ryan said, Tebow would be good. “No question,” Ryan said. “You can’t bluff your way in this league and have the success he had. Look at last year’ s record. Again, I judge quarterbacks on record, and that’s why I think he fits. We’re fortunate, We have two guys who’ve won five playoff games, two young quarterbacks. I don’t know of other teams that have that.
“That’s why, you know, Mark is our starting quarterback, but what’s intriguing about having Tim is, if something were to happen to Mark, you have a quarterback that’s proven he can win the in the National Football League. The other thing is, he can play other positions. He’s a football player. As a protector, as a Wildcat quarterback, we've even put him out on routes, different things. We’re trying to take advantage of his skill set.”