Tim Tebow is well aware of the criticisms of his quarterback skills – or, as some might say, lack thereof.
But the Jets backup quarterback said he was particularly disheartened by reports claiming he asked out of the Wildcat last week because of his frustrations over not getting the starting gig against the Chargers.
Tebow admitted he was disappointed when told third-stringer Greg McElroy would get his first NFL start last Sunday in place of Mark Sanchez, and that he voiced his frustration and his desire to be play “regular quarterback” to Rex Ryan on Tuesday.
But Tebow denied ever asking to sit out of the Wildcat.
"I said 'Yeah, I'm frustrated with this.' Absolutely and he knew that, he knew that I was frustrated by me saying it," Tebow said Wednesday. "But I didn't ask out or say I wouldn't do anything."
Tebow said he later approached Ryan on Friday to clear the air and to make it clear he was willing to play in any capacity. Asked if it’s possible Ryan misinterpreted their Tuesday conversation, Tebow said: “Yeah, he knew I was frustrated. So that’s a possibility. But he knew Friday when we talked too.
"And I don’t think he thought, by any means, that I wouldn’t go do anything or that I wasn’t asking out of anything cause that’s not true. I’m still on hands team, and all the other special teams ready to go for the week. So I wasn’t asking out of anything.”
Tebow, however, did not play at all – not on special teams, or in short-yardage and Wildcat situations in the Jets’ 27-17 loss to San Diego.
Though he wouldn’t discuss any of the assurances or promises made to him by the Jets, Tebow said it’s generally assumed No. 2 quarterbacks will be promoted if the starting quarterback struggles. “But you’ve got to go with the coach says,” he added.
“And I told him that I 100 percent respect him and he’s the coach and I’ll do whatever he says. I just told him that I believed I could help the team and I wanted to help the team.”
Tebow seemed most troubled about his reputation being sullied in the wake of these reports. Though he’s been able to shrug off digs about his mechanics and his mettle as an NFL quarterback, Tebow said he doesn’t like his character to be questioned.
Worst of all, this put a damper on his holiday.
“Obviously Christmas was good because it’s Christ’s birthday,” he said. “But you turn on the TV, you turn on this mess, it’s frustrating. It wasn’t my best (Christmas) because it. It’s fair to say. It wasn’t the best.”