- Posted: 1:46 PM, November 14, 2012
Anthony J. Causi
Rex Ryan believes the players quoted anonymously ripping Tim Tebow in a published report are "cowardly."
The Jets coach took the unnamed players to task at his press conference Wednesday and said he addressed the article with the team. One player was quoted as saying Tebow was a "terrible" quarterback.
"I think it’s a cowardly thing," Ryan said. "If you’re not gonna put your name to it, I think that’s as cowardly a thing there is."
The lone player to use his name in the report was offensive lineman Matt Slauson. Ryan said he was told those quotes were from "much earlier this season."
"I have no problem with Matt Slauson, because he put his name to it," Rex said. "I don’t agree with everything he said."
Ryan said that the Jets organization has never told players what to say to the media, but doesn’t respect anyone who doesn’t put their name behind incendiary comments.
"I don’t appreciate it," he said. "If you’re gonna make a negative comment, that’s fine. We don’t say it all has to be a bed of roses. Again, put your name to it. I think people will respect you a lot more."
Tebow, who took the Broncos to the playoffs last year and beat the Steelers in the wild-card round , has played sparingly this season in the Jets Wildcat package. He’s 5-of-6 passing for 40 yards with 92 yards rushing on the ground.
Mark Sanchez’s recent struggles have had some fans calling for Tebow to become the starter. Ryan said he still has faith in Sanchez and won’t make a move.
"We never brought [Tebow] in here to be a starting quarterback," Ryan said. "We already have a starting quarterback in Mark Sanchez. I thought I made that clear when Tim got here."
Ryan did say if Sanchez got hurt that he would be "extremely" confident in Tebow.
"We wanted to bring in a backup quarterback that ... you could still win with," Ryan said. "In that case, I think we could win with Tim."
Tebow, he says, has contributed in other ways, like his role as punter Robert Malone’s personal protector. The Jets have had the best net punting average they have had under Ryan, he said.
"A lot of that can be attributed to Tim Tebow," Ryan said.