The gift that keeps on giving is giving us some more that we can give to you.
The three-ring circus has added a few more rings, via the question of whether Jets running back Shonn Greene did or didn’t advocate the benching of quarterback Mark Sanchez and the use of backup Tim Tebow.
The Monday interview had been arranged in August and originally scheduled for early in the season, according to Greene’s agent, Sean Howard. It was, per Howard, supposed to be a feature about Greene. The comments that were (or weren’t) about Sanchez and Tebow were coincidental.
“I can tell you, I know Shonn,” Howard told PFT by phone on Thursday morning. “Nowhere did he say Tebow should be the starting quarterback. Knowing Shonn as I do, he has always defended his teammates. Shonn’s not that guy. Because of the headline, everybody was quick to conclude that Shonn was advocating for change. That’s just not the case.”
The headline, in fairness to everyone, is more direct than the article. It says, “Jets RB Shonn Greene is right: Time for team to hand ball to ‘terrible’ Tim Tebow.”
“I don’t write the headlines,” Silver told PFT via email, “but I stand by everything in the column, including the accuracy of the quote. In fairness to Shonn, he was reacting to an opinion I expressed (about giving Tebow a shot) but the quotes are accurate, and I was taking notes in front of him. I feel badly that we are in this situation. I believe he is a good, well-meaning teammate who is frustrated about the team’s losing streak.”
Here’s the full quote from Greene to Silver: “Something’s got to change. When you get to the point where you’re 3-6, and losing and losing, a couple of guys are like, ‘Oh, what would happen [if Tebow played]?’ But guys at the same time have faith in Mark, so it’s kind of an up-and-down thing.
“You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time you want to win games. We’re not here to protect people’s feelings. If you want to win games, you’ve got to try something. If somebody’s not getting the job done, you see if somebody else can do it. It’s the same with coaching, or any position. You don’t mean to belittle someone or say ‘he sucks.’ That’s just the harsh reality.”
On one hand, the “if Tebow played” was added in brackets by Silver. On the other hand, Greene specifically said “Mark.” Unless Greene was referring to Mark Cuban or Mark Zuckerberg or Marky Mark, the conversation at some point was focused on the prospect of changing quarterbacks to win games.