The day after multiple reports emerged that Jets quarterback Tim Tebow tapped out of the Wildcat package because he wasn’t picked to be the starter in Week 16, the effort continues to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
On Monday, after multiple sources said that Tebow had specifically asked for it to happen after he was told he wouldn’t be starting, Tebow didn’t address the question of whether he had asked to be left out of the Wildcat package in an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Now, coach Rex Ryan has tackled the topic while evading the one key piece of information in which everyone is interested. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Ryan chose not to share the details of his communications with Tebow.
And all that that implies.
“I’ve been transparent and all that stuff without question, but I’m not going to give you a private conversation that I would have with a player,“ Ryan said in a conference call with reporters. “That’s between him and I. If he wants to share whatever the conversation is — Tim or anybody else — that’s up to him.”
Ryan is treading on delicate ground, given that he and Tebow are both represented by the same agent, CAA’s Jimmy Sexton. As a result, Ryan will say nothing publicly that damages Tebow’s carefully-cultivated team-first-team-only-thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another faςade.
“If I would have asked Tim to play in anything,“ Ryan said. “Tim would have gone into the game and done that.”
Right. If Ryan would have asked. But that overlooks the question of whether Tebow had asked Ryan not to ask.
While some have suggested (including Peter King, in the video appearing below) that Tebow’s position was understandable given the manner in which he has been jerked around by the Jets, Tebow has tried for years to make us think that he’s the kind of guy who never would make such a request due to frustration regarding his role. And for the Tebow skeptics out there who believe that much of who he is and what he is has been carefully orchestrated and manipulated, Sunday’s reports reflect the most significant and tangible proof that there’s a man behind the curtain who is far more flawed and far more human than the image that Tebow’s camp has been selling.
At this point, Tebow’s best move would be to admit it.