Rex Ryan on Tebow/McElroy Situation from Thursday
By Alan Schechter
Aug 30, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy (14) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jets 28-10. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
One of the interesting sub stories from Thursday night was not Tebow/Sanchez, but Tebow/McElroy. We learned that Tebow had broken ribs, but he was active for the game. He was activated but not used at all, not even on the punt team. What if Mark had gotten hurt? Could Tebow have come in the game? Why not activate McElroy? Here is what coach had to say about why Greg wasn’t activated:
I think people have played with cracked ribs. Guys have played, and it was told to me that (Tebow) could play. But I wasn’t going to play him unless it was an absolute emergency and that was when I would play him. It was never told to me that he could not play. In fact, it was just the opposite. (I was told) that he could play, it was me that wanted to say, ‘No, I’m not going to play him unless we absolutely have to.’ Tim came to me, he’s specific, he’s like, “I can play, I want to play.” And again, it was something that I went in and absolutely said, ‘Listen, I don’t want you to play him.’ I told that to (Coach) Westhoff (and) I told that to (Coach) Tony (Sparano). It was just the thing where it’s like, he was cleared to play, but I did not feel comfortable on it and that’s the truth.
We learned later in the conference call that although Tim was cleared to play, Rex was not comfortable with it. So again, if he wasn’t comfortable, he’s the coach, why not activate Greg?
It was something I considered. But, like I said, he was cleared to play. And you’re facing an opponent, that it’s obviously the biggest game of the year. And Tim’s like, “Hey look, I can play, I want to play,” and he’s cleared to play. I think when you factor those things in, it’s like if we absolutely 100 percent had to have him, then I would’ve played him. But, like I said, I’m not the trainer. I’m not a doctor or anything else, but I’m a human and that’s why I felt for him. It was to the point where I know when the doctors are telling you he can play, the young man’s telling you he can play and knowing that he was going to be in the role he was as the backup quarterback, he had gotten reps the entire week, that was why I had him active.
It is still an odd explanation. He’s the coach, if Tebow was injured so badly that he didn’t feel comfortable putting him in the game, why do it? Goes back to the “Double Talk” piece from last night.