When the Jets made the loudest move of the NFL offseason, the organization promised Tim Tebow was going to be the team’s backup quarterback.
And yet, it will be third-stringer Greg McElroy — made inactive two weeks in a row — under center on Sunday.
“To me, I kind of made a decision in my gut that the best thing for our football team is for Greg to be our quarterback now,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “That’s how I felt about it. I liked the way obviously Greg finished that game [against] Arizona and I like what he does on the practice field. That’s why I made that decision.”
A glum Tebow tried his best to maintain his usual outlook on things even though his disappointment was evident.
“Mr. T [general manager Mike Tannenbaum] and Rex, they’re trying to do the best they can just like everyone in this building,” Tebow said. “They thought it was the best decision for this organization and I respect that. I might not agree, but I respect that.”
Tebow was told about the decision to start McElroy on Tuesday morning.
The Jets are now left to play defense on why they made the trade for Tebow in the first place.
“We had a vision of using Tim different ways. Obviously we used him as a personal protector [on punts]. I thought maybe we’d use him in other ways or something. We haven’t run a whole lot of those plays,” Ryan said. “Obviously the cracked ribs contributed to the lack of playing time, that was probably four or five weeks right there. Again, Tim’s a great competitor, I knew he was. He’s a good teammate.”
On Tuesday, a report circulated that Tebow would seek a trade after the season. When asked about his future in New York, he said, “I’ll wait till after this season to talk about anything like that.”
There was nevertheless disappointment from a noticeably subdued Tebow in not being named the starter.
“All you want is a chance,” Tebow said. “A chance to go out there and play the game you love and help this team win football games.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.