Tim Tebow is “a little disappointed” he won’t start at quarterback for the New York Jets and said he’ll decide at the end of this season whether he wants to return in 2013.
Jets coach Rex Ryan benched season-long starter Mark Sanchez two days ago and replaced him with third-stringer Greg McElroy instead of Tebow, who came to New York in March to be Sanchez’s backup.
Tebow, 25, told reporters yesterday that he hasn’t asked for a trade and that he’ll “look at everything” after the National Football League season.
“I’d have loved to have more of an opportunity to just play quarterback,” Tebow said. “And obviously, that’s my goal. Just make the most of these last two weeks and see what happens after that.”
Tebow moved to the Jets in a trade after leading the Denver Broncos to last season’s playoffs, and was the No. 2 quarterback for every game in which he was healthy this campaign.
“I don’t have regrets,” he said. “I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s a learning opportunity for me. There’s a lot that I’ve learned, good and bad, and I still appreciate the opportunity to come be a Jet.”
Ryan said yesterday that he still hasn’t decided whether Sanchez or Tebow will be the backup to McElroy this weekend against the San Diego Chargers, and that all three quarterbacks might be active for the game.
Ryan benched Sanchez, the fifth pick in the 2009 NFL draft, after he committed five turnovers -- lifting his league-leading total to 24 this season -- in a 14-10 loss at Tennessee that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.
Ryan declined to give specific reasons why he picked McElroy as his starter over Tebow, who has two seasons left on his contract. Tebow has thrown eight passes this season, one more than McElroy, and has seen limited action in the wildcat package that uses run-or-pass options to confuse defenses.
“We had a vision of using Tim in differing ways,” Ryan said. “I thought maybe we would use him in other ways or something, but we haven’t run a whole lot of those plays.”
Tebow said he still sees himself as a starting NFL quarterback, and that he has improved this season.
“There’s always ups and downs and it’s not about how you handle the ups, it’s about how you handle the downs,” he told reporters. “That’s the true test of your character. For me it’s trying to have a great character and work ethic.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Rob Gloster in San Francisco at email@example.com
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