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Media MonsterNFL

Tim Tebow Denies That Whole “Asking Out Of The Wildcat” Thing

When reports started circulating that Tim Tebow asked out of the Jets’ Wildcat package after being passed over for the start in the team’s game last weekend, a predictable media circus followed. Some called the NFL’s most polarizing (and yes, possibly worst) quarterback a phony while others thought he was just conducting business, but because it’s Tim Tebow, everyone had an opinion on one extreme or the other.

So, unsurprisingly, “everyone” includes Tebow himself. Speaking to reporters today, Tebow sought to clarify the situation… and defend his reputation as a team-first guy:

…and that, at worst, the whole thing was a case of crossed signals:

So what did happen? According to Tebow, he made clear he wanted to play “regular quarterback” and that he was tired of just being called in to run up the middle all the time. On the first point, I suppose I can’t blame Tebow for wanting a shot, but as I said when Greg McElroy was named the starter instead: playing McElroy was the right move. Tebow has a prior body of work for the Jets to judge. They needed to figure out if they had anything in McElroy.

On the second point: well, yeah, based on Tebow’s rushing numbers this season, there’s a legitimate gripe to be had. 32 carries isn’t a gigantic sample size to work off, but those 32 carries Tebow had with the Jets produced just 102 yards (3.2 per carry). He averaged over five in both his seasons with the Broncos, so it’s hard not to wonder if the Jets could have used Tebow better in the rare times they actually put the ball in his hands. Yeah, most of those Broncos carries came with him as the starting quarterback rather than as a change-of-pace option, but it’s not like he was much of a threat to throw as the full-time signal-caller, either.

Mostly, though, Tebow lamented the attacks on his character that arose from the asking-out-of-Wildcat reports:

“You work your whole life to build a reputation, then people try to bring you down when they don’t understand.”

To which I can only say: well, not much, because I wasn’t there. Maybe Tebow actually asked out and is trying to cover his tracks now, and maybe it was completely blown out of proportion. (For the record, regardless of whether the initial reports were accurate, Merril Hoge’s attack on him seemed a bit over-the-top to me.)

What I can say with more confidence: if, one day, everyone who talks about the NFL collectively looks back on the Tebow era, and especially the Tebow Jets era, we’ll say: man, that was kind of dumb, wasn’t it? All that attention given to a guy who attempted eight passes and ran the ball 32 times? The real question isn’t whether the attacks on Tebow were warranted – it’s why we all kept caring. Meanwhile, a shattered Tebow must pick up the pieces:


Getty photo, by Rich Schultz

  • http://www.facebook.com/Utopian316 Jocelyn Lober

    Whether or not you like Tebow as a player, you have to respect the fact that he stood up for himself and said he wasn’t going to be the laughing stock of the Jets anymore. Any competitor and professional athlete wants at least a chance to prove what they have. I think it’s pretty safe to say everyone knows Rex Ryan and co. promised Tim and his agent, if Sanchez blew, which he did, Tebow would at least have a chance to play as qb. The guy feels lied to and misled and he probably was. Give him a break. I would say enough is enough to that circus too. If they didn’t want to use him, they should have been honest with him before he signed so he could have at least had a chance on another team. P.S. He did beat the Jets and Pitt last year in Denver. Sanchez couldn’t even do that.

  • Anthony Lafotanoa

    Hi from ‘Middle Earth!’, New Zealand!.Our National Sport is Rugby and American Football is rarely mentioned or featured in mainstream media, but let me share something to those with a ‘Listening ear and heart for the ethos of leadership and influence through sport into Life!. I manage a sports academy of around 160 aspiring Student Athletes, Coaches and Teachers. I have always encouraged my staff and students to always look deeper into the character of a ‘Star Athlete’, beyond the sublime talent and see if that person is someone you really want to define as a ‘Roll Model’ or ‘Inspirational Leader’. This time last year Tim Tebow came to my attention not because of what he did on and off the field but How he exemplified excellence in Focused determination,Humility in Strength and a Life balance that put context to the’Tebow Persona’!.

    Apologies in advance for not understanding all there is to know with the NFL and how clubs and player relationships operate, however!……the Jets coach and club appear to have exposed their intent and purpose for Tim and it wasnt for him as a player but more as a ‘Marketing asset’, nothing new there in professional sport, but when a man of ‘Conviction and Purpose’ sees the ugly truth, he is compelled to address the issue and confront the person/s involved to seek honesty and direction. This is what a true Leader does because of an inate sense that drives him with a passion to see potential, destiny and calling Realised!!.

    If I had a choice of Sportsmen or women from around the world to come and speak to my Academy here in New Zealand it would be Tim Tebow because the ethos and values of Character and Leadership of sport are embedded in that man, his influential spirit was not coached or taught and even my students see that!. The day Tim Tebow connects with a Coach and club who will give him that opportunity and share the same ‘Life Values’ in an Environment of Integrity and Winning culture is the day remarkable events will happen for the Team, Club & Tim!!!

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