- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tim Tebow was “disappointed and frustrated” about not being named the New York Jets‘ starting quarterback and asked out of the team’s Wildcat package, according to multiple reports.

On Wednesday Tebow denied asking out of anything and a couple of former University of Florida teammates reacted to the situation and spoke to the quarterback’s character.

“He’s used to playing,” said Baltimore Ravens receiver Deonte Thompson, who played with Tebow in 2008 and 2009. “He’s a guy that started his whole life. It’s new to him. He’s going through something right now. But I still think he’s a positive guy. I don’t think he’d say anything negative. I just can’t picture Tebow saying anything too negative.”

When Jets coach Rex Ryan elected to bench Mark Sanchez, he chose Greg McElroy as his starter for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers. According to the Associated Press, Tebow approached Ryan to tell him he wanted to be “a regular quarterback.”

“I never said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to do anything or I won’t do anything,’ ” Tebow told reporters Wednesday, as quoted by the AP. “That wasn’t the talk at all. He knows that, and everybody on this team knows that. I’d never not do something if I was asked, and I think that’s what’s disappointing about the whole situation, people saying, ‘You quit,’ or, ‘You didn’t do this.’ It was not it at all.

“It was just me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn’t me asking out of anything.”

Washington Redskins offensive lineman Maurice Hurt played with Tebow from 2006 to 2009. He didn’t know of the situation with Ryan and the Jets and didn’t want to talk about it.

Hurt would only address a couple of questions about Tebow’s personality.

“Great guy. People person, great teammate. All-around great guy. One of the best people I’ve ever been around,” Hurt said. “Great leader. Leads through adversity, always positive. He’s a great guy from everything I’ve known.”

Asked if he thought during his time with the Gators that Tebow would be a good NFL quarterback, Hurt said: “I can’t. You’re asking me questions I can’t be answering. No comment.”

Tebow enjoyed success in 2011 when he led the Denver Broncos on a six-game winning streak. “Tebow Mania” lasted until a 45-10 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional playoff round.

Upon signing four-time MVP Peyton Manning, the Broncos traded Tebow to the Jets. With Sanchez entrenched as the starter, Tebow figured to be used in different ways than a “regular quarterback.”

When Sanchez’s performance warranted a change, the switch to McElroy prompted Tebow’s conversation with Ryan. The way he explained it to reporters in Florham Park, N.J., is that once he realized his coach misinterpreted his comments he tried to clear things up.

“I just asked for an opportunity to play quarterback and he definitely understood that,” Tebow said, “and then Friday, I went up to him again and reiterated that, ‘Hey, I’ll do anything for this team like I have all year.’ “

Tebow took issue with reports and those assailing his reputation as a person and teammate.

“You work your whole life to build a reputation, and then people try to bring you down when they don’t understand even what happened,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”

Thompson called Tebow a motivator and someone with a strong personality that can lead a football team. The Ravens receiver said still believes his old college quarterback can become a starter in the NFL again.

“I see him as a starter,” Thompson said. “He went to the playoffs as a starter. He’s proven he can do it. You just have to give him a shot.”

Jason Butt contributed to this article, which is based, in part, on wire service reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide