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TEBOW: I Wasn't Asking Out of Anything

Posted Dec 26, 2012

Transcript of quarterback Tim Tebow's news conference at his locker following the Jets' Wednesday afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:

On his situation the last few days…

These last few have been interesting. I didn’t necessarily see those coming, but you just try to handle the situation as best you can.

On if he told Coach Ryan he would not run the Wildcat last week…

No sir, I didn’t tell them that. I went in there on Tuesday and had a man-to-man conversation with Coach Ryan. The conversation was great. I simply asked to get an opportunity to play quarterback. That was my passion and I did tell him I was frustrated with the Wildcat, the success we were having, some of the stuff we were doing. I was definitely disappointed and frustrated, and I let him know that, the same that I did Wednesday to you guys. I just asked for an opportunity to play quarterback. He definitely understood that.

And then Friday I went up to him again and reiterated the fact that I would do anything for this team like I’ve done all year, from punt pro to hands team, cutting defensive ends to catching passes, and he appreciated that and he understood. We have a great relationship still. He knows that I’d do anything to help this team.

On why he thinks he did not play…

I know that he wanted to give [Jeremy] Kerley the opportunity. Kerley is a great player and I know he’ll do great things.

On why he thinks he did not get the chance to run the Wildcat against San Diego…

We haven’t been having success that we have wanted to and winning games, so they wanted to try something a little bit different.

On Kerley getting to throw out of the Wildcat…

I would have definitely loved the opportunity to throw the ball some and get that chance, but Kerley completed it, it was a great play for us and it led to a touchdown, so I was super happy for him.

On if saying he was frustrated was the same as saying he did not want to run the Wildcat…

No sir, I never said I don’t want to do anything or I won’t do anything. That wasn’t the talk at all. He knows that and everyone on the team knows that. I would never not do something if I was asked. I think that’s what’s disappointing in the whole situation, people saying, “Oh, you quit,” or “You didn’t do this.” That was not it at all. It was just asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn’t me asking out of anything.

On if he was disappointed he was not named the starting quarterback last week…

I was definitely disappointed, there’s no doubt about that, I can’t lie about that. I was definitely disappointed and wanted an opportunity to play quarterback, wanted an opportunity to run more out of the Wildcat, so I was disappointed and he knew that. He understood that frustration and we talked about it for a while and had a great conversation. He knew that I was disappointed.

On if he ran any of the Wildcat in practice last week…

I did a little bit. Kerley did more of it, though.

On if he went up to Coach Sparano when he realized he was getting fewer Wildcat reps…

We didn’t really do too much Wednesday. I went in [to speak with Coach Ryan] Friday, so we did more of it Thursday and the next opportunity I had to have a 1-on-1 was Friday.

On if Coach Ryan indicated it was too late to change his decision on Friday…

Yes, but it was also something that was his choice, what he wanted to do. It was a great conversation. He appreciated me coming back to him and reiterating the fact that just like I had done all year, I will do anything for you, whatever you ask me to do, but what I was trying to convey to him the first time was I wanted the opportunity to play quarterback. I had a great conversation with him and he was glad that I approached him 1-on-1 like a man.

On if he was given assurances that he would start if Mark Sanchez struggled…

I’m not going to talk about assurances, what was promised or anything like that. It doesn’t matter.

On the source of his disappointment that he expressed to Coach Ryan…

I wanted to get an opportunity to play quarterback.

On the expectation that the backup quarterback should play when the starter is benched…

That’s what you think, but you have to go with what the coach says and that’s why they’re the coach. I told him that I 100 percent respect he’s the coach and I’ll do whatever he says. I was letting him know that I believe I can help the team and I believe I can contribute in that facet, just like I have in other facets, just the athlete that can help that way.

On if he thinks Coach Ryan lacked the confidence to replace Sanchez with him as the starter…

I don’t want to speculate on why he makes decisions. He’s a great football coach. He’s had a lot of success and he’ll continue to have success. I just tried to convey to him that I believe in myself and would love the opportunity to play quarterback.

On why he talked to Coach Ryan when he knew his chance to start last week was gone…

You want to have a relationship to talk to him and let him know, and not just think it or wonder. You want to talk to him man-to-man.

On what his gut tells him about Coach Ryan’s confidence in him as a starter…

My gut tells me that he’s a great football coach. You’re never going to see eye to eye with everyone, but we both love football and we both want to do whatever it takes to win. That’s been my goal since I was traded here, it’s been his goal, and it will be my goal as long as I’m here.

On the conversations he’s had with Coach Ryan…

It’s a lot to talk about. You don’t want to talk about the relationship or conversations you have with your head coach.

On if he talked to ESPN following his conversation with Coach Ryan…

Yes, I talked with one person.

On if he talked to the person from ESPN about his conversation with Coach Ryan…

I wasn’t necessarily asked about these specific things.

On why they chose McElroy to start instead of him…

I’m not sure and I’m not going to speculate why they make their decisions. They’ve had a lot of success doing it and I respect them.

On if he would like to remain with the team next season…

I’m looking for this game against Buffalo and we have to pull together and get a win.

On if Coach Ryan misunderstood him during their initial conversation…

They knew I was frustrated. That’s a possibility, but he knew Friday when we talked, too. I don’t think he thought by any means I wouldn’t go doing anything or was asking out of anything because that’s not true. I’m still on the hands team and all the other special teams, ready to go for the week, so I wasn’t asking out of anything.

On why he did not play on special teams or run the Wildcat…

I wasn’t asked to.

On if he asked Coach Ryan why he was not used on Sunday…

No, I knew when we talked. We talked Friday, so I understood.

On not running any of the Wildcat against San Diego…

We didn’t have those plays in the game plan. The game plan went a different route.

On not playing on special teams against San Diego…

They haven’t had me on that because of my ribs. That’s something Coach keeps talking to me about. He expressed last week that he wanted me to continue to heal up. He keeps in contact with the trainers, so that was one thing he said about why we’re not going to do punt pros, because of my ribs still.

On why he was active if his ribs were hurt…

In case of emergency, I’d go in there and do what I can, I guess.

On if he thinks he did not play because Coach Ryan was unhappy with him…

I don’t think so. I think that’s just how the game plan went. We have a great relationship and I don’t think there are any hard feelings there.

On if he will play at Buffalo…

I hope so. We’ll see what happens, though.

On if anything was going through his mind last week when he was getting fewer Wildcat reps…

There are a lot of changes, with Greg [McElroy] and some of the other stuff we’re trying to do. I think also trying to experiment with other things to see how they work. I understood that.

On people questioning his character…

When people are talking about how you play football or how much, that’s one thing, it really doesn’t bother me. I think the only thing that has been disappointing for me these last few days, and frustrating, is the people saying, “Oh, you quit on the team” or “You’re not a good teammate.” I think that’s disappointing. You ask the people that I’ve played with, and I take a lot of pride in that, you ask the people that I’ve played with, my teammates, the people around me, and they know I’ll do anything for my teammates. I would go out there and play my heart out, be the first one at practice, the last one to leave, do whatever I can for my teammates.

For people to not know the situation and loathe something, then start to bash your character, and say, “You’re phony” or “You’re fake” or “You’re a hypocrite,” I think that’s what’s disappointing and that’s what’s frustrating because it’s a football game. That’s one thing, if you’re good or bad at football, but your character, your integrity, that’s who you are as a man, and that’s a lot more important. I think that’s what’s disappointing for me and frustrating because I take that way more seriously than I’ll ever take a football game.

On if Coach Ryan might have misinterpreted him as saying he did not want to run the Wildcat…

I know I didn’t say that because I’ve said, "Yes, I’m frustrated with this, absolutely." I definitely did say that, and he knew that. He knew that I was frustrated with that and he’s saying it, but I didn’t ask out or say I wouldn’t do anything. That is completely not the truth. I think you ask my teammates and the people I’ve played with, they know how much I care about my teammates. I think for this to come out and people to run with it, about your character and not being a good teammate, I think that’s what’s disappointing because your reputation is who you are and my reputation means a lot to me.

On if part of his frustration came from running the Wildcat up the middle…

That was something I said Friday, that I was frustrated running up the middle [laughing].

On how surprised he was that he rarely got to run left in the Wildcat…

You can’t look back and say why. You just have to move forward. That’s what I’m going to try to do.

On if he tried to clarify his point of view with his teammates…

No, not really, I talked to one or two of my closer friends in here, but I’ve had guys come up to me and encourage me because they know that I would do whatever I could for this football team.

On if he was upset the story about his conversation with Coach Ryan leaked out…

There’s going to be a lot of stuff said about you. I can handle that and I always have. There are going to be stories. Some people will say things. I think it’s the way people run with it. All of a sudden, they think you’re quitter, you’re not in it for your teammates. That’s what’s disappointing.

On if he told the reporter about his conversation when he talked to ESPN…

I didn’t know that this was all happening at that point.

On if he told the reporter the specifics of his conversation when he talked to ESPN…

It was a lot briefer. I didn’t get into details.

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