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Why Rex Ryan Refused to Play Tim Tebow

By DB Jackson

Despite his claims, Rex Had No Intention of Ever Starting Tebow.

A stunned Rex Ryan could be seen wandering the Jet’s sideline throwing his hands up in disbelief and frustration at the Jets inability to stop Tebow. This was after Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos on a 95 yard drive capped off by his perfect read of the oncoming all-out blitz and his 20 yard touchdown run with 58 seconds left in their Thursday night matchup against the New York Jets.

Paramedics were later called to the Jets’ team bus as it was headed for Denver International Airport following the stunning 17-13 loss. There was concern by the Jets medical staff that Ryan was having a serious medical issue, fortunately it turned out to be a severe case of indigestion. However when paramedics asked how he was feeling, Ryan responded, "I was doing fine until (bleep-bleep) Tebow had that (bleeping) 95-yard drive."

This is the same Rex Ryan who months later would be Tebow’s head coach.

By all accounts Mark Sanchez, the Jets’ starting quarterback, had a horrible year in 2012. Sanchez provided plenty of ammunition for Jets fans calling for Tebow to replace him as the year wore on. The term "Butt Fumble" alone earned Tebow at least one game as the starter. But when Ryan actually did bench Sanchez, it wasn’t Tebow called on to start, it was third string QB Greg McElroy, leading to speculation that it was the Jets’ owner Woody Johnson who wanted Tebow for the media hype, and that Ryan never wanted Tebow in the first place which would explain why he showed him such disrespect by playing him on special teams as a personal punt protector.

We could speculate that Ryan didn’t feel Tebow was good enough to start, and that he really did feel McElroy was the team’s best option to win. However that doesn’t wash. Lets go back to the Broncos Jets game the previous year when Ryan stated "The kid’s [Tebow] a competitor and makes big plays with the game on the line," after Tebow scrambled for 20 yards and what proved to be the game winning touchdown. Tebow was the team’s best chance to win, but Ryan didn’t want him anywhere near the game. Why? Because he was afraid he might do what he did in Denver the year before, win. Rex Ryan’s worst nightmare was coming true.

To understand why Tebow winning would be a bad thing it’s important to understand that Ryan drafted Sanchez and to some degree their success or failure is forever linked. If Tebow goes out and starts to win games people will immediately blame Ryan for not making the change sooner when it was apparent that Sanchez was struggling badly and there was still hope of making the playoffs. Looking ahead at the options facing the Jets after the season ends, if Tebow wins there will also be an immediate call for him to be the starter at the beginning of next season. All of this coming right after the Jets gave Sanchez a $58 million 5 year contract extension giving him the 7th highest financial package among NFL quarterbacks. Just imagine the New York headlines if Sanchez is sitting on the bench with that contract while Tebow starts at quarterback and makes 1.5 million a year. Ryan could not, and would not allow that to happen.

So now he is forced to make the decision he never wanted to make, take the chance and allow Tebow to start and pray he loses so Sanchez can remain the starter, or bypass Tebow for McElroy who has much less experience and even if he won, it would be easier to go back to Sanchez for the last game of the season and end with him as the starter. The people calling for Tebow to start far outnumbered the people calling for McElroy so the switch back to Sanchez from McElroy would be easier than back to Sanchez from Tebow, especially if Tebow wins.

Ryan made the choice that was the easiest for himself and for Sanchez. Ryan assured Tebow that he would be given a fair shot to play quarterback for the Jets if the situation presented itself, but it turned out that Ryan lied. Tebow was removed from any further consideration as a starter for the New York Jets.

Rex Ryan had fun embarrassing Tebow by the way he used, and then refused to use him throughout the year, but when push came to shove and he was faced with a starting quarterback that had to be replaced, the truth became obvious for all to see. Whatever Ryan’s reasons were for having Tebow on the team, one thing was clear....it was never to play quarterback for the New York Jets.

Rob Ryan’s Harsh Critisism of Tim Tebow

Included for consideration below are the comments made by Rob Ryan, brother of Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator at the time for the Dallas Cowboys.

Rob Ryan on Tim Tebow after the Broncos beat the Jets March 2012: When rumors started that Denver Broncos quarterback/media lightning rod Tim Tebow might be going to the New York Jets, who are coached by Rex Ryan--who happens to be the twin brother of Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, an incident came to mind that happened last year, when Rob basically slammed Tebow after Tebow came back to beat the Jets, saying he was "disgusted by watching such a gimmicky offense in the NFL".

"It made me, uh, throw up" Ryan said of the Broncos’ win as he paused mid-sentence to make a vomiting motion, via ESPN Dallas. "That stuff comes into play. You get that crap. I don’t like it because it’s college football. The things you see [is] a lot of spread. We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets."

"Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win."

It was then pointed out that, "college football" or not, the Broncos did best his brother’s team.

"That team did win last night, but it was horse----, and thanks for pointing that out," Ryan said.

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