Greg McElroy: Rex Ryan's Distaste for Tim Tebow Shows by Starting Third-Stringer

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2012

Dec 9, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; A New York Jets fan shows her sign about quarterback Tim Tebow (not pictured) to other fans in the third quarter of their game against the  at EverBank Field. The New York Jets beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets problems run much deeper than Mark Sanchez’s complete lack of ability to play the quarterback position. In fact, they go all the way up to the top, and many of the controversial offseason decisions are still hurting this team heading into Week 16.

None of these issues is more toxic than coach Rex Ryan’s decision to start Greg McElroy—the third-string QB—over Tim Tebow, Sanchez’s backup for nearly all of the 2012 campaign.

It’s a calculated move by Ryan that isn’t just a personal attack on Tebow, but a disgusting attempt to save his job and keep his credibility intact.

With only two games left to close out the Jets' meaningless season, it’s become clear that Ryan has a vendetta against Tebow and has done everything in his power to hinder his chances to succeed in the Big Apple.

While you may think it’s no big deal for the second-string QB to just have a chance to shine in the last two games, Ryan seems to think the opposite and actually fears his success.

If Tebow were to slap together back-to-back performances of the average to above-average variety, it would make the coach look like even more of a buffoon than he already does for his “fatal attraction” (to borrow Dan Leberfeld’s words) to Sanchez.

After back-to-back miserable seasons with no playoff appearance, Ryan is shamelessly auditioning to keep his gig, while neglecting to give Tebow a chance to do the same.

Should McElroy succeed, Ryan can claim he groomed the QB of the future in-house; if he fails, then it's no sweat off anyone's back. The former Alabama signal-caller was a seventh-round draft pick.

Ryan's on-the-record explanation is far less calculating and doesn't actually say much of anything, according to a report by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:

“I want to put Greg out there,” Ryan said on Tuesday. “I’m going to put Greg out there. In my opinion, that’s what’s best for our team.”

For reasons unknown, McElroy was somehow able to leapfrog the former Florida standout on the Jets’ depth chart and will get the nod against San Diego and Buffalo—two relatively soft opponents.

Hopefully, Gang Green will honor any requests that Tebow makes from here on out, whether it is to be traded or released come the offseason. He worked his tail off to become the “backup” QB and wore a number of different hats for the team at any given time.

His commitment and hard work were answered with nothing but disrespect from his superiors. Tebow didn’t ask to join the Jets this past offseason, and he didn’t warrant the treatment he received during his time in New York.

We sincerely hope the young, talented QB winds up in a much better situation in his next NFL stop. He deserves a legitimate chance to compete for a starting job—or at least a true backup position—when he gets there.