FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rex Ryan made it clear who’s in charge when it comes to Tim Tebow’s playing time.
It’s the New York Jets’ decision, and no one else’s. Not the anxious fans or media who call for more — or less — of the popular backup quarterback this season.
“We control it,” Ryan said Wednesday. “The media’s not going to drive it.”
Tebow played just three snaps on offense — all in the third quarter — in the Jets’ 27-10 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday, leaving many to wonder whether he’s being used enough. So far, he has six runs for 33 yards and has thrown no passes, while in for only about a dozen of New York’s offensive plays through two games.
“I think going in, like I said, there could be more opportunities down the road,” Ryan said. “There could be less, but that’s it. I’m happy he’s here. I can tell you that much. I think, as we’ve said from day one, this guy’s a good football player. We’re not going in saying he has to get X-amount of snaps. That’s not what we do.”
Tebow was acquired in March from Denver to back up Mark Sanchez and provide a versatile element on offense, particularly out of the Wildcat-style package. But so far, Tebow has been a bit player.
Despite that, Ryan believes it’s in the team’s best interest if they keep opponents — and everyone else — guessing about how Tebow will be used.
“The opponent, they’re not going to have any idea what we’re going to do with him,” Ryan said. “I’m certainly not going to let them know, ‘Hey, by the way, Tebow is going to play 50 snaps this week.’ I’m never going to give you a legitimate answer. I know the answer, but I’m not going to give it to you.”
That means whether Tebow is out there on the field against Miami on Sunday for three plays or 20 is anybody’s guess.
“Really, the Wildcat is a personnel grouping, and sometimes you want to go with that personnel grouping and sometimes you don’t,” Ryan said. “I feel pretty good about it. You can play a lot of it, you can play less of it.”
In 2011, Tebow went 126-for-271 with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games for Denver. He also rushed for 660 yards and six touchdowns.
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