NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jets coach Rex Ryan addressed reporters at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday, and much of his focus was on — what else? — Gang Green’s quarterback situation.
Ryan made clear what was already known: Mark Sanchez is still the main man under center.
“The first snap, he’ll be the guy running out there first,” Ryan said in regard to Sanchez. “But there’s going to be competition at that spot, there’s no question about it. We need to get better at the quarterback position.”
The Jets currently have five quarterbacks on the roster: Sanchez, Greg McElroy, Tim Tebow, newly-acquired David Garrard and Matt Simms.
“I look at it this way: The competition’s the big thing,” Ryan said. “There is going to be competition at that position. There is no doubt. A leg up? Somebody has to take the first snap (in the offseason/training camp). So that’s kind of how I look at it. But there is definitely competition at that spot.”
Ever since the Jets’ disappointing 2012 season ended, reports have suggested that Tebow will likely be traded or cut before the start of the 2013 campaign.
But Ryan hinted on Tuesday that, despite Tebow’s extremely limited role in 2012, he could very well be in the mix come training camp.
“He’s on the roster, and he’ll get a chance to compete,” Ryan said. “We’ll see how the offseason plays out, but right now Tim is on our roster … There are a lot of things that could happen, but currently Tim and a whole bunch of other guys are on the roster. Whoever gets there to that day (at the start of training camp), will have an opportunity to compete.”
All Tebow can do at this point is hope, as no NFL teams have expressed interest in the former first-rounder. If he is indeed cut, he may find himself playing in the Canadian Football League or the Arena Football League.
As for newcomer Garrard? Ryan maintained that he very much believes in the 2009 Pro Bowler.
“We wouldn’t have brought in David if we didn’t think he could provide competition,” Ryan said. “Now, he hasn’t played in two years, and we recognize that. But the main thing is, when we go through the process, that we feel good about what comes out of it.”
Ryan acknowledged that the team has not talked much about bringing in Kevin Kolb — who was recently released by the Arizona Cardinals — in an effort to bolster the quarterback competition. But he certainly didn’t seem opposed to the idea.
“If we feel that would help the competition, then that’s something we would look into,” Ryan said. “I haven’t seen Kevin … Obviously (offensive coordinator) Marty Mornhinweg has had Kevin when he was in Philadelphia. He’s familiar with him. But we’ll see. I really haven’t had a chance to sit down and talk with Marty and (general manager) John (Idzik). Is that a possibility? I’m not sure.”
Ryan made it clear that after last season’s debacle at the position, his quarterbacks are poised to produce better results in 2013 — regardless of who is the signal caller.
“I’m confident that we’re going to improve at that position,” Ryan said. “That position will play much better. That position will protect the ball better. I’m confident that we’re going to see that.”
What to believe? After all of the speculation, will Tebow actually be given a chance to compete for the Jets’ quarterback job in 2013? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…