NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rex Ryan doesn’t want to put a muzzle on his players. The coach just wants his Jets to not be “cowardly.”

Translation: put your name on your comments.

So on the same day several unnamed Jets players and members of the organization were quoted in a Daily News report ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow, running back Shonn Greene appeared to take a swipe at the status of starter Mark Sanchez.

“Something’s got to change,” Greene told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “When you get to the point where you’re 3-6, and losing and losing, a couple of guys are like, ‘Oh, what would happen?’ But guys at the same time have faith in Mark, so it’s kind of an up-and-down thing.

“You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time, you want to win games. We’re not here to protect people’s feelings. If you want to win games, you’ve got to try something. If somebody’s not getting the job done, you see if somebody else can do it. It’s the same with coaching, or any position. You don’t mean to belittle someone or say, ‘He sucks.’ That’s just the harsh reality.”

It sounded as if Greene was advocating for a new starting quarterback. But a source close to the running back told WFAN’s Craig Carton on Thursday morning that he meant a change from losing to winning, not from Sanchez to Tebow.

Greene did in fact address the situation in the afternoon, telling the media, “I said nothing about Tebow needs to be a starting quarterback.”

Silver later appeared on WFAN to defend his column and the reporting of Greene’s quotes.

“Of course I’m ticked off,” Silver told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. “I’ve been doing this a long, long time. … I think the same logic when it comes to anonymous quotes that bothers people applies here. If you say something, own it. And people are going to respect you more for owning it than trying to backtrack.”

LISTEN: Silver defends column on WFAN

According to Silver, Greene’s comments weren’t even “that radical.”

“I stand by everything in the column,” he said. “I wish I wasn’t in the situation, because I like the kid. I had a great time talking to him. I think he’s a good story and I don’t want him to feel as though the world is crashing down on him.”

On his “Boomer & Carton” radio show, Carton said Greene, averaging just 63 yards per game on the ground, should look in the mirror. Co-host Boomer Esiason pointed to Greene’s remarks — intention aside — as another example why New York’s acquisition of Tim Tebow from Denver was ill-advised.

Many have been critical of Tebow for his unconventional passing style and issues as a poor practice player, something Greene admitted has been noticeable at Florham Park.

“He does (struggle),” Greene told Silver. “I’m not gonna lie. His mechanics, his throwing … not looking like a normal NFL quarterback. But you know what? He’s a football player. He makes stuff happen.”

Is Greene being sincere, or do you think he meant what was originally interpreted? Let us know in the comments section below…


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