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Rex Ryan Banishes Tim Tebow

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan spoke with the media Thursday about the quarterback chaos and the banishment of Tim Tebow.

Opening Statement

Alright, first off, youre not going to believe this one. Today, Greg McElroy was lifting and experienced headaches. Come to find out that Greg wasnt exactly truthful with our training staff after the game. He never disclosed any symptoms after the game to our trainers. But right now hes being evaluated for a concussion and with that, theres no way Im going to play him. Theres no doubt. I dont care what the tests say. Were going to err on the side of caution there. So were definitely, he will be out for the game. So, with that being said, Im going to start Mark Sanchez and the reason Im starting Mark is we have two practices and one walk-through to get ready for Buffalo. Mark has had success earlier in the season against Buffalo. Hes very familiar with them and thats the reason Im going with Mark. I had the conversation with both Mark and Tim (Tebow) a few minutes ago about what I was going to do. Obviously, Tims not happy with that, as youd expect. But again because of the reasons I stated earlier, thats why I made the decision to go with Mark. Obviously, it was about 9:30 or so is when I found out about (Gregs injury), when Greg came in to me. With that being said, Ill give you the list of injuries right now. We have several guys not practicing today, Dustin Keller with his ankle, Muhammad Wilkerson, concussion (and) knee, Ellis Lankster, concussion, Chaz Schilens, knee, Aaron Berry, hamstring, Braylon Edwards, knee and hamstring, Bryan Thomas, chest, LaRon Landry, heel and hamstring, obviously, Greg McElroy, abdomen and concussion, Joe McKnight, illness and ankle, and thats a migraine again. All these other players will be full, Kenrick Ellis, knee, Mark Sanchez, low back, Matt Slauson, knee, Jeff Cumberland, wrist, Calvin Pace, shoulder, Nick Mangold, shoulder, Bart Scott, toe, Bilal Powell, shoulder, Garrett McIntyre, elbow, Nick Folk, mid-back, Brandon Moore, hip (and) foot, Tim Tebow, ribs, Sione Pouha, low back, Robert Malone, illness and Ricky Sapp, ankle.

On his reaction to the quarterback situation

Well, I was stunned by it. He came in and look, I admire his courage and everything else, but you have to be truthful (with the medical staff), and I think thats a lesson learned here. The fact he really wanted to play, I understand the competitive side of Greg and all that, but the most important thing is the health of the players. And obviously, I just feel fortunate that something like this showed up without him going out there again and putting himself in harms way. But again, was I stunned by it? Yeah, I would say so.

On if the trainers noticed McElroys symptoms

No, Greg noticed the problem and went to the trainers.

On if McElroy told the trainers today that he had been experiencing symptoms the past few days

Yes. Thats when he was truthful with our training staff.

On if there was any hesitation to choose Sanchez over Tebow

Well, no, because when I looked at it, you only have two practices left, you have one walk-through and the fact that Mark has had success earlier in the year against them as the points I stated, I thought that this is the right decision.

On if Tebow verbally communicated his disappointment

Obviously, hed like a shot at (starting). When you look at it, I think with the situation the way it is, its a short window really to get the preparation time in and things. I just think its the best for our football team. That doesnt mean that Tim wont play in this game, but Im just more comfortable starting Mark.

On if Tebow and Sanchez will be active and McElroy will be inactive

Right, yeah, he is going to be out. (McElroy) is out. I dont care what the tests look like, hes definitely going to be out.

On what it would take for Tebow to be named the starter

Well, I think when you look at the circumstances that were in, that are playing into this, I think, without question, this is the right decision to start Mark. Youre down to two practices and the fact that in the first game of the year, he had success against Buffalo, he knows Buffalo and I think its the right decision.

On if he would have given more consideration to starting Tebow if he had learned about McElroys injury earlier Sunday

Again, you know what, that wasnt the case and Id really rather not speculate on that and I hope you can appreciate that.

On if there are any repercussions from the league office for McElroy not disclosing his symptoms to the medical staff

Thats an interesting question. Im not sure. I think hopefully this will be an example to all the players because the worst thing that couldve happened is he wouldve gone out there with nobody knowing how he really felt and hurt himself. That obviously wouldve been the worst situation. But the fact that he was truthful eventually, obviously, not in the time he shouldve been, but hopefully it will be an example to other players that, look, youre hurting yourself. And obviously thats what the leagues trying to prevent but the league needs the help of the players as well to let this protocol work and I think thats important.

On whether McElroy tried lobby to play

No, I never gave him that (option), so there was no sense doing that. Sometimes as a coach, you have to take care of your players. Obviously, this was a situation where if I know the guy is struggling. Im not going to put him in there, period.

On whether he chose Sanchez to start because the game plan was already installed

It was more based on the facts I already mentioned about Mark having success earlier this year (against Buffalo) and the prep time. It has nothing to do with any other factors.

On when he told Sanchez and Tebow who would start

I told them together in the hallway. They were in meetings. I dont know if they assumed that this was going to happen or this was going to take place because Greg wasnt in the meeting. I saw them in the hallway and thats when I talked to them.

On whether players might hide concussion symptoms in order to keep playing

I dont deny that that could be a possibility, but I think with all the information out there about concussions now, players need to be honest. The training staffs, I dont care how good they are, the medical staffs, and how good the protocol is of the National Football League, you need to be honest. Its set up for you. You cant tell. I dont think anybody could tell. Its obviously extremely important that players are honest with the medical staff.

On if McElroys situation makes him think what else players may have hidden from him

Its tough, but with your point about our players, in Gregs situation, he was the third-string quarterback given an opportunity to compete as a starting quarterback, I can understand you want that opportunity. Every player in this league wants that opportunity, but the health of each player in this league should be the most important thing. Whether that happens, I dont know. I think you can just try to educate your players as best you can. I dont know how you can relieve the anxiety that may exist, that, Hey, youre not going to get another opportunity, or, Youre going to be passed over. I dont know how you can do that, but again, the health is the most important thing and Im talking (about) long-term health as well.

On if he will mention to his players the importance of being honest about injuries

Absolutely, after practice, Ill bring it up.

On if he knows when exactly the injury to McElroy may have occurred

Not yet, I havent talked to J-Mel (Head Athletic Trainer John Melody) about it or anyone else. We havent done that yet. Again, when it occurred, I have no idea.

On whether McElroy gave him any indication on when the injury may have occurred

No.

On whether McElroy was the only one that told him

No, Greg and John (Mellody) came into my office and told me.

On how big of an opportunity the Buffalo game is for Sanchez

I think itd be huge. Any competitor would be excited about getting another opportunity. I know he believes in himself and I think any competitor would want this opportunity.

On whether he can understand Tebows frustration

I can understand. Theres no doubt, I can definitely understand the frustrations of not getting the opportunity to play as much as Im sure he would have liked. The fact that our team has struggled, Im sure there are some frustrations there and I certainly understand that.

On whether he can address the conversation he had with Tebow last week

Im going to stay with what I said before, if Tim wants to address it (he can).

On his belief that Tebow would have gone into the game if he asked him to do something

Again, Ill stand by exactly what I said, I believe if Tim would have been asked to do something, he would have gone into that game and done it. Right now, in this game, I feel like whatever we ask Tim to do, hes going to do it. Is he disappointed about not starting this game? Absolutely. But in my opinion, Tim will do whatever is asked of him.

On the conversation with Tebow last week

Im not going to get into any specifics of that. Im going to keep that conversation private. Im comfortable with my answer. Maybe nobody else is, but I am, and Ill just leave it at that.

On whether Wilkerson will play

I think Mo (Wilkerson) is going to play. I think the next step, he just has one more test to pass and then well see how it goes. Him and Ellis both, I think have passed some of the test requirements. I believe theres one more test that both of them have to pass, but Im hopeful that theyll both be able to play.

On whether he downgraded the statuses of Thomas and Edwards

I think Bryan Thomas (did not participate in practice), I believe yesterday as well. Then Braylon, I believe (did not participate in practice). I thought he would have played (in practice yesterday), but his knee kind of flared up there. Hopefully, hell be able to go. Im not saying hes out of the game. Im hoping that hes going to be able to play. Obviously, with LaRon, thats been a common thing that we do during the week, so I feel good about him playing.

On whether he knows the grade of McElroys injury

No, I think hes just now being evaluated. I dont even know what the tests are going to say, but I think, right now, hes going through those evaluations.

On what he saw from the team in practice yesterday and his confidence for Sunday

We had a great practice, and as you guys know, we were out there in (poor weather) conditions. As the team periods went on, the conditions got worse and worse, so in preparing for Buffalo, I think it was good to go out there because you never know how those conditions are going to be. I thought it was a spirited practice. I thought it was an excellent practice, so I expect our team to go out and not just give a great effort, but play well.

On why McElroy will definitely be out when Wilkerson might play

To have those kinds of symptoms and all that type of stuff because once you do the weightlifting, its strenuous activity, and hes going to have (those symptoms), Im not going to do that. Theres no way. With Mos situation, Mo I think felt he could have practiced, but he had to go through the test. Thats why I feel confident Mo will be able to play.

On how much the Buffalo game will weigh in the evaluation of Sanchez or if he will evaluate the entire season

Well definitely go back and evaluate the whole season. After the Buffalo game, theres no question well go back and look at the entire season.

On if McElroy had symptoms other than headaches

He had headaches and when he came into my office, he had a towel around him. You could tell he wasnt feeling too well. Theres no question about it, with John Mellody there. Again, I believe it was just headaches. Im not sure if there were other symptoms as well.

On whether McElroy indicated he may have blacked out during the game

No, nobody knew (about McElroy experiencing symptoms during the game). If anything would have happened like that, our trainers (and our doctors) would have acted immediately. But no, that wasnt this case.

On if this is the strangest season hes had as a coach

I would say thats pretty accurate, and weve had some strange ones. (laughter)

Source: New York Jets Media



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