Redskins

Jets' Ryan doesn't sense frustration by Tebow

Jets' Ryan doesn't sense frustration by Tebow

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Tim Tebow has mostly been a sideline spectator this season, helplessly watching the New York Jets' offense struggle.

The energetic do-it-all backup quarterback has been reduced mainly to a bit player. Not exactly what he - or everyone - expected. But if Tebow is frustrated with his limited role so far, Rex Ryan doesn't sense it.

``I know how competitive he is,'' Ryan said Thursday. ``When you look over at the sideline, him and a lot of guys want to change the situation. We want to win, everybody we have feels the same way.

``Specifically him being frustrated about his role or anything? I don't see that.''

Tebow has played in just 31 of the Jets' 257 offensive snaps after being acquired from Denver in March to back up starter Mark Sanchez and provide a spark to the offense. Many fans and media insist Tebow should play more on offense, starting Monday night against undefeated Houston, with some even calling for him to supplant Sanchez as the starter.

After all, Tebow has won in the NFL before, leading Denver to the playoffs last season after a terrific run during which he won seven of eight games in one stretch, including five fourth-quarter victories. So, naturally, the assumption is that Tebow is trying to be patient and just wait for what have so far been only occasional opportunities - a few as a wildcat-style quarterback, a handful as a tight end or fullback and regularly as a punt protector on special teams.

Ryan and his coaching staff huddled for two days to try to find solutions after the Jets were blown out 34-0 by the San Francisco 49ers. While he refused to give details about those discussions, it would make sense for Tebow to be a larger part of the offense. Ryan also was a bit unclear when asked if he's spoken to Tebow about increasing his role.

``I talk to players and things like that,'' Ryan said. ``But nothing specific.''

Ryan also dismissed the notion that perhaps the Jets have not lived up to what they promised Tebow when they traded for him in March.

``When you trade for a guy, you do talk to the player or whatever,'' Ryan said. ``When that happens, you're trying to get a guy on your football team and things like that. Sometimes, the trade, the player doesn't have anything to do with it. ... Tim likes the competitiveness of this group. He's a competitive guy.''

The one thing Ryan made clear for what seemed to be the millionth time since Tebow came to town is that he is standing by Sanchez as his starting quarterback.

``Mark's been fairly successful here, and I've said this since Day 1: `Give me the quarterback that wins because his job is so important to your team's success,'' Ryan said. ``I think Mark is an excellent quarterback.''

The numbers haven't supported that so far this season, as Sanchez's dismal 69.6 quarterback rating ranks 30th in NFL, ahead of just rookies Ryan Tannehill of Miami and Brandon Weeden of Cleveland. He has completed just 49.2 percent of his passes, the lack of accuracy and consistency both big-time knocks on him since his rookie year in 2009.

He has four road playoff wins, though, and played well in leading the Jets to the AFC championship game in consecutive seasons. Ryan believes that is the real Sanchez, not the one struggling to connect with receivers. Sanchez has also been playing without his favorite target, tight end Dustin Keller, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury for weeks. Top receiver Santonio Holmes is also gone for the season after seriously injuring his left foot against the 49ers.

``I just think it's everybody's job - we want to see him do well,'' Ryan said. ``The receivers have to get open and Sanchez, I think, is accurate enough to put the ball where he needs to. And if that means elevating our play, than I think we can do that. I think it's on everybody, though.''

But, it's Sanchez who is taking the brunt of the criticism - and a lot of it, justifiably so. The fact that Tebow is waiting in the wings and everyone remembers what he was able to do last season in Denver has just increased the heat on what has become a bubbling quarterback controversy.

``You've got to have that thick skin because not everybody's going to write beautiful things about you,'' Ryan said. ``If you have a poor game, it's going to be right there in front. ... I think it takes a special guy to be a quarterback in this market, and I think Mark has that.''

Ryan believes the Jets have the perfect situation, not a potentially explosive one in large part because of Tebow's athletic ability.

``He's not a guy (who says), `I only want to do this,''' Ryan said. ``If you wanted him to line up as a defensive tackle, he'd do it.''

He also believes in Tebow's abilities as a quarterback, convinced that he belongs in the NFL at that position, no matter what the many naysayers think.

``No question I think he's a good quarterback,'' Ryan said. ``You can't bluff your way in this league and have the success that he's had. ... Mark is our starting quarterback. But what's intriguing about having Tim is that if something were to happen to Mark, you'd feel good that you have a quarterback that has proven that he can win in the National Football League.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Here's a small example of Dwayne Haskins' leadership, as told by Matthew Berry

Here's a small example of Dwayne Haskins' leadership, as told by Matthew Berry

ESPN Fantasy Football expert Matthew Berry was at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere last weekend in Los Angeles, where he got the chance to interview the three Redskins rookies in attendance: Dwayne Haskins, Terry McLaurin, and Bryce Love. 

Berry, who was a guest of JP Finlay's on the Redskins Talk podcast on Thursday, has been a fan of the Burgundy and Gold since he was a kid, so he was eager to talk to three of the team's newest players and learn more about them.

It was during those interviews where Berry got a quick glimpse of a side of Haskins that now has Berry really excited.

"I thought what was really cool was... When I was interviewing McLaurin, Dwayne Haskins came in and interrupted the interview to give him some crap," he told Finlay. "It was really a wonderful moment to see. Obviously, they know each other very well from Ohio State, but just the fact that they felt comfortable enough and he wanted to come over and mess with him a little bit and have some fun, I was impressed with that."

Once Haskins left, Berry explained how he asked McLaurin about the interaction. Redskins fans will like McLaurin's answer.

"That's Dwayne, Dwayne is being a leader," McLaurin said, per Berry. 

Haskins did something similar to Love during Love's interview as well. Berry even caught up with Colts receiver Parris Campbell, who also played with the QB at Ohio State, to inquire about the 15th overall pick. 

"I asked him, 'Listen, I'm a diehard Redskins fan, what am I getting?'" Berry said. "He couldn't have been more effusive. 'You're not only getting a guy who puts the ball where you want it, but you're getting a leader. You're getting a guy who makes sure everyone in the huddle is included.'"

You can be skeptical of how much these little moments mean, and that's fair. Ultimately, how quickly Haskins picks up Jay Gruden's playbook and how accurate his arm turns out to be will factor more into his success in the NFL than being able to joke around a bit with some of his guys.

But you can also hope that these little moments are hints of a bigger personality and approach, a look into an athlete who can get a football team to buy into him. That's the side Berry is on.

"I thought that was really cool, and just showed somebody who's very comfortable in the leadership position and who's trying to be inclusive of everyone," he said. "It's early in the process, but I have yet to hear somebody on or off the record say something bad about Dwayne Haskins."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

WNBA Finals loss only more fuel for Elena Delle Donne, Mystics heading into 2019 season

elena-delle-donne-shoulder-grab-mystics-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

WNBA Finals loss only more fuel for Elena Delle Donne, Mystics heading into 2019 season

For Elena Delle Donne and the Mystics, last season's heartbreak in the WNBA Finals is only fuel for another potential postseason run in 2019. 

"That's something I don't think I'll ever let go," Washington's star forward told Chris Miller on the latest episode of the Wizards Talk podcast. "It's always tough when you get to that Finals and you can't finish it off. But I think it's something that can fuel you. You don't want to let it just bring you down and depress you and make it so you can't get over that hump."

"If you use it as fuel and motivation, it can help you get better. I think that's what we're all gonna do."

The Mystics reached their first WNBA Finals in franchise history in 2018 but ultimately lost to the Seattle Storm. Delle Donne, recently named in WNBA.com's GM survey as the favorite to win league MVP, is back for her third season in Washington and headlines a strong team that has the talent to compete for the title again.

Her status for Saturday's season opener against the Connecticut Sun is up in the air due to a left knee injury, but Delle Donne believes the Mystics will have another great season given the continuity on the roster from last season and the return of All-Star forward Emma Meesseman. 

"We feel great. We've got our core back," said Delle Donne. "And to be able to add a superstar like Emma to that roster is pretty scary. Especially with her style of play and the way that our team started playing last season, where it was such positionless basketball. Spreading the floor, just spreading it, making it easy for one another to attack, get some threes. She's just gonna add so much to that."

NBC Sports Washington will be broadcasting 10 Mystics home games during the 2019 WNBA season. For the full regular season schedule, click here.

MORE MYSTICS NEWS: