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Tebow 'disappointed' by Ryan choosing McElroy

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Tebow 'disappointed' by Ryan choosing McElroy

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) It all began as an intriguing idea, the thought of Tim Tebow running around as an exciting spark for the New York Jets' offense.

Then it all fizzled - before it really even started.

Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets' wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL's most popular and maligned backup quarterback.

``For some reason, it hasn't panned out to my expectations and maybe Tim's, either,'' Ryan said. ``Defenses have attacked us a little differently. Maybe that's a contributing factor to it.''

Ryan would not go into detail about why he chose Greg McElroy over Tebow to replace the struggling Mark Sanchez as the team's starting quarterback with two games left in a lost season. He reiterated his comments from Tuesday that it was his decision - and his alone - saying it was a ``gut'' call.

It was one that, predictably, didn't sit well with Tebow.

``Obviously, I'm a little disappointed,'' he said. ``You try to handle it the best you can.''

Tebow paused for a second when asked if he felt passed over by Ryan choosing McElroy instead of him.

``All you can ask for and all you want is a chance,'' he said. ``A chance to go out there and play the game you love, and help this team win football games. That's all I wanted.''

Ryan didn't consult with any players before making the call - other than to tell Sanchez after the Jets' 14-10 loss to Tennessee on Monday night that he was out as the starter.

The fact McElroy leapfrogged Tebow appears to be a clear indicator that the Jets think very little of Tebow as a quarterback, the player they traded a fourth-round draft pick to Denver for in March despite having just signed Sanchez to a big contract extension.

``I think we had a vision of using Tim in different ways,'' Ryan said. ``Obviously, we used him as a personal punt protector. I thought maybe we would use him in other ways or something.''

As did Tebow. He has done his best to hide his frustration throughout the season, but it was clear Wednesday that he is unhappy. He spoke in a low tone, and the usually constant smiles were few and far between. He also shrugged his shoulders a few times at questions, almost struggling to say the right things without coming off as angry.

Tebow was also asked point-blank whether he pictures himself being a member of the Jets next season.

``I'll just wait until the end of the season,'' he said, ``and look at everything then.''

Tebow did say he has not asked to be traded after the season, but indicated that even he is a bit puzzled why the Jets brought him to New York.

``Umm, some things are hard to understand,'' he said. ``They're trying to do the best they can, and I understand that.''

General manager Mike Tannenbaum told The Associated Press during training camp that he and Ryan kicked around the idea of going after Tebow while sitting in an airport and seeing that Denver was about to acquire Peyton Manning.

Tannenbaum said the two jumped at that idea, and so did offensive coordinator Tony Sparano - and added that owner Woody Johnson was completely on board. For Johnson, it would be a publicity touchdown along with a chance to sell tickets, personal seat licenses and mountains of merchandise. For Ryan and Sparano, it would be adding a proven winner, an athlete who had his limitations as a passer, but added so much more in intangibles.

Ryan constantly called Tebow ``a football player,'' someone whose role would go far beyond just being the No. 2 quarterback behind Sanchez. But as each week came and went, Tebow has had a limited role in the offense after it was expected he would provide a boost. Even in situations that seemed tailor-made for Tebow - third-and-short, goal-line - he mostly remained on the sideline as a mere spectator.

``We're kind of ignoring the fact that he had two cracked ribs,'' Ryan said.

Sure, he was injured on Nov. 11 at Seattle, played three offensive snaps the next week at St. Louis and not at all in the next two games. But, it was clear that Tebow had gone from a key piece to a spare part for the Jets long before that. The wildcat offense that had been so anticipated and cloaked in secrecy during training camp became little more than what many considered an ineffective distraction.

``Did I expect to have a little more success running the wildcat? Maybe I did,'' Ryan said. ``I'm sure I did.''

Tebow's numbers are far from special: He has rushed for 102 yards on 32 carries and is 6 of 8 for 39 yards. And perhaps the most disturbing stat of all: zero touchdowns. Tebow hadn't been given a series on offense all season until Monday night, when he came in following two solid drives by Sanchez. It started with an 11-yard run by Joe McKnight, followed by a 12-yard rumble by Tebow. And then, nothing. The Jets were forced to punt a few plays later and Tebow's night was done.

Now, Tebow is left wondering what his role will be the last two games of the season because No. 2 on the depth chart isn't guaranteed. That could be Sanchez, meaning Tebow could be inactive. Or, as Ryan suggested, all three could be in uniform.

``Has it been a perfect situation? I'd say we're 6-8,'' Ryan said. ``There are probably things I never anticipated, and I'm the guy ultimately responsible.''

Whether Sanchez takes another snap for the Jets this season - or ever - remains to be seen. His confidence has taken a huge hit, and that process might have started from the day New York brought in Tebow. The fifth pick in the 2009 draft has 50 turnovers since the start of last season, an awful amount of mistakes from a player once considered the face of the franchise who drew comparisons to Joe Namath just two years ago when he led the Jets to a second straight AFC title game appearance.

Either way, it appears Tebow is not a part of the Jets' future. And, Sanchez might not be, either. McElroy is getting the opportunity to show if he could be, but Ryan insists he's only thinking about the last two opponents: the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills.

``Any long-term discussion,'' Ryan said, ``will probably be better served after that (final) game.''

For Tebow, he's trying not to think about the ``what-ifs'' or the disappointments of his first, and possibly only, season in New York.

``I don't have regrets,'' Tebow said. ``I believe everything happens for a reason, and it's a learning opportunity for me and there's a lot I've learned, good and bad.

``I still appreciate the opportunity to come be a Jet.''

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

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Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

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