Ravens

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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Lamar Jackson wins Pro Bowl Offensive MVP as AFC beats NFC

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Lamar Jackson wins Pro Bowl Offensive MVP as AFC beats NFC

The Ravens were the most represented team at the Pro Bowl, so it was only fitting two of the biggest contributors were from Baltimore, too. 

Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews combined for three touchdowns as the AFC beat the NFC 38-33 in the Pro Bowl on Sunday in Orlando. 

Jackson was named Pro Bowl Offensive MVP in just the first Pro Bowl of his young career. 

In addition to the 12 players that were selected from the NFL’s top regular season team, the AFC was coached by Baltimore’s coaching staff. 

Mourning Kobe Bryant

The Pro Bowl’s priority in the grand scheme of things took a backseat Sunday afternoon after NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash in California. He was 41 years old.

Ravens players tweeted their condolences after news of his death broke and the sports world slowed to honor Bryant.

Jackson was interviewed by ESPN’s Lisa Salters during the game, where he spoke highly of Bryant’s career. 

"That's a legend, man,” Jackson said. “He did so much for the game of basketball. A lot of people looked up to Kobe Bryant, including myself. From what I heard, he was a great person as well. My prayers are with his family."

Lamar Starts

The second-year quarterback had a strong outing in his first ever Pro Bowl appearance. 

Jackson finished 16-of-23 for 185 yards through the air with two touchdowns and an interception. He added six yards on the ground on just two carries. 

His two touchdown passes were tied for a game-high as he played for a majority of the first half. 

For his day, he won Pro Bowl Offensive MVP. It almost assuredly won’t be his only MVP from the 2019 season. 

Other Ravens In Action

But it wasn’t just Jackson that saw the field for the Ravens. 

Andrews finished the game with a game-high nine receptions for 73 yards -- a team high. He also caught a touchdown pass from Jackson in the second quarter. 

Mark Ingram led all players on the ground with 31 yards on five carries, with the help of three of his offensive linemen: Ronnie Stanley, Marshal Yanda and Orlando Brown Jr. 

Defensively, Marlon Humphrey had three tackles, Earl Thomas had two and Matthew Judon added one as well. 

Late in the fourth quarter, Thomas intercepted a pass on the Pro Bowl’s new onside kick rule, which replaces a standard onside kick with a 4th-and-15 play. Thomas then lateraled the ball to Humphrey, who pitched it to Judon before the play was whistled dead.

Justin Tucker added a first half 50-yard field goal, too, as the Ravens made sure they were well-known at the Pro Bowl. 

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No. 17 Maryland scores final 7 points to win at Indiana

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No. 17 Maryland scores final 7 points to win at Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jalen Smith's first-half 3-point flurry helped stake Maryland to a double-digit lead. His ability to fight through Indiana's halftime adjustments kept the 17th-ranked Terrapins close in the second half. And then he finished with a flourish.

After catching a pass from Anthony Cowan Jr. in the post, the sophomore forward scored on a layup with 14.5 seconds left to cap an improbable last-minute comeback for the Terps, who beat the Hoosiers 77-76 on Sunday.

"He's walking around with a little bit more of a swagger between games. All of our guys are getting more confidence," coach Mark Turgeon said after the Terps overcame a six-point deficit in the final 68 seconds. "But Stix (Smith) has really taken it to a new level."

It's made a difference.

Smith finished with 29 points, his second career high this week, and 11 rebounds. He was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers and 10 of 14 from the field, as Maryland (16-4, 6-3 Big Ten) picked up its third consecutive win.

His closing act was even more impressive.

Smith's layup with 1:08 to go started Maryland's closing run and his steal of the Hoosiers' ensuing inbound pass led to a 3 by Aaron Wiggins to make it a one-point game.

Following another defensive stop, Smith positioned himself perfectly for the go-ahead basket and after challenging Trayce Jackson-Davis's final shot for Indiana, a 2-footer, Smith still had the presence of mind to deflect away the rebound.

"I saw he was trying to get an offensive putback so I just tried to alter the way it bounced off the rim," he said. "Just so time could run off."

For Indiana (15-5, 5-4) it was deflating.

The Hoosiers rallied from a 45-36 halftime deficit to take a 67-59 lead with 7:34 left. Devonte Green's layup with 1:25 left gave Indiana a 76-70 lead and appeared headed to its third straight win.

Instead, Smith changed the ending.

"Really tough loss," Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said. "I mean, one of the tougher losses I think you could probably imagine a locker room setting having for our group."

Green scored 16 points and Jackson-Davis had 13 to lead Indiana.

MILLER ON BRYANT

Miller grew up in Pennsylvania, an admirer of Kobe Bryant. His father, John, coached Bryant in the McDonald's All-Star Game.

So when Miller found out Bryant had been killed Sunday in a helicopter crash, it broke his heart.

"I mean, it's like that can't be real," said Miller, who's a year younger than Bryant was. "That's the most sick, stunning thing that's happened. You're talking about generations of kids right now that in their generation, it would have been like Michael Jordan passing away at 40 years old. It makes no sense."

SMITH SHOW II

Turgeon was not amused when Smith celebrated by waving his arms and taunting the Indiana crowd.

It drew a loud crescendo of boos and two postgame apologies.

Turgeon confronted Smith on the court.

"I want to apologize for Jalen, the way he acted after the game," Turgeon said, opening his news conference. "It's very uncharacteristic of Jalen. If you know him, he's a great kid but it's one of the best fan bases in the country. Top five. Jalen feels terrible about it, I feel terrible about it. I tried to stop it when I saw it, but it's not who he is. And I want to apologize to Archie, the team, Indiana Nation or whatever you call yourselves, Hoosier Nation, we're sorry for the way we acted."

Smith added: "I let my emotions get the best of me and I apologize to all their fans. Indiana has a great crowd."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins put on a 20-minute clinic moving the ball and knocking down 3s. They spent most of the second half scrambling to stay in it and when they got a chance to finally capitalize on a couple big miscues, they took advantage. If Smith & Co. continue improving the way Turgeon expects, they will only become a more dangerous team.

Indiana: While the disappointment could be seen across the faces of the players following the game, the question is how will the Hoosiers rebound? They've played hard and gritty all season and Miller knows his team must put the emotions of this loss behind them. He expects nothing less -- even after they gave this one away despite committing a season-low six turnovers.

STAT PACK

Maryland: Anthony Cowan Jr. had 18 points, Darryl Morsell finished with 10 points and six rebounds and Eric Ayala had six assists. ... After making six of their first nine 3s, the Terrapins wound up 12 of 29. ... Maryland pulled off its first season sweep and won at Assembly Hall for the first time since joining the Big Ten. They lost the previous meetings in Bloomington.

Indiana: Jackson-Davis and Justin Smith each had eight rebounds. ... Rob Phinisee finished with 10 points and seven assists and Jerome Hunter scored a season-high 12 points. ... Indiana went 9 of 19 on 3s and was outrebounded 29-22. ... The Hoosiers are 12-2 at home and 3-2 against AP Top 25 opponents.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts No. 19 on Thursday in the first of two straight home games.

Indiana faces a key test Wednesday at Penn State.

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