New York Jets coach Rex Ryan called anonymous players who bashed reserve quarterback Tim Tebow “cowardly” and called for an end to potential in-house dissension.
“Did I address it? I absolutely addressed it,” Ryan said. “Because I think it’s a cowardly thing. If you’re not going to put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of a thing as there is. I even mentioned that. I said, ‘Look, if …’
“Well, I don’t want to get into specifics of what I said. But I did address it with our football team. I absolutely did.”
The comments from anonymous Jets is not foreign. Last year, they purportedly bad-mouthed Mark Sanchez tot he media. Then, like now, Ryan insists that his locker room is together.
“If you’re searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team and all that . . . my thing is that I believe in this team,” Ryan said. “I believe this team is like this and will continue to be like this and maybe even come tighter. I’m confident that that will be a case.”
But when asked about the issues that popped up with Sanchez last year versus the issues with Tebow this season, Rex said he doesn’t believe the Jets “have the same problem” and classified the 2011 issue as “over-exaggerated.”
“I don’t think we have the same problem,” Ryan said. “Even back then, I think that was probably a little more over exaggerated that actually was the rift in the entire locker room. I don’t think it existed the way it was portrayed. But I do recognize that there was something wrong there. I’ve made it my personal agenda to go out and fix it.”
The Jets have no intention of scrapping the Wildcat package featuring Tebow, according to Ryan, who went on to laud Tebow for his unselfishness. He praised him for accepting his role as the personal protector on the punt team.
“We asked him — a former Heisman Trophy winner, first-round pick, a quarterback who led his team to the playoffs — ‘You know what? We want you to be our personal protector,’ ” Ryan said, adding that Tebow never complained.
“Quite honestly, I feel extremely confident this football team is coming closer together, than what maybe is being thought of as pulling apart,” Ryan said. “I definitely don’t see that.”