FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Rex Ryan doesn't mind his New York Jets players saying what's on their minds. Just as long as they put their names to their comments.
An angry Ryan addressed his team Wednesday for some anonymous quotes by players and members of the organization ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow in a newspaper report.
If you're not going to put your name to it, I think that's about as cowardly of a thing there is, Ryan said.
I don't want to get into specifics of what I said, but I did address it with our football team. If you're searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team, my thing is, I believe in this team.
I believe this team is (together), will continue to be and maybe even become tighter. I'm confident that will be the case.
A report in the Daily News on Wednesday said that more than a dozen players and members of the Jets organization believe there's no chance Tebow could overtake Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job — with one saying of the backup: He's terrible.
We never say that it always has to be a bed of roses, said Ryan, who encourages his players and coaches to be yourself in interviews.
But again, put your name to it. I think people would respect you a lot more for it.
Tebow has remained unflappable all season despite constant questions about his role and how he's used by the Jets, but acknowledged this was a unique situation in his career and there was some frustration and I guess some sadness after hearing about the story.
This is something I can't control, Tebow said, adding that the locker room is filled with a bunch of awesome dudes.
I can control my attitude, my effort and my work ethic, he added. Those are things that will never change based on what anybody says.
Sanchez, who has taken his share of criticism during his nearly four seasons in New York, supported his teammate.
I've been in those shoes, he said. I feel for Tim. You wake up the next day and you keep playing.