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Ryan: Tebow would have played in Wildcat if asked

New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow, center, appears on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. Tebow was not active because of a rib injury. The Jets won 7-6. (AP Photo/The Record of Bergen County, Chris Pedota) ONLINE OUT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT;  NO ARCHIVING; MANDATORY CREDIT

New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow, center, appears on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. Tebow was not active because of a rib injury. The Jets won 7-6. (AP Photo/The Record of Bergen County, Chris Pedota) ONLINE OUT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO ARCHIVING; MANDATORY CREDIT

Tim Tebow would have done whatever Rex Ryan asked – if the New York Jets coach had asked him.

Ryan acknowledged Monday that Tebow wasn’t happy when the coach chose Greg McElroy to start for the benched Mark Sanchez, but insisted Tebow was willing to play in any role Sunday against San Diego – including the wildcat.

‘“He was disappointed, there’s no question,” Ryan said Monday. “He was disappointed that he was not named the starter, but with that being said, I’m not going to get into private conversations that I have with players, but it was my decision to use Jeremy Kerley in the wildcat, without question.

“But I’ll say this: I believe if Tim’s number was called, he would’ve went in and played. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.’’

A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Tebow asked out of his wildcat offense duties last week after hearing that McElroy, the third-stringer, would get his first NFL start over Tebow, listed as the No. 2 quarterback.

Another person, also familiar with the situation, said that wildcat plays involving Kerley instead of Tebow were added before practice last Wednesday.

Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the Jets do not disclose personnel discussions.

ESPN New York first reported that Tebow opted out of running wildcat plays. ESPN also reported that Tebow said his relationship with Ryan was ‘’strained’’ for a few days, but they smoothed things over. Ryan had all three quarterbacks active for Sunday’s 27-17 loss, but Tebow never got onto the field in any capacity.

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