Rex Ryan doesn’t mind his Jets 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 Wednesday said 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 was acquired from Denver in a stunning trade in March, with the Jets envisioning using the popular player in key spots on offense. Instead, he has had little impact through nine games, rushing 27 times for 92 yards and completing five of his six passes for 40 yards. Tebow also has not scored with the Jets, and the wildcat package he was supposed to be such a large part of has been inconsistent and mostly ineffective.
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.’’
Ben Roethlisberger’s sprained right shoulder is just the start of his problems. The Steelers quarterback said Wednesday he also dislocated a rib while getting sacked in the third quarter of Monday night’s win over the Chiefs. Roethlisberger sprained the SC joint in his shoulder on the play but says the rib issue is a bigger concern. Roethlisberger said doctors are concerned the rib could cut into his aorta. He’s already been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Ravens. Backup Byron Leftwich will start in his place, though Roethlisberger doesn’t believe the injuries will end his season. ‘‘I don’t think so, I don’t know though but I’m not a medical expert,’’ Roethlisberger said. ‘‘I just know I’m going to do what I can to get back.’’ Leftwich is 0-6 in his last six games as a starter, his last victory coming on Oct. 8, 2006 while playing for the Jaguars.
Vick is in play
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick did not practice Wednesday, but has not yet been ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. the Redskins. Vick suffered a concussion in the second quarter of a 38-23 loss to the Cowboys. Backup Nick Foles, a rookie, took the first-team snaps at practice and would make his first career start should Vick not be able to play. ‘‘Michael’s in a good place,’’ coach Andy Reid said. ‘‘He’s hurting a little bit from the concussion, but he’s in a good place. I haven’t tried to overburden him right now.’’ . . . 49ers quarterback Alex Smith went through position work in a non-contact black jersey Wednesday, his status still unclear for Monday night’s NFC showdown with the Bears after he sustained a concussion Sunday against the Rams . . . Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s status for the game also remains in question because of a concussion. Coach Lovie Smith says Cutler is ‘‘feeling a whole lot better’’ after sitting out the second half of Sunday’s loss to Houston. The Bears believe Cutler was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Tim Dobbins late in the first half against the Texans, and Smith said Wednesday they were still evaluating him. Dobbins was fined $30,000 for the hit and said he plans to appeal.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will miss Sunday’s game in Detroit with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 4 against the Cardinals. He is tied for second in the NFC with nine sacks . . . Matt Cassel will remain the Chiefs starting quarterback because Brady Quinn still has not been cleared to participate in a game following his concussion . . . Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, who has missed four games with a sprained foot, said there is “a chance” he could play Sunday against the Browns . . . Bears kicker Robbie Gould ripped the surface at Soldier Field, then apologized for it. Gould said he might have to think about re-signing with Chicago when his contract expires after next season. Later, however, the Bears issued a statement from Gould in which he apologized to the grounds crew.