Mike Garafolo, USA TODAY Sports
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Tim Tebow didn't do much smiling, and the only New York Jets quarterback who used the word "excited" was Greg McElroy, who will get the start over Tebow and Mark Sanchez on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
There was one moment Tebow laughed in his session with news reporters Wednesday, and it came after he was asked if he tried to extend a brief conversation with coach Rex Ryan in an attempt to persuade Ryan to give him a shot.
"You're just not going to change their mind," Tebow said after his chuckle.
Tebow has been trying to change minds for years, from his days as an unconventional college quarterback at Florida to his attempt to shorten his throwing motion before the 2010 NFL draft to the way he found ways to win games with the Denver Broncos to his arrival at the Jets facility in March.
And now, after he was passed over by Ryan, he'll have to prove it all again, perhaps for his next employer. Tebow said he hadn't asked for a trade but wouldn't say that scenario wasn't coming. He simply deferred all questions on the matter until the season is over.
It surely can't end soon enough, because this season - Tebow has attempted all of eight passes - has done nothing to convince his detractors he can throw the ball well enough to be an NFL quarterback.
A high-ranking NFL personnel evaluator, who spoke on condition of anonymity to share his scouting report, said: "(Tebow) attempts to play quarterback despite poor footwork, throwing platforms, release, timing, efficiency, progression, reads, anticipation, arm strength, accuracy and any other position-specific category you can think of.
"God bless him for trying," the personnel man said, "but I wouldn't touch him and would pass on the Jacksonville (Jaguars) job if it forced me to take him."
At this point, the Jaguars appear to be Tebow's best option south of the Canadian Football League. The Jaguars wanted him in the spring, but he chose the Jets.
It was not a wise decision. The Jets had no clear idea how to use Tebow most effectively. Even Ryan admitted Wednesday that he had a vision of using Tebow in different ways. "I thought maybe we would use him in other ways or something, but we haven't run a whole lot of those plays and things," he said.
Now it seems Tebow was only in uniform to run Wildcat plays and serve as a punt protector while McElroy was inactive.
Tebow still thinks he can be an NFL starting quarterback, and he ultimately might seek that chance. He said he hadn't asked for a trade - at least not yet.
"That's something we'll talk about after the season," he said repeatedly.
Translation: He's likely out of there, though that might wind up being more of the Jets' decision than his. After all, it's baffling why they even wanted him in the first place.
Asked if he knew why the Jets traded for him, Tebow replied, "Some things are hard to understand. They were trying to do the best they can, and I understand that."
Tebow has been on the field for 76 offensive snaps this season. He has thrown eight passes, completing six for 39 yards. He has run the ball 32 times, gaining 102 yards.
He has had one full offensive series as a quarterback. It came Monday night against the Tennessee Titans - five plays, during which he ran for 13 yards, got sacked and then scrambled and threw wildly into the sideline.
"Every opportunity you get you want to make the most of," Tebow said. "I would've loved to have more of an opportunity to just play quarterback."
Perhaps that's his best chance to improve. Tebow is dyslexic. He is a kinesthetic learner - he learns by doing. Sitting on the sideline and getting a few plays here and there won't help him develop.
The only team that likely could provide him with the opportunity to be a full-time quarterback would be the Jaguars, a franchise looking for a spark and one that would benefit from players with star power who could fill seats.
But it's unclear if Jacksonville management still thinks Tebow can be an integral part of the offense, let alone a full-time quarterback.
"He won a playoff game. He can do some things," the NFL personnel man said. "But it won't be a conventional offense."
Tebow thinks he can overcome such opinions. He sees himself as a quarterback capable of throwing accurately down the field. He thinks the touchdown pass he should have had that bounced off the hands of now-former Jets wide receiver Jason Hill in an October loss to the Houston Texans is an indication of what he can do.
Tebow's faith in God remains strong. As does his confidence in himself - even if it is lacking from others.
"I always, since I was a young boy, believed in myself and the abilities God has given me," he says. "I just look forward to having an opportunity to try to show those again. I'm pretty positive, and I look forward to the future and what's going to happen."
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