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Tebow Hurt By Criticism Of His Character, Insists He Never Asked Out Of Anything

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tim Tebow said that he never asked out of running Wildcat plays last week, but the Jets' backup quarterback acknowledges that Rex Ryan may have misunderstood him.

Tebow said on Wednesday that he told Ryan last Tuesday that he was "definitely disappointed" he wasn't going to be the starting quarterback in place of the benched Mark Sanchez, and added that he told the coach he wanted to play "regular quarterback."

"I never said, 'Hey, I don't want to do anything,'" Tebow said. "That wasn't the talk at all. He knows that. And everybody on this team knows that I would never not do something if I was asked. That's what's disappointing. People saying,'Oh, you quit, or you didn't do this.' That was not it at all. It was just me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn't me asking out of anything."

The former first-round pick said he realized that Ryan might have misinterpreted his comments when he wasn't in Wildcat packages, and reiterated to the coach last Friday that he would do anything the team asked of him.

"I was definitely disappointed and frustrated, and I let him know that," the 25-year-old said. "(I) just asked for an opportunity to play quarterback. (I told him that) I would do anything for this team like I have all year, from punt to hands team to catching passes -- whatever I could do. He appreciated that. He understood. We have a great relationship, still."

Tebow, who didn't play in Sunday's loss to San Diego, said what bothers him most is that his reputation and character were criticized.

"When people talk about how you play football and how much, that's one thing,"Tebow said. "That really doesn't bother me. I think the only thing that's been disappointing these last few days and frustrating is people saying, 'Oh, you quit on your team, or you're not a good teammate.' For people to not know the situation, and then start to bash your character and then say you're a phony or you're a fake or you're a hypocrite, I think that's what's disappointing.

"That's what's frustrating. Your character is who you are as a man, and that's a lot more important. I take that way more seriously than I'll ever take a football game."

The ardent Christian, who has been known for his ability to have incredibly thick skin and deflect criticism rather easily, admitted that the constant attacks on his character negatively affected his holiday season.

"You work your whole life to build a reputation," Tebow said. "Then people try to bring you down when they don't understand even what happened. It's disappointing. You just want to express your side of the story -- your character and who you are. You want people to look at what really happened, not what one person said."

Do you believe that Tim never asked out of running Wildcat plays, or do you think he did and now he's trying to protect his image? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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