New York Jets coach Rex Ryan reiterated Monday that quarterback Tim Tebow will be the backup to starter Mark Sanchez, but he wouldn't say if either player was present at the start of the team's voluntary offseason workouts.
"I mean, of course Mark's the starter," Ryan said during a conference call with reporters. "There's no question about it. That's how we look at it. But ... Tim can help us, too."
Ryan was asked several times about individual player attendance, but he avoided giving a firm answer. He did allow that "a couple guys (were) missing" for what he called "a brief meeting," but he refused to discuss specifics.
"I'm really not going to discuss the attendance because this is a voluntary program, and quite honestly, really, no one is obligated to be here," Ryan said.
Later asked to recount how Tebow was greeted by his teammates at the workouts, Ryan said only that he had "no idea" how that went. "I don't know what happened," he said.
Tebow said this weekend that he planned to be at the facility at the "crack of dawn" Monday in order to get a jump on the 2012 season.
The quarterback definitely was in New York as of Sunday night, when he drew boos from the crowd while attending a baseball game between the Yankees and Los Angeles Angels.
Tebow told the New York Post this weekend that he's "been going over every page" of an old playbook given to him by new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano at the Senior Bowl two years ago. If he was at the meeting Monday, Tebow would have gotten a new playbook; Ryan said they were distributed to defensive and offensive players.
Ryan also said there haven't been any developments with regard to the team possibly being featured in the HBO television program "Hard Knocks," which follows an NFL team through training camp.
"I really don't have any updates there," Ryan said. "If we're asked, we'll talk about it."