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Tim Tebow says Wildcat report ruining his reputation

Multiple reports Sunday claimed that Tim Tebow essentially begged out of the New York Jets' Wildcat scheme last week during conversations with coach Rex Ryan.

Tebow wound up speaking to ESPN's Adam Schefter in damage-control mode, confirming he expressed displeasure to Ryan but saying he told the coach by Friday that he was ready to do anything he was asked.

Ryan sidestepped the issue at his news conferences, simply saying Tebow would have gone in the game if asked. Which is obvious. The question is if Tebow ever asked out of playing time, which is a cardinal sin among NFL players. It's essentially giving up.

Tebow took issue with how the topic has played out this week.

"You work your whole life to build a reputation," Tebow said Wednesday, via the New York Daily News. "Then people try to bring you down when they don't understand even what happened. ... Who cares if they don't believe in me as a football player? Your reputation, your character, your honesty is way more important to me."

It's no surprise Tebow is taking this personally. Multiple Jets sources essentially told reporters that Tebow quit on the team. Tebow admits he spoke to Ryan and believes something could have been lost in translation.

"It's definitely a possibility (that Ryan misunderstood Tebow during their conversation)," Tebow said Wednesday, via Newsday. Tebow expressed regret that he wasn't "more clear" with Ryan.

Tebow clearly knew he made a mistake or he wouldn't have gone back to Ryan on Friday. In the Tuesday conversation, Tebow said he expressed frustration to Ryan that he wasn't going to play "regular" quarterback and that he was constantly asked to run up the middle. Tebow also said you assume you'll take over the starting gig when you're No. 2 on the depth chart (Brady Quinn knew how Tebow felt in Denver last year when Quinn was passed over).

"But it's the coach's decision," Tebow pointed out.

We admire that Tebow is forthcoming on the topic, but this doesn't exactly paint him in a more flattering light. He admits Ryan could have misunderstood his desire to play. That's not something you ever want to leave vague with your coach.

It's not so different than how the rest of the work world works. When an employee complains to his boss that he's not happy and leaves his desire to complete a task up to interpretation, the boss will assume the employee doesn't really want the responsibility. That's usually the point when the boss -- in this case, Ryan -- decides to move on.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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