From Comcast SportsNetFLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Rex Ryan expects Tim Tebow to be "ready to go" for the New York Jets' next game.Whether the backup quarterback actually plays Sunday against Arizona is another matter.Tebow is recovering from two broken ribs that kept him on the sideline last Thursday night in New York's 49-19 loss to New England. He was in uniform but didn't play, with Ryan saying he could have come in but would have been used only in an emergency. Tebow revealed after the game that he was injured two weeks ago at Seattle."I'm not expecting anything to change as far as his availability, but we'll see how the week goes, to see if there's any significant change or anything else," Ryan said Monday. "I know he was active for the game, but we'll see. I know he's getting treatment and things like that."Initial X-rays after the game against the Seahawks were negative, and Tebow played three snaps at St. Louis last week. Ryan said that the limited playing time was more a product of the Rams showing certain defensive looks than the injury. When the pain worsened early last week, Tebow underwent an MRI exam and CT scan, which revealed the fractures.Tebow was listed as questionable for the game against the Patriots, but was made active -- instead of third-stringer Greg McElroy -- after speaking with Ryan and undergoing a pregame evaluation. Tebow refused any pain-killing injections before the game."I considered putting Greg up and having (Tebow down), but he's like, Coach, I'm fine. I can go,'" Ryan said. "He wanted to. He came to the stadium early and he was ready to play -- in his eyes and in the doctors' and trainers' that he could play. That was why I made the decision to have him there as a backup quarterback only."Tebow has had little impact on the offense as the backup to Mark Sanchez, averaging just seven snaps a game. He is 6 of 7 passing for 39 yards and has rushed 29 times for 87 yards, but plays regularly on special teams as the personal punt protector. Ryan was not comfortable having Tebow even in that role against the Patriots after hearing that the quarterback's breathing wasn't normal the day before the game."We had him there in just an emergency role," Ryan said. "What that role would have been exactly, if something were to happen -- would we have just handed the ball off a little bit? That's probably what would have happened. Again, I wouldn't have put a guy out there if somebody with a lot more knowledge than me were to tell me that he's not ready to go."But the decision left the Jets with just one healthy quarterback active in Sanchez. While many fans have called for Tebow to replace Sanchez as the starter to give the offense a spark, others have said they'd like to see what McElroy might be able to do.A second-year quarterback out of Alabama, McElroy was a seventh-round draft pick who missed last season with a dislocated thumb. He has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game, but has had some solid performances during the last two preseasons."It was a game-time decision last week, so obviously Tim wanted to give it a go and the coaches told me to just be ready," said McElroy, who feels comfortable in Tony Sparano's offense. "I did the best I could the entire week to try to understand the game plan and what we were going to be doing and the plan of attack. I was ready to go if need be, and fortunately, Tim was feeling OK and feeling well enough to go."McElroy did not take any snaps with the first- or second-team offense during an abbreviated practice schedule last week. He mainly worked with the scout team to try to help get the Jets' defense prepared. He anticipates doing much of the same this week, although Tebow didn't appear to do much during the early portion of the team's walkthrough Monday.McElroy also insists the fact that Tebow was still the backup over him despite having two cracked ribs wasn't a slight to him by Ryan and the coaching staff."Oh, well, it's never anything personal," McElroy said. "We don't speculate or anything like that. Again, Tim was feeling good enough to go and he is the backup quarterback, so my job on Thursday was to be those guys' eyes from the sideline. That's been my role up to this point and I'm very happy and pleased to have that role, and I just want to help out Mark and Tim any way I can."
Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe.
The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.
“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”
Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.
Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.
“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.
*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City.
*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together.
*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility.
*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy.
*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment.
*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators.
*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot.
*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season.
*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.