McElroy prepared for next chance to play

December, 7, 2012
12/07/12
5:22
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Greg McElroy, fresh off a game-winning drive last week when he came in to quarterback the Jets after three interceptions from Mark Sanchez, isn’t hoping for a repeat performance this week.

“No," McElroy said. “I want Mark and I want Tim to go out there and perform fantastic and I know they will.”

As the Jets continue the backup intrigue by saying injured Tim Tebow will travel to Jacksonville, where he could be dressed as a backup despite not being available for wildcat or special teams plays, McElroy said he is content with his former inactive role if that’s best for the team.

“He’s been fantastic, I mean, he’s been absolutely fantastic,” Ryan said. “It’s really not surprising. I think all of us see him that way. Like here’s a guy, for instance, he’s been the third quarterback the whole season. We go in, it’s a game time decision, the day before, night before that, ‘OK, Greg you’re going to be the two, I’m not going to play Tim.’ He has prepared himself every single week for that opportunity in case it happens that he goes in and he’s prepared to play.”

McElroy, now in his second year with the Jets after a collegiate career at Alabama that included a national title, prepared for the possibility that he would be active each week.

“You can’t just show up and the night before and say, 'OK, I’m going to cram and get this thing in,'” Ryan said. “That’s not how he’s prepared. I think it’s a great example to the rest of the guys that you never know when your number’s going to be called. And we talk to our whole team about every single player on our roster or even the practice squad. You’re going to (be needed) at one point or another. It happens almost every single season. But he was prepared. And when he went in, he made the most of it, did a tremendous job. I think he gained the respect, probably from his teammates more than anything.”

Still, McElroy isn’t expecting another shot right away, and said he is content to be a resource on the sideline for Sanchez and Tebow.

“I don’t worry about the future,” McElroy said. “Take it one week at a time and enjoy where you’re at.”
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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