Tebow as star running back? Um, no

October, 21, 2012
10/21/12
10:05
PM ET
Tim TebowAP Photo/Elise AmendolaTim Tebow's star turn as a running back never materialized.
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. -- Shonn Greene won't have to worry about Tim Tebow snatching his job anytime soon.

After the New York Jets indicated their backup quarterback could serve as a running back in Sunday's game, Tebow did not get any carries out of the backfield in their 29-26 overtime loss to the New England Patriots. Tebow lined up once in the backfield, but flanked out right on a play that ultimately was negated by a penalty.

"I think it's more of something ya'll just ran with," Tebow said of his new role.

With the Jets facing depth problems at running back -- backup Bilal Powell was out with a shoulder injury and Joe McKnight was questionable for the game with a high ankle sprain, though he ultimately did play -- head coach Rex Ryan said during the week he would consider using Tebow as a back. Tebow said he practiced carrying the ball a few times during the week.

Sunday, Tebow didn't get a chance to do his best Barry Sanders impression. He was on the field for just five offensive plays, although one was a penalty, and all four of his carries came as the team's quarterback. He rushed two times in each half, finishing with 12 yards.

On the Jets' first drive, Tebow ran the ball twice, including on a critical third-and-two play at the New England 4-yard line. Tebow bounced off a defender to put the Jets at the 1, but he left the field after the play and Greene finished off the drive with the short score to give the Jets a 7-0 lead. Tebow later had a carry in the red zone in the fourth quarter.

When asked if he should be used more, Tebow said he isn't paid to make those decisions and just listens to his coaches. Through the team's first seven games, Tebow, the team's highest-profile acquisition in the offseason, has 22 rushes for 76 yards and has completed two passes.

"I try to be ready for anything and obviously you get excited when your number is called down there," Tebow said.

Said Tebow: "[I] just try to do the best with my opportunities."

While the Jets fell Sunday, Tebow believes his team is close to putting it all together. The Jets are 1-2 in their past three games, but have come close to knocking off Houston and New England. They face Miami at home next Sunday in a pivotal division game before entering their bye week.

"We played a good game but I know we can play a lot better overall offense, defense, special teams. I know we can improve and it's a good sign when you have a lot of chances to beat a very good team and you know you didn't play to the best of your potential," Tebow said. "We did play hard. You have to give these guys a lot of credit for how hard they played."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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