Greg McElroy Has No Idea Who’ll Start for the New York Jets in Jacksonville

December 4, 2012 – 8:30 am by Brad Gagnon

There’s a quarterback controversy in New York, just as many of us expected prior to the season. But what no one expected was that the controversy would involve Greg McElroy rather than Tim Tebow. McElroy led the game’s only touchdown drive in relief of Mark Sanchez Sunday against Arizona, and now nobody knows where Rex Ryan is going next under center.

Greg McElroy joined Michael Kay on ESPN Radio New York to discuss his relief effort against Arizona, the nerves he felt, his feelings regarding his chances of starting in Week 14, his relationship with Joe Namath, the incident in which he blasted the team last January and the fan who gave him back the ball from his first touchdown pass Sunday.

On what he felt when he took over for Mark Sanchez Sunday:

“It was a bit of an adrenaline rush, to tell you the truth. I wasn’t expecting that and they told me to warm up. I got excited, grabbed my helmet and just started throwing it. I don’t think I’ve thrown it that hard in a long time, so it was a good feeling.”

On if there was any indication this was going to happen Sunday:

“No, not at all. Just told me to be ready, and just like they do to Tim and myself, just be ready and you’re one play away. So that’s the only indication that I ever had, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to play. But you always have to be ready on game day.”

On feeling nerves:

“If I didn’t feel a little nervous then I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable. … I had a lot of confidence in the people out there with me, and having Nick and those guys up front, and to have Shonn in the backfield, and everybody. When I have 10 great guys on my side like that, it certainly makes my job a lot easier. So I think just having confidence in them allowed me to play a lot more at ease, and I really put my emotions in check.”

On if the playbook was any different with him in the game:

“It’s the exact same playbook; it doesn’t change whatsoever. We just did a couple boots. … The running game was really clicking so we just wanted to do some things, a little bit of misdirection stuff. So it just so happened to be the plays called. If Mark was in the game it would have been relatively similar.”

On if there’s any indication who will start in Jacksonville:

“We have no idea. Today I saw Mark and Tim and we just had a normal Monday. We just went in, worked out, watched film — all that stuff. And tomorrow will be the same.”

On if he was bothered that he didn’t dress until Week 13:

“Not at all. Not at all. That stuff doesn’t bother me whatsoever. You can’t be sensitive and play this game, this position. You have to have thick skin, and it didn’t bother me whatsoever. Tim was throwing well and he felt good enough to go.”

On his relationship with Joe Namath:

“I’ve talked to Joe briefly a few times, not a lot. I still remember the day I met him. Just an unbelievable guy, really a great person — a guy that I’ve always looked up to. He’s my dad’s favorite football player, so I always grew up kind of idolizing and worshiping Joe Namath. And when I went to Alabama I requested 12 just because that’s the number he wore. … I’m very fortunate to have come from the same school as him and I wish I could spend a little bit more time with him.”

On blasting the team in a radio interview after the 2011 season:

“I reached out to a lot of the veteran players after everything happened and just tried to clarify what happened and how it happened. … So really, once we got to OTAs, it was so far in the rear-view mirror. Guys just weren’t necessarily concerned on the previous season. We were just looking forward, and that’s all we’re gonna do and that’s all we have been doing.”

On if he’s shocked he’s a part of a quarterback controversy when all the talk was previously about Sanchez and Tim Tebow:

“Somewhat, obviously. But you always have to prepare like you’re gonna be the guy.”

On getting his touchdown ball back from a fan:

“That was a great gesture by whoever that person might have been. I wish they would come forward. We’ll definitely have to throw them some tickets and some stuff like that. I’d be happy to host them at some Jets games if he’d like. If I can ever get in touch with that person, I just want to thank you. I appreciate it.”

Listen to Greg McElroy on ESPN Radio New York here

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