Define the prototypical Patriot player under the Belichick regime: underpaid, versatile, hardworking, willing to do anything for the betterment of the team. And with guys like Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead, and Bejarvus Green Ellis, I’d go so far as to say underappreciated. Enter Tim Tebow – all of the words above may as well be the cliffnotes to the guy’s NFL career. Which is exactly why New England is a good fit for him.
Let’s get it on the table early – I’ve long been a proponent of Tebow. The reason is simple, really – I’ll take results and attitude over correct arm angles and release points anyday. Is New England the perfect home for Tebow? No, frankly its not. I think there are multiple other franchises in the NFL that would have a better record with Tim Tebow as their starting QB, and frankly I think the guy has earned that opportunity. But New England IS a good fit for Tebow – Bill Belichick won’t allow the media circus that you’ve seen surround Tebow continue on his watch, and there’s no question about whether or not he’ll be starting.
So how will Tebow contribute? That’s a great question, but I’m confident that he WILL contribute this year, albeit in a very limited role. Belichick will recognize his effort level and selflessness and reward it. The rallying cry seems to be “play Tebow at tight end.” While I understand why, he’s got a depth chart including Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Jake Ballard ahead of him – undeniably the best class of tight ends in the league. Tebow could see a bit of TE, but I suspect he’ll be mostly blocking and maybe catching short passes and running if that’s the case. I’d like to see Tebow get involved more in running the ball, as well as in the trick plays of sorts where he’s given the option to throw the ball a bit. We’ll see if that becomes a reality or continues to be an unrealized expectation.
All of that said, I think the real opportunity here is for Tebow to continue to refine his mechanics and learn under Tom Brady for the next two or three seasons. What could possibly be better for the guy’s development as an “NFL style” quarterback? As far as a backup quarterback goes, Ryan Mallet has a gun of an arm and none of the intangibles. Tebow has all of the intangibles without the “NFL” throwing motion. I don’t need to tell you which Bill Belichick values more, and I’d be surprised if Tebow doesn’t soon replace Mallet at #2 on the depth chart.
Regardless of how this experiment works out, it won’t distract the Patriots from doing their usual thing. And I know that when Patriots fans get their first taste of Tebow Time (I’m envisioning some sort of short pass caught and then ran in for a clutch touchdown) Tebow’s passion will spill over to the New England faithful. It should be fun, if nothing else.