Tim Tebow is a New England Patriot. The last time I thought I might write those words was during the 2010 NFL Draft, when the Patriots were one of three really strong options to take the former Florida Gator in the first couple of rounds, along with the Vikings and Broncos.
The Broncos wound up trading up (ahead of the Patriots and Vikings) to take Tebow that year, and you know the rest.
Tebow has been a very sore subject for a lot of people over the last couple of years, especially when he helped lead the Broncos to the playoffs and an 8-8 record after starting 1-4 with Kyle Orton in 2011. The Broncos’ defense stepped up its play immensely that year (Von Miller’s rookie season), but there is no denying the crazy impact Tebow was able to have late in games, propelling the Broncos to a wide variety of come-from-behind wins.
With the New England Patriots, Tebow will start out as a third quarterback behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett, and I think he has a chance to make an impact in Josh McDaniels’ offense sooner rather than later. He reunites with the coach who drafted him in McDaniels, now the offensive coordinator for the Patriots. McDaniels wanted Tebow from the start, and he made no qualms about it. He brought him in for a private workout, and visited him down in Florida, and the Broncos had targeted Tebow as “their guy” before the draft.
Just a couple of picks after snatching up Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas, McDaniels traded three selections to get back in the first round and take Tim Tebow. Now, they are back together again and I don’t believe this is a move for attention, money, or to sell more tickets.
The Patriots are an established dynasty in the NFL. They have three Super Bowl titles with Bill Belichick as their head coach, and Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback to play the game of football. There is no reason for the media to believe that Tebow will be in some kind of battle for the starting quarterback position in New England, which will quiet the circus down immensely.
Where the Patriots CAN use Tebow is in goal line running situations, where he thrives. You don’t even have to take Brady out of the game. Why not just hand the ball to the 250 pound bruiser up the gut, and let him punch it in from a few yards away? The New York Jets seriously mis-used Tebow, to the point that there was no real purpose in them trading two draft picks to get him. They put him on punt coverage and though he’d be some kind of special teams ace.
Nice call, Rex/Tannenbaum.
Since the Jets were so incapable of using Tebow, the general belief is that he can’t play football. Whether or not you believe he can play is a debate that has gone on far too long, but the proof is in the pudding–Tebow just signed on with one of the best organizations in sports, and he’s getting another shot. Like it or not.
Tebow is back with the coach that wanted him. He is with an organization that independently wanted him when he was coming out of college. He is in a situation where he can sit behind one of the greatest to play the position for a few years. He is in the best spot possible for him to succeed.
He’s not going to play tight end. At least, not full time. He is not going to be on punt coverage. This is an organization that knows what it is doing, and it knows how to develop players. The stability of the Patriots combined with the situation at quarterback and offensive coordinator leads me to believe that Tebow is going to be successful in this league. Maybe it’s as a backup, maybe a situational runner. Whatever the case, this is the best possible spot Tebow could have landed and the media circus will quiet down soon enough.
I think in a few years, this is a guy that could really surprise a lot of the doubters. Sure, he gets too much attention. Is that his fault? Not really. You can’t blame Tebow for the way the media reacts to his every move. This is an exciting move for a great guy and a very good football player. He deserves a shot with a good organization and good coaches, and he’s finally getting one.