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June 10, 2013
Tebow A Patriot, Now The Magic Word: Why?
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net

This isn't Randy Moss, Chad Johnson or Albert Haynesworth, but it's similar.

Tim Tebow is one of the most likeable guys on the planet. His biggest plus is his untapped potential, that something that he has that no coach has yet discovered. He cannot throw NFL quality passes, does not have NFL caliber mechanical skills, and his alleged dyslexia makes it hard for him to learn NFL offensive schemes. But he's friendly as all get out and appeals to every Christian sports fan in the nation.

Still, he is the guy that nobody wanted. If he has such untapped potential, why did all 32 NFL teams not want him? Guys like Moss, Johnson and Haynesworth have such natural talent that you will tempt fate by ignoring their substandard behaviour patterns and take a flyer on them. Moss, Johnson and Haynesworth all flamed out in New England, though Moss did establish an NFL record for most receiving touchdowns in a season along the way.

Tebow is just as unwanted as Moss, Johnson and Haynesworth were. Until now.

The Patriots have not yet confirmed this at press time, but sources report that the Patriots will sign Tebow and will expect him in minicamp on Tuesday. Tebow will be reunited with the man who drafted him, former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, who is now the Patriot offensive coordinator on his second stint. After McDaniels left Denver, the Broncos traded Tebow to the Jets for two draft picks, but all Tebow was in New York was a media circus and one huge distraction. When Mark Sanchez needed relief, Rex Ryan went to Greg McElroy and not Tebow.

Many NBA teams were afraid to draft Bill Russell out of San Francisco in 1956 because they thought he was too small to play center. Red Auerbach was the man who saw greatness in Russell that no one else saw and traded up to get him with the three pick in the draft that year. The result was 11 championships in his 13 seasons in the league.

So one has to ask the obvious: Does Bill Belichick see something in Tebow that no one else does?

And if he does, why then did it take so long to sign him?

There are perhaps two answers to these questions. First, what greatness Belichick sees in Tebow is perhaps at a position other than quarterback, although Tebow has intimated that he is unwilling to change positions and that the reports that came out today said that Tebow was signed as a "quarterback".

The other answer to the questions is that it is perhaps McDaniels that sees the greatness in Tebow and not Belichick. McDaniels is the one who drafted Tebow in Denver, and Tebow left Denver only after McDaniels left and the Broncos were able to land Peyton Manning, who was released by Indianapolis after missing the 2011 season with a neck injury and the Colts drafted Andrew Luck to take his place.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady isn't about to be supplanted by anyone at quarterback. That job is his as long as he wants it, and Brady recently signed a five-year extension. Tebow isn't here to make Brady alter his summer plans and take up one of those insane workouts to stay in top shape and withstand a challenge from the former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Florida.

So, if Tebow isn't going to see any gunslinging action in 2013, why then bring him in?

First of all, maybe Tebow isn't here to challenge Brady, but rather incumbent number two quarterback Ryan Mallett. With time to groom Brady's replacement, Tebow could be starter-ready in a few years if McDaniels can ascertain what it will take to get Tebow to where he would need to be when Brady decides to ride off into the sunset with Gisele. Backup quarterback Mike Kafka was let go today, and perhaps Mallett could be next, either now or sometime in August.

Second, if Tebow was really convinced that he won't be a quarterback in the NFL, then where else would he play? Michigan's Dennard Robinson was one of the most feared quarterbacks in college over the last few seasons, but even Robinson had to know that he would not get into the NFL as a quarterback (he was drafted as a running back by Jacksonville). Would Tebow be equally as willing?

If so, there are several options. The most intriguing option is as a Wildcat back, either under center or as a setback. Running a straight option in the NFL simply does not work as defenders are much quicker and smarter than collegiate defenders. And NFL defenses are more on to the Wildcat since the Patriots were duped by the Dolphins in 2008. But Tebow could do several things, or simply make defenses think harder by his just being there.

Or, Tebow could be a fullback. Tebow runs well for a big guy, albeit not powerful (in other words, don't envision another Sam Gash). But he would need to block. And fullbacks aren't a prominent feature of a Belichick team, so McDaniels would have to convince his head coach that Tebow would succeed in this role.

Some folks think Tebow would be a great tight end. To succeed here, he would again need to learn to block, and then learn to catch. They once tried this with Dan Klecko, and it didn't pan out until he played against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII with the Giants. Tebow would have to become a tight end in the mold of Dallas Clark and not like Rob Gronkowski. If Tebow could morph into Clark, then you might have something.

But Tebow has been reported to not wanting a position change. It seems to be quarterback or nothing. If that be the case, then you are probably looking at when Brady retires to see if Tebow ever throws a non-August or non-garbage time pass for the Patriots.

If nothing else, Belichick will do a better job of diffusing media attention than Ryan did. Belichick is the master of speaking lots and saying nothing. He will need to learn many new ways to say "what's best for the team", "we will put him in a position to succeed", and "none of your (expletive) business". Everyone knows that Belichick will succeed in those areas. Tebow succeeding in what he needs to is another matter for another day.

But the Patriots have Tebow. Like it or not, believe it. Build a bridge and get over it, if it is affecting you that badly.

If all else fails, bring in Doug Flutie and teach him how to drop kick.


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