Posted June 10, 2013

Tim Tebow gets another shot in the NFL, thanks to Bill Belichick

New England Patriots
Tim Tebow completed just six passes for 39 yards with the Jets in 2012. (Joshua Weisberg/Icon SMI)

Tim Tebow completed just six passes for 39 yards and rushed for 102 yards with the Jets in 2012. (Joshua Weisberg/Icon SMI)

If Bill Belichick does indeed hate Tim Tebow, he has a funny way of showing it.

About a month after a report by Yahoo’s Mike Silver indicated that the Patriots would not sign Tebow, an unrestricted free agent, because Belichick “‘hates’ Tebow as a player” (and less than a week after Belichick refuted that comment), the New England Patriots pulled Tebow from NFL purgatory and reportedly signed him to a deal.

The move reunites Tebow with current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the Broncos’ head coach from 2009-10 and traded up to nab Tebow at No. 25 overall in the ’10 draft.

It looked for a long while this offseason like Tebow’s NFL career might be over, as rumors of the former Heisman winner possibly heading to the CFL or Arena Football swirled. Tebow spent the 2012 season languishing on the New York Jets’ sideline, occasionally replacing Mark Sanchez as a run-first QB in short-yardage situations. He threw just eight passes last season, completing six, while rushing for 102 yards.

Those numbers were well down from 2011, a season in which Tebow added to his lore by posting a 7-4 record as the Broncos’ starter; he also threw a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to give Denver a playoff win over Pittsburgh.

The Broncos rewarded Tebow’s unexpected success by signing Peyton Manning to a lucrative contract, then shipping Tebow to New York.

New England, though, may have been atop the list of ideal situations for Tebow to land this offseason. Tom Brady is the clear No. 1 there, meaning that Tebow likely will start training camp battling Ryan Mallett for the backup job — and also that there will be no quarterback controversy, as in New York. The Patriots also have a history of utilizing their offensive weapons in creative ways, which could play into Tebow’s hands, even if the Jets’ attempts to use him as a change-of-pace quarterback flopped.

Notably, the Patriots are shorthanded at tight end for the immediate future, with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski rehabbing from offseason surgery; Gronkowski’s status for the start of the regular season is in jeopardy, too. Tebow has no NFL experience at a tight end position (and he’s never caught a pass at this level), but the Patriots could test him out as a versatile H-back, at least while Gronkowski is sidelined.

Of course, Tebow may simply be viewed as an upgrade at the third QB spot over Mike Kafka — the Patriots released Kafka to make room for Tebow on the roster, according to multiple reports. Though no financial details of Tebow’s deal have been released as of yet, New England no doubt left itself an out should Tebow fail to acclimate himself to a new team.

He will have a chance to do so quickly, as the Patriots open a mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, with Tebow expected to be present.

Tebow should feel a small degree of comfort thanks to McDaniels’ presence. McDaniels was ousted midway through the 2010 season, and it was new coach John Fox and ex-Broncos coordinator Mike McCoy that helped orchestrate Tebow’s 2011 rise. McDaniels, though, banged the drum loudly for Tebow heading into the 2010 draft, then thrust him into the lineup for three starts late in his rookie season.

It almost goes without saying that McDaniels was consulted before this signing, and he may have some clever ways to get Tebow the football within the constraints of the Patriots’ offense.

However, since Tebow has arrived in the NFL, he still has yet to show if what he provides on the field is positive enough to offset the stir he creates off of it. The Patriots’ locker room could be strong enough to handle the Tebow circus, thanks to players like Brady, Logan Mankins and other veterans, and if nothing else, New England ought to be better prepared for what’s ahead than the Jets.

But even for a team that’s been through the ringer like this one, Tebow brings a new and different level of attention. Something about Tebow convinced the Patriots that all the extra trouble will be worth it.

This may be Tebow’s last shot at sticking in the NFL. He better hope he can stay on Belichick’s good side.

162 comments
Jean
Jean

Tim Tebow will be around LOOOOOOOOOOOOG after LiL chris burke is just a "?".

Frotoon
Frotoon

"But even for a team that’s been through the ringer like this one"

Chris, the word is wringer, not ringer.

spthomas1
spthomas1

It's a win win for the Patriots.  If he works out the Patriots have a great back-up if he  does not he has the NFL's top quarter back giving him some coaching/tips, receivers to make him look good and we can get rid of  him for a couple draft pics.


Eon1970
Eon1970

If anyone can extract talent from Tebow it will be Belichick.  This is Tebow's last and only chance to prove himself.  I wonder what the Vegas odds on this will be??  I think Tebow is better at motivating a team than at QB, which sometimes keeps a team in the game.  Somehow the media turned him into something he is not.  I never heard Tebow go on a rant on how good he is.  For some reason, many of us, including myself, is annoyed by those who are too decent, too nice of a person.  Sad but true.  As a diehard NFL fan, just sit back and enjoy the games instead of being whining aholes about which teams sucks or who is better.  It's just a game, unless your financial lively hood depends on it.

JohnnyDee1
JohnnyDee1

Well...at least there will be no controversies at the QB position...Tom Brady's job is as secure as Ft. Knox...It'll be a media circus...and when he plays everyone will know what play is on....It's a dumb move and a waste of money since Tebow can't throw...His 'big 7-4' season consisted of 6 wins vs non playoff teams...The playoff victory was done without Pittsburgh having Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor might as well have not played after the way he played...Tebow can't throw...You need to be able to throw the ball to be halfway effective at QB...even in the read-option...This 'read-option' college offense will fizzle out just as did the 'run and shoot' and Michael Vick's run first throw later...The only worst thrower in the NFL than Tebow is Flacco...That's another story for another day

marcshank
marcshank

It seems obvious: Tebow is in New England because Belichick is thinking "read-option." Laughing? The read-option can be done with or without two quarterbacks on the field. I think Belichick sees what Harbaugh is doing in SF and saw some sort or variation on it that would suit the Patriots. Guys, honestly now, why else would Tebow be there?

Mike26
Mike26

You read it here first:  Brady is DONE after 2013, no doubt about it.  He'll be lucky to get any snaps at all this season.

supinger
supinger

You can't use your 3rd QB though unless there's an injury right?  So if he doesn't beat out Mallett he's useless to them unless they reassign him as a TE/WR/RB.  

I may not have the rule right though.

RandallAllen
RandallAllen

"McDaniels, though, banged the drum loudly for Tebow heading into the 2010 draft, then thrust him into the lineup for three starts late in his rookie season."

 The part about McDaniels starting Tebow in 2010 is incorrect.  By the time Tebow started the last three games of the 2010 season, McDaniels had already been fired by the Broncos.  Eric Studesville was the interim head coach when Tebow started the last three games in 2010.

jdbolick
jdbolick

All those who hate on Tim Tebow should stop to ask themselves why they do it.  Is it bigotry or just because they don't like his style of play?  The reality is that when the guy has been given a chance to play, he's won games.  Obviously a lot of people will hate him because of his religious beliefs, but the only other excuse for bashing him is if you care about style more than winning.  Personally, I like for my teams to win.  It also says some pretty damning things about this country that a kid who works his tail off, never gets in trouble, and acts in a moral fashion is by far the most criticized athlete.

kyyled5
kyyled5

@Eon1970 The ire is not directed at Tebow. Nice guy. Upstanding citizen. Sub-NFL level QB.


The ire is with the MEDIA who refuse to let this story die because clicks = money. Just like Kraft knows that he's going to sell a lot of jerseys.

The NFL is all about money.

Jean
Jean

@JohnnyDee1 johnnyDeeIdiot. Does BB and Mr.Kraft know of your insight--they would probably pay big money fo such knowledge.

kyyled5
kyyled5

@JohnnyDee1 You had me up to the last sentence. And then you destroyed your own credibility.

Jean
Jean

@marcshank because he is one of the top Football players on the Patroit team.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@marcshank "Laughing?"  No, and not surprised, either.  Many, especially younger folk, are fans of flash QB.  It seems a new move but might just be a new spin on a old "option" (single-wing tailback (20s-40s)).  And "read-option"), I'd say it's more 'fear-flight' than "read" of defensive scheme.

As for your second question ("why else"), tight-end is my guess, Tim's HS spot.  TE plays big in NE  and with Gronk often down it seems logical place for TT whose got size, hands and nose for the zone. 

But I'll give you this, marc, Bill has surprised us before.  Maybe he has another spin on the "read-option" with Tim at helm.  One thing we know, 'Bill-of-few-Words' Belichick won't be giving us but the bare minimum on his plans for Tebow at his next public appearance. 


John64
John64

@Mike26   Dude, you spelled "Tebow" wrong.  It's not B-r-a-d-y, it's T-e-b-o-w.

supinger
supinger

Apparently they changed this rule a few years ago so you can use your 3rd QB.  

Mike26
Mike26

@jdbolick Hate is the wrong word; he's over-covered and over-hyped as a football player and person and is NOT NFL QB material.

supinger
supinger

@jdbolick I don't think any reasonable people hate Tebow, just the media coverage of him.  

John64
John64

@kyyled5    It's scary to think there are people out there who will actually go out and buy a Tim Tebow Patriots jersey... 

Jean
Jean

@Mike26 @jdbolick SOOOO mike you are the resident NFL QB evaluator , sorry I've never heard of you--my bad.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@Mike26 Based on what?  Completion percentage?  If so, check out Eli Manning or John Elway's early completion percentages.  That's something that improves over time.  Whether you choose to admit it or not, Tim Tebow WAS an effective NFL QB in Denver.  He got first downs, he avoided turnovers, and his teams won.  People point to the defense, but that defense finished 24th in points allowed and 20th in yards allowed.  They were not good.  People who bash Tim Tebow are doing so out of prejudice, not what he's actually done on the field.

supinger
supinger

@Mike26 @jdbolick And honestly I don't get the whining about it.  I don't know of any "real" news site that has criticized him for his religion.  I'm sure there are ridiculous blogs that make fun of him but I haven't seen it in any mainstream source.  

I have seen criticism of his play/mechanics/decision making whatever but I think that is fair criticism.  Just because he's a good guy doesn't mean he can't be criticised for those things.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   You give Christians a bad name, dude.  Really. 

John64
John64

@jdbolick   Sanchez has already been a successful starting QB in the NFL too-- and by your only standards of NFL success (wins), Sanchez has had MUCH more success than Tebow (28 more wins, 3 more playoff wins)-- but guess what? Sanchez is one of the worst QBs in the NFL. And-- wait for it...  Sanchez is NOT an outspoken Christian!!!  Now how can that be?? How ever could I bash on a QB who was NOT an outspoken Christian? Gee... it must be because... oh I don't know... HIS PERFORMANCE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD?? YA THINK??? LOL....

John64
John64

@jdbolick    Oh, but Sanchez isn't an outspoken Christian, so it's ok if I bash him... right?   SMH... 

John64
John64

@jdbolick   Mark Sanchez is 33-29 in the regular season and 4-2 in the postseason.  Do I think HE is one of the worst QBs in the NFL? Uh... YEAH.  

Sorry to keep bursting your bubbles here... 

John64
John64

Yeah, i never said Tebow's 52.7 rating was "the worst" passer rating in playoff history.  I said his PERFORMANCE was "one of the worst I've seen in years".  

Reading comprehension problems too? Aye yi yi...

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 You do realize how it makes you look to acknowledge that he has a winning record and a playoff win while you pretend that he's "one of the worst quarterbacks," right?  Surely you must realize the degree to which you've been embarrassed and exposed here.  Take a break and work on overcoming your prejudice.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   And I too remain unoffended by your undying love of all things Tim Tebow.  All I wish for is for you to find solace in your life and improve as a human being by recognizing your obsession in living vicariously through another Christian and working to cease that behavior.  I will now grant you a few moments of reflection... 

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 lol, Tebow already has been a successful starting QB in the NFL.  That's the whole point.  You pretend that leading a terrible team to the playoffs and beating the #1 defense means nothing only because you're so deeply prejudiced against Tebow due to his religious beliefs.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 Your opinions don't offend me because I understand that they come out of your prejudice.  All I want is for you to improve as a person by recognizing your bias and working to eliminate it.  But for the record, you're yet again exposing how little you know about football by claiming that Tebow's 52.7 was "one of the worst."  Andy Dalton posted a 44.7 in his 2012 playoff loss and a 51.4 in his 2011 playoff loss.  T.J. Yates posted a 28.8 in his 2011 playoff loss.  Matt Cassel posted a 20.4 in his 2010 playoff loss.  I could go on, but I think that sufficiently shows the magnitude of your mistake.  This is the point at which you need to stop arguing and start reflecting.

John64
John64

@jdbolick  "Stop and think about why you bash Tebow when he's won so many games"

LOL... Yeah, 9 games he's won.  NINE.  Wow, that's A LOT of games! Tebow is 9-7 career including playoffs. That's barely over .500.  Are you sure we should put him in the Hall of Fame already?  Should we just wave off the 5-year waiting period? LOL... wow... 

John64
John64

@jdbolick  Stop and think about why you praise Tebow when he will finish his 2nd straight year without having started a game as an NFL QB. Stop and think about why you praise a QB who has a career 47.9 comp% and a career 75.3 passer rating. I completely understand that it will be difficult for you to acknowledge your own obsession with Tim Tebow, but you've shown that you are definitely guilty of assuming. It's something you can work on and overcome if you choose to.

John64
John64

I understand that you're uncomfortable and upset and angered being confronted with the fact that Tim Tebow is never going to be a successful starting QB in the NFL, but it's something you need to recognize if you're ever going to overcome it.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   9 of 26 (34.6%) for 136 yds, 0 TDs, 1 fumble, 52.7 rating vs a team with the #31 defense and #31 pass defense.   Yeah, that was one of the worst playoff performances by a QB I've seen in years.

Sorry if my opinions offend your delicate sensibilities.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 Stop and think about why you bash Tebow when he's won so many games.  Stop and think about why you bash Tebow and not clearly worse quarterbacks.  I completely understand that it will be difficult for you to acknowledge your own bigotry, but you've shown that you are definitely prejudiced against Christians.  It's something you can work on and overcome if you choose to.

John64
John64

I have also never rooted against Tebow. I just react to what I see in terms of on-field performance. I've said the same types of things about plenty of other QBs that have played in the NFL over the years. Believe me, Tebow's not the only QB that hasn't impressed me.

But again, 97% of NFL teams didn't want Tebow in their organization.  I guess they must be prejudice against Christians too... right? 

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 Calling Tebow's performance against the Patriots "one of the worst I've seen in years" yet again highlights your irrational bigotry.  Tim didn't play well in that game, but it's ridiculous to say that was "one of the worst."  There have been plenty of quarterbacks in recent years who cost their teams games with numerous turnovers, something Tebow didn't do in that game.  You also continue to show your irrationality by focusing only on the games where Tim played poorly as if the games he won have magically disappeared.  I understand that you're uncomfortable being confronted with the fact that you're prejudiced, but it's something you need to recognize if you're ever going to overcome it.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   Is it? I wouldn't know. I don't look at people in terms of race or religious beliefs. This whole dialogue says a lot more about you than it says about me. Try looking in the mirror sometime.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 "Some of my best friends are Christians"?  Surely you realize that's exactly the excuse given by racists for their racist comments.  Look, you're far from the only one.  Tebow's outspoken religious beliefs make a lot of people uncomfortable and cause those people to root against him or be far more critical than any unbiased observer ever would be.  Regardless, the fact remains that Tebow was instrumental in his team going from one of the worst in the league to making the playoffs and beating the #1 defense.  You keep inventing excuses to bash him instead of acknowledging what the guy accomplished and the fact that he hasn't actually failed as a player yet.  If he gets to play later on and does poorly, then criticize him.  Until then, be cognizant of your prejudice.

John64
John64

Again, it's Tebow's on-field performance that I'm criticizing.  It has nothing to do with his personal beliefs. Not sure why that's so hard to accept.  

97% of the teams in the NFL didn't want Tebow. Are they all "bigoted against Christians" too? LMAO....

John64
John64

@jdbolick   LOL... Now you're agenda is starting to show through very clearly. You don't care about football. You're just an evangelical Christian who is just ignoring everything I'm saying and putting words in my mouth. 

I'm not "bigoted against Christians".  But go ahead and believe whatever you want-- you're going to do that no matter what I say. 

John64
John64

Do what you said and keep my mouth shut? LMAO... Don't tell me what to do.  Or you can tell me what to do and then watch me ignore your request. Your choice.

Tebow did get a chance to play, and I watched every game (it's easy to do that these days).  And ultimately, he did fail. Pretty miserably. Or maybe you didn't watch his performance vs the Patriots in the 2011 divisional playoff.  One of the worst I've seen in years.

John64
John64

@jdbolick  How do you know how I feel about Gabbert or Locker?  Wow, you assume quite a lot.  

And now you're accusing me of being prejudice against Christians? LOL... Wow.  Some of my best friends are Christians. But go ahead and assume you know everything about me. LOL... smh...

My "bigotry"? hahahahahaha!!! Oh that's rich... 

jdbolick
jdbolick

Again, you're making exactly the same criticisms against Tebow that racists made against black quarterbacks.  Your opinion is one of prejudice, not reason.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 Yes, you are.  You make excuses but the reality is that you're prejudiced against outspoken Christians.  Someone who only cared about what happens on the field wouldn't bash a quarterback who won 7 of his 11 regular season starts and then beat the #1 defense in the playoffs by throwing for over 300 yards.  You are bigoted against Christians and you need to recognize that if you ever hope to change your mindset.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 You said he was "one of the worst QBs in the NFL," which was obviously idiotic.  People like you don't talk about Blaine Gabbert or Jake Locker the way you talk about Tebow.  You say the things you do because you're prejudiced against outspoken Christians, not because of anything related to football.  And Tebow got traded because the people who brought him to Denver were already gone.  Do what I said from the start and keep your mouth shut until Tebow gets a chance to play and fails.  So far when he's played his team has won games.  Criticizing him in spite of that only highlights your bigotry.

John64
John64

@jdbolick  Some people are prejudiced against Tebow for his religious beliefs.  I'm not one of those people. I could care less what his religious beliefs are. That's a non-factor to me. All I care about is what I've seen from him on the football field. And so far, I'm not impressed. 

And, incidentally, I was never all that impressed with Kyle Orton either. 

No, it's not bias, it's called critical thinking. I'm just reacting to what I see from Tebow on the field-- nothing more, nothing less.  And other than a handful of grandiose moments in 2011, I'm not impressed.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   The difference between Tebow and all those QBs you keep naming is that those other QBs could actually throw effectively. Tebow can't. And until I see some consistency from him as a starting NFL QB (which doesn't look like it's going to happen for a LONG time), I will remain unconvinced of his abilities.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   When did I ever say he was a terrible player?  But his ability as a QB is suspect at the least. When a guy "wins" 7 of 11 starts and a playoff game, he's also usually secure in his starting job and doesn't get shipped off to a different team within 3 months to be a backup to one of the wrost QBs in the league, but that's exactly what happened. 

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 When a guy wins 7 out of 11 starts and then wins a playoff game, no unbiased person would ever then turn around and insist that he's a terrible player who isn't actually a quarterback.  Additionally, if you actually knew more about football you'd already be aware of what I said regarding completion percentage early on for quarterbacks.  As noted, Eli Manning completed 48.2% of his passes as a rookie.  John Elway completed 47.5%.  Completion percentage is something that increases over time for quarterbacks, so those pretending that Tebow's inaccuracy was somehow unusual or disqualified him from playing the position are only exposing their own ignorance.  And stop with the nonsense about Tebow not being able to read Cover 2.  ANYONE can read Cover 2.  Disguised coverages are what give him and many other young quarterbacks trouble.  But again, why would anyone who knew even a little bit about football pretend that he wouldn't improve like every other young quarterback? 

The reality is that some people are prejudiced against Tim Tebow because of his religious beliefs in the same way that a lot of people were prejudiced against black quarterbacks in the '80s/'90s.  The same kinds of criticisms were being made then as now.  Again, the reality is that he won football games, and not by just being along for the ride.  He was instrumental in those victories, a team that obviously had no business making the playoffs given that the media had them in the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes while Kyle Orton was behind center.  And speaking of which, why is it that no one says Kyle Orton isn't an NFL quarterback when Tim Tebow proved himself so much better?  It all comes back to prejudice.  Only when you recognize your own bias will you be able to overcome it.

John64
John64

@jdbolick  And Mike McCoy has 13 years of NFL coaching experience. I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that's about 13 more years of NFL coaching experience than you.  But McCoy "stupidly kept running sideline routes"? LOL...  In a way, that probably was pretty dumb, considering he should've been aware of the serious throwing limitations of his starting QB.

John64
John64

@jdbolick  He's right-- Denver did lead the NFL in 3 & outs in 2011. That's actually a fact. 

And actually, there's more to hold against Tebow than just his horrid 47.9 comp%.  His mechanics are terrible-- especially for a 1st round NFL QB.  He has trouble reading defenses-- especially Cover 2, which is very prevalent in the NFL.  He is also a notoriously bad practice player. 

Notice how none of my criticisms of Tebow go beyond the Xs and Os of football? And now, Tebow is looking at spending his 2nd-straight year (4th in the NFL) as a backup QB. 

ONE NFL team/coaching staff thought Tebow was worth having around as a BACKUP QB. ONE. If you think you know more than 97% of the coaching staffs in the NFL regarding Tebow, then you are delusional beyond repair. 

John64
John64

@jdbolick  Am I? How does the term "prejudice" apply here? Prejudice is pre-judging. I'm not pre-judging Tebow, I'm judging him.  Judging him based on what I've seen from his 35 games in the NFL.  I've seen Tebow get a chance to play and I've seen his team do poorly-- very poorly. As I've seen him throw extremely poorly and read defenses poorly.

Tebow is good when he starts scrambling around and it becomes backyard football, then when the coverage breaks down, "Hey! There's a wide open receiver! How did that happen?"  It's not prejudice, it's knowing the game of football.

jdbolick
jdbolick

@usameos6   It's comical to watch you talk about ignoring facts and then only focus on three games while pretending that the others didn't exist.  Also, do you have a citation on your claim regarding 3 & outs?  Moreover, Pittsburgh wasn't any more banged up than any other team at that point of the season.  They missed Ryan Clark because of his sickle cell, but that doesn't change the fact that they were the #1 defense in 2011.  Moreover, Tim Tebow actually had a QB rating of over 90 on throws that weren't outside the numbers, but Mike McCoy stupidly kept running sideline routes.  The only thing people can hold against Tim Tebow is his completion percentage, as if that's what defines a quarterback.  Do you know who is the most accurate passer in NFL history?  Chad Pennington.  

jdbolick
jdbolick

@John64 The obvious difference is that Mark Sanchez didn't continue to play at that level.  When Tim Tebow actually gets a chance to play and his team does poorly, THEN you can criticize him.  Until then you're clearly only doing so out of prejudice.

John64
John64

@jdbolick   Based on the fact that he hasn't shown any ability whatsoever to read defenses consistently, throw accurately consistently, or change his bad throwing mechanics.  

Mark Sanchez has won 4 of 6 playoff games (including playing in 2 conference championship games) and has thrown 9 TDs to just 3 INTs in those games.  Does that mean he's a good or effective QB? No. He's one of the worst QBs in the NFL.  But if that was Tebow's resume', Tebow fans would lose their minds.

usameos6
usameos6

@jdbolick @Mike26 And people that lavish praise on Tebow do it by ignoring facts and what he actually did on the field.  How about the three straight losses to end the 2011 season?  Did you see Tebow against Kansas City in a game that means Denver goes to the playoffs if they win?  6-22 for 60 yards and an INT that ended the game - fortunately, the Broncos managed to back into the playoffs, though.  They beat a banged up Steelers team at home and got crushed by the Patriots.  Gets first downs - the Broncos led the league in 3 and outs when Tebow was playing QB.  As someone that lives in Denver and watched every game, the Tebow myth was better than the Tebow reality.