The New England Patriots shocked the NFL universe Monday afternoon when news broke that the team would sign Tim Tebow and bring the lightning-rod quarterback to Foxborough for Tuesday's mandatory minicamp. The Patriots obviously have three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady entrenched as the starter and promising backup Ryan Mallet in the No. 2 spot. Will Tebow make the 53-man roster in New England?
A quiet season in New England is just what the doctor orderedI fully expect Tim Tebow to land a roster spot. I don't know how much we'll see him on the game field this season, but he'll get plenty of pre- and post-practice attention from the Patriots' coaching staff. Tebow will be allowed to sit and learn the quarterback position from one of the best of all time in Tom Brady. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels brought Tebow into the NFL, and he'll now have another chance to work with him on a daily basis.
The best thing for Tebow's career would be a low-profile season that allows him to sit, learn and develop. The Patriots are the perfect organization to help Tebow accomplish these three objectives.
Questions abound in timing of signing, but there might be a simple answerIf you are playing the Patriots, you hope they take Tom Brady off the field. But this is clearly up to Bill Belichick. The Patriots need Ryan Mallett as their No. 2 quarterback to run their normal offense if Brady gets hurt, so Mallett is not going anywhere. In fact, it'd be a mistake to take practice reps from Mallett and give them to Tim Tebow.
My two questions: Why wait so long to sign him? Tebow has missed almost all of the offseason. And where are they going to play him? I don't see Tebow trying to play another position. He lacks the quickness to get open as a receiver and would be a project as a blocker.
Tebow does have the ability to run the read option, which Brady and Mallett don't have. Since we will see a lot more of the read option in the NFL this season, the only reason I would sign him is to have a quarterback who can help prepare the defense for the read option. If that is why they signed him, then I understand the move and even the timing of it.
Belichick, McDaniels will get most out of Tebow's versatility ... and at quarterbackTim Tebow will make the New England Patriots' 53-man roster as a backup quarterback/utility player. Bill Belichick has a long history of keeping guys on his roster with the ability to play a variety of roles. From Matthew Slater floating between wide receiver and safety to Julian Edelman playing as a slot receiver/nickel corner, Belichick loves to capitalize on his players' versatility to put the Patriots in the best position to win games. Tebow fits the criteria, with his ability to have an impact running the ball, lining up as an H-back/tight end and -- obviously -- playing quarterback.
Additionally, the presence of Josh McDaniels as the Patriots' offensive coordinator ensures that Tebow will have every opportunity to make the team as a quarterback. More importantly, he will have a chance to develop the unrealized potential that encouraged McDaniels to draft him with a first-round pick while he was the head coach of the Denver Broncos. This fact shouldn't be overlooked; McDaniels will craft a plan that allows Tebow to play to his strengths as a player.
With McDaniels likely playing a major role in the signing, I would expect Tebow to be on the Patriots' 53-man roster when the season begins in September.
Patriots didn't do this just for showI love this. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gets his first-round pick back. Somehow, Tebow will make this team.
Tebow could play some hybrid tight end because Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez will get nicked up. I don't think he will do much of what Julian Edelman did, because he is not fast enough. But frankly, I think he will spend most of his time at quarterback. McDaniels will do some of the same things he used to do with Tebow in Denver, and Tebow will make the squad as a backup. He will get work as a punt protector and in other special teams roles.
The Patriots don't make this move for show. This is beyond awesome.
Belichick, Patriots likely already have a plan in place for TebowAbsolutely. This should come as no surprise; Tim Tebow was going to land with the Patriots. In fact, I've called it for quite some time.
Remember, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a long history with Tebow's college coach, Urban Meyer. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels drafted Tebow in Denver. So Belichick knows exactly what he's getting from him, and there is likely already a plan in place as to how to use him.
Plus, this gives the Patriots a chance to tweak the New York Jets one more time. So yes, he's going to be on the Patriots' roster.
Tebow will play -- and make the Jets look bad in the processOf course he's going to make the roster. And he'll contribute. And the New York Jets will look ridiculous again after the Patriots turn a player who couldn't get on the field in New York into a useful contributor -- just like they did with Danny Woodhead. With New England potentially short on playmakers, Tebow will see snaps all over the field. I'm sure he'll make a key fourth-down block or run for a first down to beat the Jets in a game, and he'll talk afterward about how it's just a pleasure to play in the NFL. And I'm going to go throw up, because New England will have trumped the Jets yet again.
In a funny way, Rex Ryan has a lot at stake here. Depending on the extent of Tebow's success in Foxborough, there's the potential for Ryan to be evaluated more harshly after this season -- because he wouldn't play Tebow in New York. You know the New York media is going to have a field day with that storyline running opposite the Jets' circus in 2013.
Can I predict a New York Post headline? "Jets Turn to Geno, But Get Te-Blown Away, 35-7."