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Hernandez says ex-teammate Tebow 'brought a lot of energy'

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez added to the praise coming from his team for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow ahead of Sunday's highly anticipated matchup.

The same day Patriots coach Bill Belichickdefended Tebow's oft-criticized throwing mechanics, Hernandez, who won a BCS national championship with the quarterback at the University of Florida in 2008, spoke to what has made his former teammate successful in the NFL.

"He keeps plays alive, and he's winning," Hernandez said Wednesday according to the Boston Herald, calling Tebow "a leader."

"He brought a lot of energy to the game," Hernandez said. "When someone has energy, you take from it. ...

"We were good friends, as well."

Tebow had good things to say in return, telling the Herald that Hernandez "makes any quarterback he's with look a lot better."

"He's a phenomenal player, one of those guys when you need competitive excellence and you need someone to step up and make a big play, he's always ready and willing," Tebow said. "I'm just proud of him for what he's done as an NFL player and what he did with me at Florida."

Sunday's game is receiving a lot of attention, not least because it pits an unorthodox rising star in Tebow against one of the game's more successful quarterbacks in Tom Brady. Hernandez was asked to compare the two by ESPN, but he declined to say anything controversial.

"They're different people," Hernandez said. "You can't compare them, but both are great leaders."

Hernandez has 59 catches for 607 yards and five touchdowns in his second season with the Patriots.

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