Tuesday, June 11, 2013


How will Tim Tebow fit in with Brady's bunch?

By Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello

When word broke that the New England Patriots were signing Tim Tebow, editors Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello knew what they had to do: Emergency Tebow post.

With America's most polarizing athlete now in Foxborough with America's grumpiest coach, the two jumped on Facebook chat to break down what Tebow to the Patriots means to the future of humanity.

Also, I would like to point out that I told you so.

JP: Ok Jeremy, I know you love Tebow, but how does he fit in with the Patriots' already explosive offense, and can he give Ryan Mallett a realistic run for the backup position?

JC: Well, the first thing we need to acknowledge is that it isn't even a sure thing that he makes the 53-man roster. It certainly looks like the Patriots are planning for him to be there, considering they signed him to a two-year deal (albeit with no guaranteed money), but it's definitely not a certainty that he'll even be on the roster on opening day.

Compounding that is the rather unusual fit that Tebow is for the Patriots. By basically every measurement, Tebow's best asset to an NFL team is as a runner in short-yardage situations. But it doesn't make a ton of sense for the Patriots to use him in those situations because Tom Brady is already the most effective rusher in short-yardage situations in the league (he's converted 1st downs on over 97% of his rush attempts on 3rd or 4th down with two yards or less to go).

It seems like a no-brainer move, considering there's no guaranteed money involved and he's going to a team where the media circus will be minimized and he has no pressure on him, but it's a bit of an awkward fit in terms of on-field game planning.

JP: Yeah, I keep hearing that "the media circus isn't coming to town," but is it really that simple? Because, I mean, if it is, then aren't the Jets just a terribly run organization? (Somewhat rhetorical question)

Anyways, I agree with you that signing him to a deal with no guaranteed money makes this a no-brainer, and I felt that the only two fits for Tebow were in New England where he could be a situational player and not start a quarterback controversy, or in Jacksonville where he could just run the whole show and sell tickets.

Your point about Brady in short yardage is true, at one yard or less, he's awesome, and that's usually because he gets up to the line and snaps the ball before the defense is ready. Where I think Tebow comes into play will be on those first and goal from the two type of downs, because I still don't think you ever want to take the ball out of Brady's hands on third down or in other critical situations.

But the biggest question I have is, will we see Tebow anywhere other than QB? Could he be the next Gronk? He certainly has the forehead for it...

JC: I don't think it's as much that the Jets are a terribly run organization as much as they're one that embraces the media (Rex Ryan especially). The Patriots (along with a few other teams - Baltimore and San Francisco in particular), however, aren't. That will certainly keep the distractions to a minimum, as will the fact that the coaching staff clearly wants him there, as opposed to last year where it seemed like he was forced on the Jets by the higher-ups in the front office.

As I've always said, Tebow's manifest destiny is to be a package player in Red Zone situations. I don't think he has the ball skills to be an effective pass receiver, but he could definitely play an H-Back-type role - anything that gives him a run-pass option, regardless of whether he's lining up at quarterback or not.

JP: That certainly seems like the idea, I just hope to God that we don't see him at punt protector again. As a side note, with Tebow's popularity, how on Earth did he not make the Pro Bowl as the AFC's "special teams" selection?

I also like the fact that Belichick has a proven track record of putting guys in roles that best fit their strengths, so I trust he'll find ways to maximize Tebow's talents. I guess having Josh McDaniels there is nice too, though I think he's just another overrated failed Belichick assistant.

But, the million dollar (Or no money guaranteed) question: How many times will Tebow say he's "excited" at his first media availability?

JC: Well, that's the thing - given how closed-off the Patriots Public/Media Relations team is, I'm not sure Tebow is even going to have an "official" media availability. I'd be very surprised if he holds a press conference of any kind over the next day or two, if ever.

JP: So you're saying he's not going to be excited?

JC: I would expect him to be very excited, but I'm not sure he's going to tell the media as such in any official capacity. I would expect the Patriots to keep him closed off from the media as much as possible - that's just how they operate. The focus is going to be on how to incorporate him into the team.

JP: I think he should fit right in. After all, just like Brady and Belichick, all he does is win.