There had been much speculation in recent days about a possible New England Patriots-Tim Tebow acquainting after the comments from head coach Bill Belichick. Now that the Patriots have signed Tim Tebow, it is time for us to play head coach and predict if Tebow can offer anything to the Pats offensive scheme. In general, I agree with my colleagues Tim Dillon and Chris Martin that he is a poor bet to make the team.
Although he played in less than 10% of snaps for the New York Jets, Tebow remains a household name. As soon as he signed with New England, NFL fans flooded social networking sites to give their two cents on the matter. While their is essentially no way to know what Belichick sees in this move, it’s still fun to pose theories on the subject. If you ask me, there are two possible ways Tim could be used in the upcoming season. Here is why he won’t be asked to do what most of America has seen from him. Keep in mind this is for the 2013 season, and assuming he forces a spot on the roster.
1. Tim Tebow plays traditional FB/HB (or wildcard QB) in short yardage downs:
It is well documented that Tebow can run the football, which leads to the favorite assumption that the Patriots could (maybe) use him on third/fourth down with less than four yards to go. The Jets tried to use a two QB combo, with Sanchez passing and Tebow complementing in the run game. That approach was not effective; it proved to take both QB’s out of their rhythms, which equals nothing more than two cold quarterbacks. There’s just no way Belichick is taking positive notes from the Jets offense last season.
Stevan Ridley is a proven workhorse back; why would Belichick waste a roster spot keeping someone who has never played HB, and take the ball out of Ridley’s hands? Not to mention, with Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount, there is no shortage of power running backs on the roster for third and short. It’s nonsense to think that Tebow can power the ball past the chains better than the stable of backs already on the roster.
To address the idea of a wildcat QB opportunity, well that’s an easy one… Belichick wouldn’t take Tom Brady out of the offense.
2. Tim Tebow allows the Patriots to draw up more elaborate trick plays:
This idea has had me intrigued since the first time I pondered whether or not Tebow could ever play for the Patriots. Maybe I’m going out on a limb with this one, but New England could potentially mix in some Tebow trickery every now and again. If Brady ever handed the ball off to Tebow, the defense would bite, expecting him to run the ball. If that does happen, Tebow has proven that he can hit a wide open receiver on a well timed play (just ask Pittsburgh). I could see Josh McDaniels designing a trick play or two that involves Brady dishing him the ball. If the defense doesn’t have the proper personnel/formation for the play to work, Brady will simply audible out of it.
In addition to the potential offensive trick plays, are the fake punt opportunities. Tebow had ups and downs in this area for the Jets, but some of the downs can be attributed to coaching and play calling. When the play call is right, Tebow can make it happen. McDaniels is the guy to dial up the right play and put Tebow in a position to succeed.
Overall, Tim Tebow is probably a longshot to even make the roster. The move is a low risk investment, however Belichick always has a reason for giving someone an opportunity. There are plenty of players on the roster who I would cut before Tebow. Why not at least give him a chance to fit in while shaving the roster down to 53.