June 13, 2013

NFL Notebook: Patriots withhold judgment on Tebow's early workouts

The Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - One day of practice wasn't enough for Patriots Coach Bill Belichick to share his thoughts on new backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

Two days?

Not a lot to go on there, either, as Tebow spent much of Wednesday's session watching Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett run drills while he tried to absorb the new system he was thrust into when he signed with New England this week.

"We're not going to get into a minute-by-minute evaluation of a player," Belichick said. "I don't think that's the way to go, especially at this time of year."

Robert Kraft wasn't as reluctant to size up Tebow's much maligned throwing motion after the second day of the three-day minicamp.

"He's a lot better than I am," the Patriots' 72-year-old owner said, his grin growing as he spoke.

And, at least in Kraft's mind, probably better than he's given credit for.

Kraft had strolled onto the field late in Tebow's first practice with the Patriots on Tuesday. The high-profile player discarded by the Denver Broncos and New York Jets had rolled out to throw short passes while on the run and dropped back to heave long passes into the end zone.

"I was just out there for a short period, but to me, he looked pretty good," Kraft said.

After Tebow practiced for the second time, Brady wasn't as eager to judge him.

"To get to this point, you obviously have to be talented," Brady said. "So I have a lot of respect for everyone that plays and, certainly, (for) what I've seen him do in the past."

For the second straight day, Tebow mostly watched as Brady and Mallett took turns running 7-on-7 drills. Late in the session, Tebow played in 11-on-11 situations and was hit-or-miss while running plays from his new playbook. After each one, he'd consult with assistant coach Brian Daboll, who referred to paper in his hand.

JAGUARS: Tight end Brett Brackett will be sidelined until training camp following groin surgery.

REDSKINS: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname is a "unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."

Goodell was responding to a letter from 10 members of Congress who want the name changed because it is offensive to many Native Americans. Goodell wrote that he understands the feelings surrounding it are complex and could change, but he also point out fan pride in the team's heritage.

BILLS: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is described as being in good spirits, recovering at home after having surgery to remove cancerous cells from his upper jaw.

JETS: Prosecutors in New Jersey are sending the drug and weapons case against running back Mike Goodson to a grand jury.

Goodson, who made a brief appearance in court in Morristown on Wednesday, was arrested with a friend last month. The men were charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and weapons offenses.

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