Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By HOWARD ULMAN/The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Tim Tebow hasn’t done much to counter critics who say he can’t throw well. But his running ability and work ethic may earn him a spot.
The Associated Press
PRESEASON GAME 3
WHO: New England Patriots (2-0) at Detroit Lions (1-1)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Ford Field
TELEVISION: Channel 8
With Tom Brady having thrown all but 47 of the Patriots' passes the last four years and Ryan Mallett entrenched as the backup, coaches may view Tebow as a project with plenty of time to work on his quarterbacking skills without having to play in games.
And would the Patriots keep a sixth defensive end or sixth cornerback instead of him?
But then, there are the negatives.
The Patriots have kept just two quarterbacks in three of the past four years. Tebow tends to scramble too soon, without exhausting all options down the field. And when he does look down there, finding his third or fourth receiving option has been a problem.
And then, of course, some throws have been well out of the receivers' grasp.
But Belichick is known for utilizing a player's strengths even if he has glaring shortcomings. That's the Patriot Way.
"All players have different skill sets and some guys do some things better than others," he said. "I think we see a lot of good quarterbacks in the NFL. They aren't all maybe the best passers, but their ability to run and pass and make plays -- design plays, scramble plays, whatever it is -- makes them a high level player. I don't think there's one specific style you have to have or don't have to have.
"In the end, it's about production and being able to do enough things to be successful."
Tebow had success in Denver. He threw the winning pass on the first overtime play from scrimmage against Pittsburgh in the AFC wild-card round, before losing to New England the next week.
He was a flop after the Broncos traded him to the Jets. New York never figured out how to use him and released him last April 29.
From there, Tebow watched and waited. And just when it seemed no team wanted him, the Patriots gave him a non-guaranteed contract on June 10.
But soon, Tebow may be looking for work ... again.
"I've just got to go out there and play as hard as I can and try to improve," he said. "And I'll let a lot of smarter people grade us and judge us."