Last summer we saw Tim Tebow traded to the Jets, followed by a whole lot of talk about how the Jets planned to use him, how they might insert him into special packages, and so forth. We never saw that materialize. However, as with other Jets-to-Patriots transplants that came before him Danny Woodhead, and Bill Belichick himself, Tebow may just find the success he sought in New York, here in Foxboro.
Last week’s game showed us more of Tebow at quarterback than any of us were likely expecting to see. When Ryan Mallet went down with a reported head injury (but according to him was just a hit in the chest) late in the first half, Tebow got the call into the game earlier than expected.
What came next was a combination of disappointing, and expected, as Tebow ran a very different offense than Pats fans are used to seeing on the field, proving himself to be a leader capable of leading a touchdown drive (something we all knew already) and a less than ideal quarterback in the pocket, going 4-12 for 55 yards (another thing we knew already).
Regardless of his passing accuracy (or lack thereof) or his infamous throwing motion, Tim Tebow brings something to New England that we haven’t had for a while; a bit of a ground and pound game. He also brings something Tom Brady-for all his accomplishments and talents-cannot: a mobile quarterback.
With Tim Tebow, Belichick can keep up with the rest of the league in employing the old but newly reintroduced “pistol” formation. While Tebow’s performance in the pocket was less than ideal, his performance overall was enough to leave some local journalists and fans thinking he might have a future here.
While other opinions on Tebow are still searching for nice things to say about his presence between the lines, coach Bill Belichick recently spoke on local sports talk radio about the ways he plans to use Tebow’s talents, leaving many of us speculating about how the Patriots’ offense might change if he did find himself on the field, and whether or not he will in fact line up under the center at any point in time this season.
I attended this year’s summer training camp for the Patriots, and observed Tebow working the pistol formation with the starting running backs, so this preseason display didn’t particularly surprise me. I think that coach Belichick will use Tebow as the Jets purported they would last year; intermittently, as a change of pace offense that throws the defense back on their heels, or picks up tough yards in short yardage situations.
How successful that will be, I’m not entirely certain yet. Last week, it looked like it’d be okay. But that was in the second half of a preseason game, so let’s not get too excited quite yet.
(On a side note, today is Tim Tebow’s birthday, feel free to visit his facebook profile and wish him a happy one!)