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Someone forgot to tell the New England Patriot’s April Fool’s Day passed two months ago. No, this is not a bad joke, quarterback Tim Tebow is really bringing his talents to New England. One of the most polarizing players of our generation will be wearing a Patriots jersey this season to back up Tom Brady and Ryan Mallet.
The former Heisman trophy winner led a struggling Denver Bronco team to the playoffs before being traded to the New York Jets last season where he warmed the bench for Mark Sanchez. Despite his so-called success in Denver, questions still remained about his debatable football mechanics and IQ. With the Jets, Tebow only completed six of eight passes for 39 yards the entire season. Over his three year career, Tebow has a QBR of 34.3 and a completion percentage of less than 50. Why would the highly disciplined Patriots take such a big risk, and all the media attention, on a player with such inconsistencies and no chance of ever becoming a starter?
As one of the most questionable off-season moves thus far by the Patriots, the only plausible explanation for the the signing of Tebow, besides giving us a much needed good laugh, would be to use him as a practice decoy. The only thing he has ever succeeded in the league as a quarterback is executing the wild cat scheme. In Patriot’s fashion, they will maximize that one skill and use it to their advantage by having Tebow run the wild cat during practice to give the defense a better understanding of the scheme. This will give the team an opportunity to defend against a legit wild cat during the week before facing their opponents. This will help give them an advantage, especially against their divisional opponents, given both the Bills and Jets both have running quarterbacks in EJ Manuel and Geno Smith, respectively.
Another reason the Patriots took the risk and acquired the media circus associated with Tebow is because he came at a cheap price. According to the Associated Press, the Patriots signed Tebow to a 2-year, minimum salary contract with no guaranteed money. If things do not work out, there would have been little financial risk involved.
Other reports speculate offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels may have convinced Coach Belichick to sign Tebow. It was McDaniels that traded up in the first round to draft Tebow in the 2010 draft and coached Tebow with the Broncos. Aside from the McDaniels connection, it is also well known Belichick loves him some Florida Gators and has a great relationship with Gators coach Urban Meyer. Belichick is not a man to be swayed by others but he might see potential in Tebow given he was bred under two professionals he trusts in Meyer and McDaniels. Everyone that has worked with Tebow agree he is a hard worker and always willing to learn, two qualities Belichick believes will help him elevate Tebow’s game to the next level.
There is one reason, and one reason alone that Tebow will never assume the starting, or even back-up, quarterback role with the Patriots. To quote ESPN analyst Stephan A. Smith who puts it best, “The man can’t throw. He just can’t throw.” No matter how hard McDaniels attempts to work on throwing mechanics with Tebow, he cannot teach what is not there. Tebow just cannot throw. To make matters worse, he does not consistently possess any of the requirements necessary to be a successful quarterback. He lacks the ability to drop back, read a defense, account for all the defensive and offensive players on the field and with such flawed mechanics, make an accurate pass. He lacks talent in the quarterback position and does not have the intangible qualities, like Tom Brady, to excel in the league.
Tebow will be a mediocre third string quarterback whose only purpose during the games is to come off the bench for two-point conversions. He will serve as nothing more than a practice quarterback decoy to help the team defend against the wild cat scheme. With the Patriots hush hush attitude with the media, Tebow will be a mere afterthought to Patriot fans once the season begins.
Tim Tebow will find himself joining the likes of other former disappointing Patriot free-agent signings such as Albert Haynesworth and Chad Johnson. The only difference between Tebow and the other players on the list is that we never expected much from him from the beginning. During the In Bill We Trust era, this is one of the most ludicrous acquisitions the team has made. If things do not work out with Tebow, all there is to say to owner Robert Kraft, Coach Belichick and the rest of the Patriot’s organization is “COME ON MAN!”