According to multiple online reports and confirmed by credible sources including ESPN and The Boston Globe, the New England Patriots have signed former first round draft pick Tim Tebow to a deal. Tebow is scheduled to report to mini-camp on Tuesday with the team.
Tebow, widely considered one of the greatest college football players of all time, has achieved limited success in his 3-year NFL career with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. However, when given opportunity, Tebow has proven his worth not necessarily as a quarterback, but as a football player and valuable member of a team.
Here’s 7 reasons Tim Tebow may find success with the Patriots.
1. Vegas Likes It
According to the LVH SuperBook, the Patriots are still listed as 5-1 co-favorites with the 49ers and Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII.
2. Players Still Believe in Him
Just two days ago, several members of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense gave Tebow their vote of confidence.
The praise included veteran lineman Brett Keisel, defensive back Ike Taylor, and linebacker Larry Foote who said “He won some games, had some success. We know it first hand. I think he should be somewhere at least competing for a job. I think he’s earned that.”
His praise from the Steelers leads to the next point:
3. Tim Tebow is a Winner
During his collegiate career at Florida, Tebow put up incredible statistics and racked up numerous awards. As a freshman sharing quartberack duties with Chris Leak, the Gators went 13-1 and won the National Championship. Tebow was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team by the coaches.
As a sophomore, the Gators went 9-4, losing their bowl game to Michigan 41-35. Tebow took home the Heisman Trophy, the first sophomore ever to do so.
In his junior season, the Gators went 13-1 en route to the National Championship, where Tebow was named offensive MVP of the title game in the Gators’ 24-14 win over Oklahoma.
As a senior, Tebow again led the Gators to a 13-1 record, narrowly missing out on the National Championship game again and instead defeating Cincinatti in the Sugar Bowl 51-24.
Tebow graduated with a 35-6 record as a full time starter at Florida with 2 National Titles, a Sugar Bowl, a Heisman, and the SEC’s All-Time leader in passing efficiency and total rushing touchdowns.
When Tebow received the full time starters job in 2011 with the Denver Broncos, he went 8-5 (similar to his first full season with Florida), including a 6 game win streak and 6 comeback victories in the fourth quarter or overtime. Under his guidance, the team made the playoffs and defeated the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in overtime, as Tebow’s 80 yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas sealed the victory.
Tebow has not played in a consistent role since.
Tebow will join 3 other notable former Gators on the Patriots roster, including DE Jermaine Cunningham, TE Aaron Hernandez, and LB Brandon Spikes. All 4 won multiple National Championships together at Florida and hail from the same graduating class. Hernandez was best known as Tebow’s favorite receiving target.
5. Danny Woodhead’s Replacement?
So, Tebow isn’t going to play quarterback barring something tragic to Tom Brady, but here’s an interesting thought: What if Tebow fills the role voided by Danny Woodhead? New Englanders loved Woodhead for his production and multifaceted running/catching ability, and although Tebow may not have the receiving skills Woodhead did, the guy can run.
In 76 rushing attempts in 2012, Woodhead ran for 301 yards and 4 touchdowns, good for a 4.0 yards per carry average.
In 43 attempts for the Broncos in 2010, Tebow ran for 227 yards and 6 touchdowns, good for a 5.3 average. The numbers improved to 660 yards on 122 carries in 2012, good for a 5.4 average and 6 more touchdowns. When given the opportunity, Tebow can run with the best of them.
And, just like Woodhead, the Pats scooped up Tebow after he was an after thought released by the Jets. Will he make them pay again?
Don’t forget that Tebow is reunited with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the coach who drafted him in the first round, believed in him, and allowed him to succeed. Don’t be surprised to see Tebow play an important role in this offense, whether as an open-field runner or an option in the good ‘ole Patriot screen.
6. Organizational Depth
Say what you will, but Tebow can play quarterback. In their first full seasons, Tebow scored as many touchdowns (18) as Brady and had a better touchdown to interception ratio (2:1) than Brady’s (3:2). Tim Tebow isn’t a good quarterback in the NFL, but he’s a suitable backup.
We’ve covered his ability to run – he’s clearly an option at running back.
What about tight end? Surely Hernandez would take some time to work with him. With Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski recovering from major surgeries and Jake Ballard returning from an ACL tear, Tebow might be needed at least as an extra blocker.
7. If Anyone Can Do It, Belicheck Can
Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson…he’s done it before, he can do it again. In the case of the former two, he rejuvenated their careers and rode them to the Superbowl. In the case of the latter two, they underperformed, never really caught on, and were eventually cut – but their media hype was extinguished in the process.
Tim Tebow is already the ultimate team guy. While he’s not shy about wanting to play quarterback, he also isn’t shy about doing whatever it takes to help his team. He’s not the media whore everyone makes him out to be – he just happens to be one of the most scrutinized players in the league based on the mixed expectations of him coming into the league and his outspoken religious opinions. The media makes people famous – take that away, he’s just an average role player. Give him a few weeks with the “Patriot Way” and he’ll be an after thought, whether he performs or not. It’s a win-win either way.
Now it’s up to you – Is Tim Tebow good or bad for the Pats? Vote below!