Bill Belichick and Tim Tebow, Chapter 492
|06.06.13 at 5:06 pm ET|
We’ve written about the Patriots, Bill Belichick and Tim Tebow on several occasions (and we expect to write about them again sooner rather than later), but the news Thursday from Belichick where he felt the need to comment on something he may or may not have said about Tebow is something new.
‘I wouldn’t get into the probability of us pursuing any free agent,’ Belichick told ESPN. ‘Every single player has strengths and weaknesses, but regardless of that, for anyone to have represented that is the way I feel about Tim Tebow is completely untrue, baseless and irresponsible. It is unfortunate that something so inaccurate was reported.’
1. In my experience covering the Patriots, I can’t remember him ever feeling the need to speak out saying he didn’t dislike a player. In fact, unless his team was playing them that week during the season, he rarely — if ever — comments on any player not on his roster. (‘We’re just focused on our own team/game/preparation….’ is the usual reply.) And I’m hard-pressed to recall more than two or three instances where he addressed something that was reported in the media, especially a report that’s more than a month old. (His post-Super Bowl XXXIX comments on Freddie Mitchell are the exception to the rule, but that was more about Mitchell’s dopey comments than anything else. And of course, there’s always his occasional showdown with old pal Charley Casserly.) But this is certainly out of character for him.
However, as Albert Breer of the NFL Network noted, the timing is interesting given the fact that Tebow was apparently spending time with Urban Meyer last weekend in Columbus.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 6, 2013
Add that to the fact that Belichick and Meyer remain close, and it’s not ridiculous to think that Meyer spoke to Belichick about his former quarterback and the reported comments. Belichick has done favors for former players and coaches in the past, and he certainly wouldn’t be above saying something to clear things up in this case.
2. Belichick has a genuine respect for Tebow, and what he’s been able to accomplish as a football player. That being said — as we have previously stated here — there’s a certain circus element that comes with the former Heisman winner. While that’s not wholly Tebow’s fault, he doesn’t exactly do his part to quiet things down. (In my experience, it was shocking to see him hold court in the Jets locker room after a horrifying November loss to the Patriots, good-naturedly laughing with the media.) That’s something Belichick would have an issue with.
3. None of this should be taken as a precursor to New England signing Tebow. (It’s striking that even though he was released more than a month ago, there’s been no report of a Tebow workout with the Patriots.) While I’m sure Tebow intrigues Belichick on some level as a football player, from a practical perspective, a marriage between the two doesn’t make much sense, at least right now. The Patriots are at least three-deep at any one of the skill positions where Tebow might fit. (Tight end? Running back? Punt protector?) And when you’re talking about his quarterbacking style, it certainly doesn’t mesh with the Patriots’ offensive scheme. (The idea of going from Tom Brady to Tebow would necessitate wholesale scheme changes.)
Despite his critics, there are things that Tebow does do well. As we wrote here, you don’t win the Heisman by accident. He’s a big guy who can run well and absorb punishment from defensive players. While he may not play quarterback in the NFL — that windup is just way to slow — he does have the physical tools to play somewhere in professional football. (We’re going to include the CFL in that equation.) But despite Belichick’s feelings, it doesn’t figure to be Foxboro.