Robert Kraft on Tom Brady and Tim Tebow: ‘We have the greatest quarterback of all time … Nothing has changed’
|06.12.13 at 7:29 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Speaking after handing out 26 community service awards to honor the memory of his late wife, Myra Kraft, Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed the acquisition of Tim Tebow.
After acknowledging that he did play a direct role in the signing of the most famous back-up quarterback in the NFL this week, Kraft said he hasn’t changed his feeling that he wants the ball in the hands of the quarterback he believes is the “greatest quarterback of all time” all the time.
“Yes, he spoke to me about it,” Kraft said, referencing his conversation with Bill Belichick. “Look, life is about collecting good people around you who you like to have with you and who want to win. I think he, like many of our other players, fall in that category. You can’t have enough good people around you. He has the added dimension of spirituality being so important to him and that personally appeals to me a lot.”
Kraft was reminded that four years ago, when Michael Vick was a free agent, he asked, “Why would I ever want to take Tom Brady off the field?” He reiterated that Wednesday on the turf of Gillette Stadium.
“In my mind, we have the greatest quarterback of all time on our team and every time he has the ball in his hands, we have a chance to do something great,” Kraft said. “Nothing has changed in that regard for me.
“If you want to win in this league, you need quality depth management. In the age of the salary cap, whenever you can get a competitive, first-grade person to join your team, you never know what happens. But for me personally, having Tim Tebow on this team, he’s someone who believes in spirituality, he’s very competitive and works hard and has a great attitude and he’s a winner. Having him as part of our franchise is great but he has to compete just like anyone else. We’re blessed to have a lot of people like that, but the fact that spirituality is so important to him is very appealing to me.”
What makes this such an appealing situation for him? Will the professionalism and the Patriot Way be the ideal environment for him?
“You’d have to ask him that,” Kraft said. “We try to have a certain standard here of what’s right for us. Every interaction I’ve seen and watched, whether he’s in college or when I met him in the draft process, he handles himself in a first-class way. I don’t know anyone who has ever said anything that is not positive about him, people who are objective.”
Kraft, who spoke two floors above the pro shop in Patriot Place where Tebow jerseys are already being sold, said he’s not worried about the media attention that could follow Tebow around.
“I’m just excited you’re all back,” Kraft said. “I’m excited football is back, I really have missed it. It’s going to be tough getting to the end of July after tomorrow. I’m just really excited for this season and excited about the team we’re building.”
Kraft opened his press availability Wednesday speaking about the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards and what they mean to him and the organization?
“This is what makes…when you think, we had over 300 applications, just people volunteering their time, it’s really inspirational,” Kraft said. “This 84-year old woman who gave 24,000 hours to volunteer and then the 92-year old who works at the School for the Blind? There’s hope for all us. Keep doing good, it pays back.”
Here is the rest of Wednesday’s press conference with Robert Kraft at Patriot Place:
Q: How much contact have you had with Tim Tebow over the years?
RKK: I like to go to two or three college games, some of my sons and one of my grandsons loves to go. We went down to Florida, I had a chance to see him play. I had a chance to see him play in the college championship game. I remember in the draft process and we’ve had a chance to run into one another. He’s just first class.
Q: What impresses you about Tim Tebow on the field?
RKK: I think he’s hard working and very cooperative. I don’t think there’s any coach who wouldn’t like to have a team full of people like he is. Like [Tom] Brady, he comes out there and works hard or Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo. They come in, they work hard, they prepare hard and they’re all business. You can’t get enough people like that on your team. We’re honored that he’s with us.
Q: Josh McDaniels drafted him in Denver. Have you talked to Josh about where Tim Tebow fits in?
RKK: I try to hire good people and let them do their job and don’t question how they do things. We evaluate how they handle it.
Q: I’m just saying out of curiosity as a fan, have you asked him what he can bring to the table?
RKK: You might think if you owned a team and you were in that situation, then you’d talk to him.
Q: I might ask.
RKK: Well, I might follow your lead and do exactly what you say.
Q: How did this signing come about?
RKK: He’s just one of 90 people right now. I wonder if we haven’t talked enough about him. But if you want to keep talking about him, we can do that.
Q: Are there things that you’ve noticed about the way that the 2013 team is shaping up?
RKK: To be honest, after the draft I’m always excited, I’m always excited now. But in the end, you need two, three, four, five, six games and hope there are no injuries. I am excited about this team. I think our young players from last year have improved. They’ve worked hard. We’ve seen the greatest jump in the past of so many of our players between the first and second year. With the salary cap and free agency, you have a player for four years and if you’re going to try to build a team and get good value, that second year is pretty important. We’ve been able to bring in some interesting free agents. I’m very excited about the team.
Q: What do you think of Tim Tebow’s throwing mechanics?
RKK: He’s a lot better than I am. Actually watching him yesterday, I was just out there for a short period, but to me he looked pretty good. It’s fun having him here. I think that Tom Brady throws pretty well and I also think Ryan Mallett does the same so it’s nice to have three quarterbacks that can throw it very well.
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