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Ryan Mallett: ‘I’m still a work in progress’

06.13.13 at 12:05 pm ET
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Ryan Mallett speaks this week at Patriots mini-camp in Foxboro. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Ryan Mallett speaks this week at Patriots mini-camp in Foxboro. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Ryan Mallett has yet something else to push him along.

For two years, Mallett has stayed on the Patriots sidelines, watching and learning from one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

With the addition of Tim Tebow in the quarterback mix in Foxboro, Mallett can watch and learn from another quarterback style. Tom Brady is the surgeon. Tebow is the scrambler/running back. Mallett is the strong-armed gunslinger.

“It’s kind of unique how it’s set up but we have three great players in that room that have the ability to go out there and help our team to win games,” Mallett said. “So, we get it done how we can. There’s always competition at every position. It’s part of the job.”

Mallett appears thinner than his previous 6-foot-6, 245-pound frame listed on the Patriots’ roster.

“Now, going into my third year, I just feel like I’ve continued to improve, get my body in shape better and learn how to be the consumate pro,” Mallett said on Wednesday, the final day of a shortened two-day on-field workout. “I have some of the best guys to learn from, so I’m just trying to work hard and get better.”

One thing is for sure, Mallett wants everyone to know that he’s not caught up in the Tebow hoopla.

“I have tunnel vision,” he said. “I don’t know what you all are talking about.

“Tim’s a student of the game. He asks questions of Tom and me. He’s had a little exposure but not a lot so we just try to help him out.”

Mallett was jokingly asked if he had any advice for Tebow in handling the media in Foxboro.

“He would know better than me,” Mallett said. “He’s been doing this for a long time.”

Truth is, Mallett came into the NFL just one year after Tebow. Both are products of SEC schools, with Tebow playing at Florida at the same time Mallett was throwing for Arkansas.

Mallett has attempted just four passes in his career, completing just one pass. Mallett will again get his looks this preseason but until then, he’s just working on feeling comfortable.

With Tebow arriving in Foxboro, the question arises: Could Mallett again be on the trading block? Does he feel he could auditioning for another NFL job – possibly a starting role – this summer?

“I think anytime you play a game against another team, all 31 teams are going to see it anyway,” Mallett said. “Obviously, you want to go out there and do your best to perform. I’m going out there to help the Patriots win. I’m a Patriot. All this other stuff that keeps being talked about, I don’t have anything to do with it. I come to work every day as a Patriot and try to get better.”

Would he like to be a starter some day soon?

“Hey, I’m a Patriot,” Mallett said unwaveringly. “I’m happy to be a Patriot.

“I’m a work in progress but I feel good, I feel comfortable. I feel like if my number is called right now, I’m ready to go. Every day I’m trying to come out here and fine tune the small things and make progress in small, little different areas of the game every day.”

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