Peter King on M&M: Tim Tebow won’t change positions, wants another chance to play QB in NFL
|09.06.13 at 12:59 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about news from around the NFL as the Patriots prepare to open the season Sunday against the Bills in Buffalo.
King wrote this week that Tim Tebow, cut by the Patriots on Saturday, still refuses to change positions and will only consider playing quarterback in the NFL.
“I’ll tell exactly how Tim Tebow is thinking right now, and that is that he believes at this point in time that the only way he’s going to have a chance, and a real chance to succeed at the quarterback position, is to be able to go somewhere and have an entire offseason program with a team,” King said. “He didn’t really do that with the Patriots. I think he signed with the Patriots maybe with two days left, or however many days left in their offseason program before they left in June. ‘¦
“And I think there’s something to this. If you’re not in the offseason program and you don’t have the ability to basically compete against the other guys who are the quarterbacks on equal terms, once you get to training camp, for the most part you’re not getting nearly as many reps with the first unit as the other guys are. He was clearly No. 3. He was going to have to beat out Ryan Mallet to be No. 2. He didn’t do that. So, it was an easy decision.
“Again, I understand what everybody says: Tebow can’t do it, he doesn’t have a chance, he’s not accurate enough — totally understand. But I think Tebow’s view is that it would be hard for him to live with himself if he didn’t have the ability to go somewhere, let’s say in early March, and just spend the entire offseason with a team.”
Added King: “I think that the biggest thing he took away from the Patriots that I believe that he will try to, at some point if he ever has the chance, to tell Mike McCarthy, let’s say, or Doug Marrone or a lot of these sort of progressive, teaching-type head coaches who are very good in teaching quarterbacks. I think what he would try to say to them is, ‘Look, you saw what happened in New England. It wasn’t a circus. Nobody knew I was there half the time. It was just, I was a football player.’ It doesn’t have to be where he was with the Jets where it’s a sideshow and [ESPN’s] Sal Paolantonio is reporting live six times a day.
“So, I think his whole view is, ‘I want to have one more chance at this. I want to have one more opportunity to spend four months with a team and to show them how I can help them and why I should play quarterback.’ Now, do I think that’s going to happen? Fifty-50, maybe. But I tell you what: He’s going to work right now. He’s down in Florida, he’s going to try to work right now, and he’s going to try to work this whole offseason at just the real basic fundamentals of it all. If somebody calls him this year, fine. But I almost think that in his ideal world, he’d like to be with Team X as of, say, February 1st, and just go through the entire next six months with them to see if he can make it.”
King predicted the Patriots to win the Super Bowl this season, although he cautioned Patriots fans not to get too excited, as he does not have a good track record with his predictions.
“I look at what they did last year on defense,” King said in explaining his choice. “I know they had some games that certainly no fan of Bill Belichick would be very happy with. But if you look at the season in total, they’re 10th in the league in points allowed. On the other side, they’re averaging 34 points a game. Now, I don’t think there’s any way they’re going to average 34 points a game this year. But, I also think that to think they’re going to average 18 points a game with Tom Brady as the quarterback is silly.
“Let’s say they even go down a touchdown a game, and they average 27 points a game. Is that unrealistic to think that Tom Brady, with pretty much an entirely new cast of characters, and Rob Gronkowski maybe by Week 3 or 4, is it unrealistic to think that they can win games, instead of winning games 38-17, they could win them 27-20? I don’t think so.
“I just sort of look at it, especially with the fact that — and I didn’t see a lot of the Patriots in the preseason, but I see a guy like Shane Vereen, who has the ability not to be Aaron Hernandez but to take on some of the multiple roles that a guy like Aaron Hernandez — even though he’s not Danny Woodhead by any stretch of the imagination — I think he has the ability to be a difference-maker and sort of play all over the map on that offense.
“I think they’re going to be a good to very good offensive team. I don’t think they’re going to be an intergalactic offensive team, but I don’t think they have to be anymore.”
Touching on trends around the league, King said more teams will run faster-paced offenses, leading to more plays, more passes and higher-scoring games.
“You don’t want to make too much of it, because it’s only one game,” he said, referring to the Broncos‘ 49-27 victory over the Ravens on Thursday night. “But I found it interesting that last night, two very strong Super Bowl contenders combined to throw 104 balls last night, 104 passes. And the average last year in a game was 69. I’m not saying that’s a harbinger of things to come. What I’m saying is I think that the NFL will set records this year for the number of plays in a season. Because there’s going to be so many more teams that go to this uptempo style. Watch the Eagles — you may not ever see them huddle the whole year.
“I think not only the number of plays, but when you have more plays, you’re probably going to have more points. And there’s a good chance you’re going to have more passes because of the way teams are playing.
“There’s only one team that consistently this offseason you read about an emphasis of running the ball more, and that’s the Tennessee Titans. And even if they run the ball more, there’s only been one team in the last decade that’s run 60 percent of the time in a season — that’s Pittsburgh in 2005. So, even if Tennessee goes to 53 percent, everybody will say, ‘Oh, my God. All they do is run.’
“So that is sort of my point about all this. I think there are so few teams talking about, ‘We have to run the ball more,’ and Tennessee is one of them. I just think we’re going to see the air filled with footballs.”