Re: Just a thought, maybe this is why he's here
posted at 8/6/2013 6:53 AM EDT
Like every other minimum free agent, Tim Tebow has to make the 53 man team.
I'd say that so far Tebow has made it, but he still has to get through four preseason games. He's hitting the deep ball. He's still making a share of stupid plays, but he's also hitting excellent plays. He's managing the football as a good backup quarterback should.
Tebow fills a niche. He's a changeup quarterback, a guy who occasionally blasts through the line himself on third and two, who runs the option, and yet opponents may still be forced to double-team receivers such as Aaron Dobson, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola or else they'll get wide open downfield, then Tebow will hit them and end the game. Tebow isn't little Michael Vick, he's a short yardage hitter. Most NFL defenses are neither equipped nor fully trained to handle this rare kind of quarterback, and some defenses are more vulnerable than others.
It's most probable that Tom Brady gets all the snaps, but if 36 year old Brady gets a boo-boo at some time during the season, BB has to choose between Mallett and Tebow. Why not both?
It's possible that Mallett is the prime quarterback but not by much. Tebow Time could simply be the series before the victory formation, when everyone in the stadium knows that the Patriots are going to run the football. Why not put in an extra runner? It's possible that Tebow Time could be sprung on some particularly vulnerable team in the second half -- think of Indianapolis's defensive line five years ago.
It's possible that Tebow is edging out Mallett right now for the #2 position.
Please remember that half of the teams in the NFL are going to make incomprably stupid plays in preseason. Last year, one team ran into the punter twice on the same drive, giving the ball back twice until the offense said ok, we'll take it down the field. The new NFL watchword for preseason is "diminish the opponent's expectations as much as possible". The theory is that losing meaningless preseason games is good for your own team's soul, and that opponents won't single you out as the one team to beat. So, expect short passes from the starting quarterback directly to the cornerback for the quickest possible pick-six. Expect drops by normally sure-handed receivers. Expect fumbles by starting running backs at the slightest provocation. I suspect that the Indianapolis Colts initiated this curious regimen, but the New England Patriots were early adapters. Now most NFL teams have picked up the practice. Exception: NFL basement-dwellers such as the Jacksonville Jaguars have no pride left to lose, so these teams tend to play their level best in preseason.
I hate preseason win-lost records.