Tim Tebow can be a successful NFL quarterback, and he couldn't have found a better team than the New England Patriots to help him get back on the right track.
Those are the thoughts of former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke, who has been working with Tebow at IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Weinke, formerly of the Carolina Panthers (2001-2006) and San Francisco 49ers (2007), has been helping Tebow improve his mechanics over the past five weeks since Tebow's release from the New York Jets.
Along with footwork, trajectory and release speed, Weinke and Tebow worked on the mental aspect of the quarterback position, as well. All in all, Weinke thinks Tebow has made strides in mechanics and consistency.
Weinke's thoughts follow.
How much has Tebow improved since he showed up at IMG: The little things that we were trying to improve, he made improvements over the course of the time he was here. Ultimately, it was kind of piecing it together -- focusing on certain things, and hoping that it would all collectively come together at the end. Really, the last 10 days or so, he's been very consistent and solid with the mechanics. I think he feels confident in terms of what we've done.
On if he could play other positions besides quarterback: He came to me to train as a quarterback, so that's what we focused on the whole time here. Obviously, coach [Bill] Belichick and that organization will make those decisions as they see fit, but as of right now, I think he's focused on trying to be the best quarterback he can be.
On if Tebow can be a fit for the Patriots offense, or if they'll have to adjust it for him: I think he's familiar with the offense. Obviously, [he has] the history there with Josh McDaniels, and I'm sure a lot of the verbiage that Josh used in Denver is what they use in New England, so I think from that standpoint, he's very comfortable with it. I think at the end of the day, he's going to a good place. He can learn from one of the best in the game in Tom [Brady], and the fact that he can learn how Tom approaches that offense, what he looks for, and all the intricacies that that offense entails, will certainly be a great learning ground for Tim. Tim's not going to be asked to go in there and try to win the job, which is the best situation possible right now as he continues to develop as a quarterback. Is Tim capable of processing information in that offense? Yes, he is. In my time spent with him talking football X's and O's and schemes, he's very knowledgeable about the game. He works hard at it, and he does understand it, so I don't see any concern in terms of him being able to understand and process that offense -- and again, [he has] the advantage of being able to learn from a guy that's been in the offense for a number of years. He's going to an offense I think he can comprehend and he can operate in, and I think if given the opportunity at some point, he can be successful in that offense.
On how far off Tebow is from being a legitimate starting NFL quarterback: Time will tell, but the guy has already started in the NFL. He's been a starting quarterback in the NFL, so to me, he's already done that. I think the one piece that people are not talking about is Ryan Mallett, who's also up there. That's a very talented quarterback, so at the end of the day, Tebow will go up there and he will show that organization what he's capable of, but I think he's becoming much more consistent at the quarterback position, and that's what I've seen in the last five weeks.
The one area Tebow has improved the most at IMG: I think just understanding how to play with a sense of urgency under control. I think his accuracy improved dramatically with the adjustments we made with him mechanically, so I think the consistency is the biggest thing. [Also] being able to have a great understanding -- and now have the ability -- to change ball speeds and trajectory is the biggest improvement he made.
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