First, there was no chance it would happen.
Then, there wasn't no chance it would happen.
Then, it happened.
A report by Ed Werder of ESPN served as the coup de grâce.
I gave my thoughts on what Tebow's role will be with the Patriots, and I didn't want to write the same thing again, so here are just some quick general thoughts on Tebow signing with the Patriots.
- How didn't I see this coming a mile away? Former protégés of Josh McDaniels have frequently found a home with the Patriots. So have former Florida Gators and protégés of Urban Meyer. Just off the top of my head, Meyer products include linebacker Brandon Spikes, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, tight end Aaron Hernandez and wide receiver Chad Jackson. McDaniels players include Michael Hoomanawanui, wide receivers Brandon Lloyd, Danny Amendola and Greg Salas and linebacker/fullback Spencer Larsen.
- In two starts against the Patriots, Tebow went 20-of-48 passing (41.7 percent) for 330 yards (6.9 YPA), with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He rushed 17 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns in those games, but only five times for 13 yards in a 45-10 playoff loss. He exceeded his 2011 per-game averages in every area except passing touchdowns.
- Remember all that stuff I said last week about the Patriots beginning their search for a quarterback of the future? I would call this the earliest phase of that search. Let's wait until he makes the roster, but Werder added that Tebow will be given an opportunity to develop as a quarterback.
- The Patriots would be foolish to take Tom Brady off the field and to put Tebow in at quarterback in the Wildcat, or in goal line and short-yardage situations. Not only did Brady have the second-most red zone passing touchdowns of any quarterback over the past three years, but the Patriots were also the best team at converting on third-and-2 or less. They might be more foolish to line him up at tight end and expect him to block, which he's never done well, or catch passes, which he's never done at all. The experiment on special teams didn't work, either. Tebow's versatility is overplayed, at least to this juncture. For that reason, it's entirely likely the Patriots could cut Tebow before the season begins.
- Of course, it's never just about the role with Tebow. There's a whole element of outside scrutiny that comes with the move. As we all know, the Patriots don't like a lot of noise. Don't expect Tebow to be making a welcome press conference at Gillette Stadium any time soon, no matter how excited he is.
- Let it be understood that he will be utilized multiple spots as the Patriots try to figure out what the best role will be for him outside of his role as a backup quarterback. This way, it won't be breaking news every time he lines up at a different spot.
- Where do I put Tebow's chances of making the roster? I'd say 50 percent. Just so I can sit square on the fence until I see him play.
- Final thought: if there is any chance for Tebow to be successful in the NFL, it's with the Patriots. He didn't look capable of carrying out the various other roles the Jets had in mind for him last season, but if there's any other way he can be utilized, the Patriots will find it. Most importantly, it's a situation that allows him to be out of the media eye, because that's where he'll be kept. If he can develop as an NFL quarterback, this is the situation for it: with a future Hall of Fame passer, where he won't be expected to start for at least three to four years.
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