FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots’ most heralded backup quarterback, Tim Tebow, surprised observers by taking part in some of the team’s receiving drills during its first training camp practice.
The former New York Jet caught three passes, with no drops, exciting the crowd of fans at Gillette Stadium’s practice fields who could be heard cheering his name.
But when he was working at quarterback, he had a much more modest outing in practice. He finished the day going 6 for 10 with two interceptions in 11-on-11 drills. He was picked off by safety Nate Ebner and defensive end Chandler Jones.
Since Tebow’s arrival, he’s faced wild speculation on how the multi-skilled quarterback would be used.
“I’m just doing what I’m asked,” Tebow said. “But so far I’ve been strictly in the QB room.”
The former Florida Gator also addressed the topic of his former college teammate Aaron Hernandez, who is charged with the murder of a Dorchester man and is implicated in two other shootings.
“Well, it was heartbreaking and it was sad,” he said. “And me being advised, I’m sure you guys have heard it a bunch of times, I’m not to comment on an ongoing legal investigation. So I’m not going to comment further. But all my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families that were involved.
“I understand why you have to ask all the questions, that’s part of your job. Part of mine is listening to instruction and not commenting.”
Tebow did defend his college coach Urban Meyer, who has come under scrutiny for his handling of Florida’s football team discipline.
“I feel like coach Meyer is a great man, one of the best I’ve had the privilege of being around,” Tebow said. “He is someone that not only tries to win football games, he is someone that tries to invest in young men’s lives and help young men grow. He cares very deeply about that. And that’s one of the reasons I’m so close to him and why I’m proud of him.”
Beyond that, Tebow said he was focused on improving.
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