Patriots coach Bill Belichick began the business of preparing his team for Sunday’s AFC East showdown against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium, which means preparing for the multiple threat posed by Tim Tebow, not only in New York’s offense but on special teams as well.
“They pretty much use him at every spot,” Belichick said during his weekly teleconference Tuesday morning. “He’s played more quarterback than anything else, but he’s also played running back and I would say tight end and he’s also played a little bit of receiver.
“They’ve put him in some different spots, but when he’s the quarterback, he’s the quarterback and he can run and he can throw. He can run the option, he can run their regular offense, he can run the Tebow-type plays that Denver ran last year or [offensive coordinator Tony] Sparano ran last year when he was [head coach] at Miami.
“So he gives them a lot of versatility when he’s in there on offense, but you have to be ready to deal with him at other positions as well. He’s a good runner, strong runner — very strong. Mobile in the pocket, smart player, can do a lot of different things, lot of different option plays, so you have to be aware when he’s in there.”
Belichick also cited Tebow’s presence in the kicking game.
“He’s dangerous because of his versatility, but it’s really no different than any other punting situation in that you still have to cover the eligible receivers,” Belichick said. “But you have to be alert for them to snap the ball to him, whether he runs up the middle, or runs on a sweep. But those are things you have to prepare for every week when you’re on the punt return unit.
“The fact that it’s him and he’s a big, strong guy who’s a good runner and can throw the ball, he can do a little more than a lot of guys who are back there,” Belichick said. “At the same time, those are the things you have to defend against every week.”