5 Creative Ways the New England Patriots Can Use Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow couldn’t have asked for a better situation. Once the shock wore off that New England had indeed signed the media-created sensation, it started to make all the sense in the world.
For the first time in his career, Tebow will actually have the ability to sit and learn what it takes to be a real starting quarterback in the NFL. For the first time in his career, Tebow actually has an organization behind him. For the first time in his career, Tebow will actually be able to hone his technique behind a plethora of talented offensive minds.
By making the above statement, I am indicating that Brady actually works with his backup quarterbacks to make them better players. First it was Matt Cassel and more recently it was Ryan Mallett. In reality, Brady understands full well that his role as a team leader and one of the best quarterbacks of our generation means taking on added responsibilities.
In short, Brady will help Tebow a great deal.
All that said, there is no way that Tebow gets on the field at the quarterback position on a consistent basis this upcoming season. Not noticed in all the media hoopla is that he is New England’s third-string quarterback. Unless New England finds other ways to utilize him, Tebow is unlikely to actually suit up on Sundays.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five different ways that the Patriots can actually use Tebow this upcoming season.
1. Special Teams
You will be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Tebow doesn't play his heart out on every single snap. His passion for life and for the game of football could act as a rallying cry for youngsters everywhere.
It's also this type of mentality that makes him a great option on special teams. You know, the player without a great amount of talent, but an extreme passion to play the game he loves.
Tebow's size indicates that he'd be a solid lead blocker in the return game or even an enforcer on kick coverage units. His 6'3" and 245-pound frame matches up well with some of the better all-around special teams players in the NFL.
This makes too much sense not to happen. While Tebow has been opposed to switching positions, I am pretty sure he'll do what it takes to actually get on the field this upcoming season. Considering that Brady, outside of one season, is one of the most durable quarterbacks in the league, the possibility that Tebow plays quarterback often in 2013 is remote.
2. Lead Blocker
Why not? Just imagine Tebow as the lead blocker in front of Stevan Ridley. That's about 470 pounds of muscle for opposing defenses to have to take on in the running game.
New England's offense has changed a great deal from the past. It averaged 33 rush attempts per game in 2012, compared to just 27 the previous season. Anything it can do to make a growing running game that much stronger would only help Brady and the passing game.
At this point, there are more questions about the Patriots passing game than their rushing attack. Short of adding a top-tier talent via the trade market, New England will have question marks as it relates to its receivers.
If that's the case, why not make its running game that much stronger? Tebow has the size, build and toughness to take on a lead-blocking role at times this season. This is likely the best way he will help the Patriots in 2013.
Sport Science just did a special on how good Tim Tebow is on the goal line. Congrats, he would be a great fullback.— Rob Goldberg (@TheRobGoldberg) September 9, 2012
All jokes aside, there is no reason to believe that Tebow can't play this role on a part-time basis. Everything that I have seen on tape dating back to his days with Florida leads me to believe that he'd actually excel in this role.
3. Tight End
The embedded video might not give us a great idea of how Tebow could transition to tight end, but it does seem that at least a handful of NFL teams have flirted with the idea.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com filed the following report back in April:
League sources told the New York Post on Monday that the few teams interested in Tebow would only consider a trade if he was open to playing tight end as his primary position. According to the Post, Tebow isn't ready to entertain the possibility of a switch.
Tebow has been dead set against the idea of a full-scale position switch, but playing another position in order to get on the field might be a different issue in of itself.
For what it is worth, Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez would like to see Tebow be given a shot at playing this position, via NESN.com.
"I don’t know,” Hernandez said when asked if Tebow could play tight end. “But it would be good to see him out there."
It's at least worthy of consideration. Why not try him out at tight end during training camp and see what comes of it? At worst, New England will come to the conclusion that his prototypical build doesn't necessarily make Tebow a natural fit to play tight end.
4. Running Back
One of the first things that caught the attention of college football fans during Tebow's career at Florida was just how good he was running the ball. The Gators were still able to get Tebow on the field despite the fact that they had Chris Leak under center as the regular starter.
Part of getting him on the field meant utilizing the run/pass option. Tebow tallied 164 rushing yards in his first three games of regular action as a freshman. During that span, he attempted just nine passes.
Overall, Tebow ran for nearly 3,000 yards and 57 touchdowns against some of the best defenses the nation had to offer in the SEC. His 23 rushing touchdowns in 2007 was also a primary reason that Tebow won the Heisman Trophy.
Needless to say, he has a ton of experience running the ball.
It's easy to envision a scenario where Tebow actually acts as the Patriots' short-yardage back—a complement of sorts to Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in the running game.
New England did acquire LeGarrette Blount in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April, but he can easily be beaten out in training camp if Tebow is given a chance to cradle the rock.
This could also help what was one of the best red-zone offenses in the NFL this past season. Give Brady more first downs and he will become as lethal as any quarterback in the league, once again.
5. Play Him at Quarterback
Tebow hasn't really been put in the best situation as it relates to learning the nuances of playing quarterback in the NFL. Denver Broncos vice president John Elway made the decision to move on from him while he was still leading the club to postseason victories.
This was an indication that the Broncos didn't trust Tebow to morph into a regular starter in the NFL. As a result, Denver never really worked with Tebow to fix his mechanics and throwing motion.
As you already know, the New York Jets brought him on to be more of a sideshow than anything. They didn't plan on playing him much at quarterback, which was evidenced by the eight passes he attempted in his only season in New Jersey.
Again, Tebow really didn't have someone to work with him on his mechanics.
Without risking what would seem like a foolish comparison, just take a look at Colin Kaepernick's transition into a raw quarterback to someone who led San Francisco to the Super Bowl.
If you were able to watch any of Kaepernick's preseason games last August, you'd notice that he was nowhere near ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. His throwing motion was rather extended, he lacked a comfortable feel in the pocket, and he struggled reading defenses.
Fast-forward just a few short months and Kaepernick looked like an entirely new quarterback. In between August and October the young quarterback worked extensively with head coach Jim Harbaugh as well as a plethora of other talented minds on San Francisco's coaching staff.
The end result was one of the most surprising performances for a young quarterback in the recent history of the league. Postseason included, Kaepernick tallied 22 total touchdowns compared to five interceptions in just 10 starts.
While I fully understand that Tebow doesn't possess the same talent level as Kaepernick, he hasn't been given the same opportunity as his counterpart in Northern California.
He will get this opportunity in New England.
Say what you want about offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but he worked extremely well with Matt Cassel a few seasons back and is considered something of a quarterback guru.
In addition, Brady hasn't been opposed to helping his understudies improve their mechanics in practice and during training camp.
Why not give Tebow every opportunity to take reps in training camp this upcoming August? Brady won't need those reps as much as other quarterbacks in the NFL do. Additionally, Ryan Mallett has already proven he has the practice aspect of the game down pat.
I would love to see the Patriots give Tebow an extensive look at quarterback in the preseason. I am talking about him taking first-team reps on a consistent basis.
If the Patriots handle this situation right, we will notice a dramatic improvement in Tebow's mechanics by the end of the exhibition slate. It also won't impact Brady's ability to hit the ground running against Buffalo in Week 1.
This is a match made in heaven for both sides.
Tebow won't be relied on to play regularly this season. He can sit back and learn from the best that the game has to offer. This doesn't mean that the Patriots shouldn't utilize his talents at times. He has the physical ability and build to play a plethora of positions.
New England might just be smart enough to understand this, while still teaching
No. 15 No. 5 how to actually play quarterback in the NFL.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
Go ahead and give him a follow on Twitter @VincentFrankNFL.
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