Tim Tebow Must Become Pocket Passer to Thrive with New England Patriots

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJune 17, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 11: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots practices during minicamp at Gillette Stadium on June 11, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Dual-threat quarterbacks are all the rage in the NFL right now, but if Tim Tebow is going to make his mark with the New England Patriots, he needs to become a pocket passer, first and foremost. 

Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are all capable of making huge plays with their legs. Running the football is a huge part of their games, but it's not the reason they've been able to make impressive debuts in the NFL.

All three young quarterbacks are just as capable of burning defenses with their arms than they are with their legs, which is why they are such dynamic players.

To this point in Tebow's career, he has yet to develop into a dynamic passer, which significantly lessens his effectiveness as a quarterback. 

Owning a famous 47.9 percent completion rate, Tebow has thrown more incompletions than completions during his NFL career thus far. Oftentimes, his passes are so ugly and far from the mark you'd swear a high school quarterback could do better. 

Opposing defenses aren't scared of being burned by pin-point passes downfield, and they crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run.

Of course, this strategy doesn't always work, as the Pittsburgh Steelers found out in the AFC Wild Card game a couple of years ago. More often than not during Tebow's career in the NFL, defenses have found success against him by loading the box to stop the run.

It's early in the proceedings for Tebow and the Patriots, but thus far we've seen encouraging signs of his improvement as a passer. 

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald recently reported Tebow had completed 10 of 16 passes in the first two days of minicamp, with at least two of the incompletions coming on drops by receivers. Additionally, many NFL insiders have recently commented on Tebow's improved mechanics and shortened delivery.

The former Heisman winner has been working hard to become a more complete player. It remains to be seen whether his hard work will pay dividends on the field during live action. 

When it's all said and done, Tebow's career in the NFL will be defined by his left arm—not his legs. He must learn to become a complete passer who can win games without leaving the pocket. This will force opposing defenses to cover the entire field, making his dual-threat abilities a real threat.


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