The jury is still out on whether or not Tim Tebow will have much of an impact on the New England Patriots offense, but there's no doubting that the popular quarterback can be used to benefit Bill Belichick's offensive attack.
The Pats made a bold move in free agency by acquiring the former Heisman Trophy winner, who has quietly become one of the most polarizing players in NFL history. The move made folks start scratching heads worldwide and invoked the inevitably controversial talk that constantly surrounds Tebow.
But after looking at New England's offensive attack and how it implements players, it doesn't seem too confusing at all.
Belichick is a master at bringing in players who fell out of favor at other stops in the league and turning them into important parts of his offense. He has also proven to have no problem implementing new pieces regularly—two things he'll need to turn Tebow into a relevant player in the NFL again.
Anyone who doubts that Tebow can still make an impact on a game didn't watch the second half of the 2011 season. His ability to win in the fourth quarter and will his team to wins was nothing short of inspiring and telling.
Led by Tebow and bruising back Willis McGahee, the Broncos had the league's top rushing attack that year. The dual-threat quarterback had 660 yards and six scores on the ground in 2011, while pitching a 2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio with 12 scores and six picks.
But what's important is how Tebow fits into Belichick's system. Only one word comes to mind: versatility.
From Kevin Faulk to Stevan Ridley to Wes Welker, versatile players have thrived in Foxboro. The more you can do and the more skills you have, the better.
It just so happens that we're talking about a 6'3", 240-pound specimen who is an incredible athlete and brings many different talents to the field.
The Pats are thin—all of a sudden—at tight end, after Rob Gronkowski can't stay out of surgery and Aaron Hernandez was recently released and may not be getting out of jail any time soon. And while the thought of Tebow playing at tight end will be shaken off, it can't be ignored that he perfectly fits the skill set of a player who could hold his own on the end of the line.
Even lining up beside Tom Brady for a couple of snaps a game will give the defense something to think about.
Tebow has the size to hold his own as a tight end or big-time blocker and has shown that he's not afraid to lay on big hits even as the Broncos quarterback. He runs the ball like a fullback yet has the legs to avoid tackles and stay on his feet.
The 25-year-old's game is tailor-made for short yards, as he's been unstoppable in college and throughout many NFL drives in picking up first downs in short-yardage situations. You know New England will be keeping Brady's head as clean as possible, and it knows that Tebow loves to put his head down.
His hard-working style should fit right into the Patriots locker room. After the way the past year-and-a-half has gone, he's probably happy just to be in an NFL locker room.
Inevitably, Tebow's tenure in New England will work one of two ways—he'll contribute or he won't. It all has to do with the amount of playing time Belichick decides to give the former Florida standout.
But if we don't see much of Tebow in the first few weeks, don't write off the project altogether. For the 2013 season, Belichick will have a very athletic, ulta-versatile player in his back pocket ready to pick up first downs and short yards.