Both should help him remain on the roster beyond the preseason.
Work ethic is something that Tebow has always brought to the table. It's difficult to find anyone that would criticize the quarterback for not being a fierce enough competitor or putting in the work to be an NFL contributor.
However, it appears that Tebow's attitude toward playing positions other than quarterback has improved. According to a report from USA Today, head coach Patriots head coach Bill Belichick won't commit to using the former Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback exclusively:
"I think we'll use Tim wherever we feel like is best for the team...I know that's what he's committed to doing as well, whatever that is."
Unlike the 2012 season with the New York Jets, where Tebow was willing to help out but insisted that he was a quarterback, he appears to have become open to playing elsewhere in New England. According to USA Today, Tebow touched on playing other positions after his first camp practice with the team:
"I just do whatever I'm told... I'll work as hard as I possibly can to do the best job that I can with whatever I'm asked to do."
The slight change in heart is great news for Tebow's chances to make the Patriots' final roster heading into the regular season.
While his fans would certainly love to see him get the chance to play quarterback, there's a guy named Tom Brady already in place who happens to be decent, and Ryan Mallet appears to be the quarterback of the future as his backup. That doesn't bode well for his chances of proving he can play quarterback.
However, no coach is better at getting the most out of his players than Belichick, and he's already putting Tebow to work in drills at receiver and running back, per Albert Breer of NFL Network:
Tebow just a caught a ball from Mallett in a weird new drill I've never seen before. #AlertTheRubberneckers— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 26, 2013
Tebow's still catching passes ... Lining up with back and receivers in a (non-contact) tackling drill.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 26, 2013
Obviously, expecting Tebow to immediately play these positions is unlikely. After all, he'll be competing against players that have been playing the positions for years. But with the Patriots low on proven weapons, flashing potential as a developing tight end/running back/wide receiver could be enough to prove that he's worthy of a roster spot.
Tebow's days as a quarterback aren't gone yet, but if he can prove that he will provide value elsewhere on the field, it's his best ticket to play in New England.