Anyone thinking that fate is pushing Tim Tebow to tight end this season has plenty of evidence to support this notion. However, it's still not going to happen. Head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are bound and determined to turn him into a competent quarterback.
The Boston Globe's Ben Volin reports "Ninety-nine percent of Tebow’s activity during his time with the Patriots has been spent learning to play quarterback in the team’s system."
If the Patriots had any notion of playing Tebow at a position other than quarterback, now would be the time to get him up to speed at those positions. And the logical thought would be that the Patriots would want to try him at tight end.
With the health concerns surrounding Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez no longer in the picture, per CBS Sports' Will Brinson, the Patriots' once-mighty tight end corps is a little suspect. No one has to tell quarterback Tom Brady this.
Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo passed along this quote, and the context, from Brady:
“Can you play? Do you have anything left?” Brady quipped to Steve Burton, a TV reporter in Boston whose father Ron played for the Boston Patriots. “Your dad was pretty good.”
While Brady was obviously joking, he also made his point: The Patriots could use a boost at tight end.
Yet, they still aren't giving Tebow any time at the position, and if they had any plans of using him as such, there would be no reason to hold off on getting him reps there.
It would be a steep learning curve for Tebow to be ready to receive any regular snaps at tight end or any other position. While his time at quarterback would prepare him for the types of routes he'd be running, that wouldn't help him learn the subtleties of running an effective route or catching the ball. And it would certainly not help him in blocking situations.
A few days ago, there was reason to think the Patriots would be exploring this possibility.
There was also this cryptic quote, provided by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, from Belichick: "I think we’ll use Tim where ever we feel like is best for the team. I know that’s what he’s committed to doing as well, whatever that is."
As for the practice reps that started the speculation, the Patriots offensive coordinator and man who was responsible for making Tebow a first-round draft choice with the Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels, offered, via Volin, this up:
He’s just practicing his open-field running. Matt Cassel and (Doug) Flutie and some of those other guys I’ve had a chance to coach, I think we did the same types of things with them. And again we know Tim has a skill set that some of these other guys don’t possess in terms of his ability to run with it, scramble with it when he has it in his hands.
I know the defensive guys enjoy the challenge of trying to get him to the ground, but I think it’s good for everybody. It’s a normal procedure we go through in training camp.
So there we have it. Tebow was only lining up in those drills to help hone his unique skill set as a quarterback. Now, we can all sit back and watch if the Patriots can help resurrect his career as a signal-caller.
I don't know if Tebow has a future in the NFL at quarterback, but I do know that being able to focus on playing quarterback will help him improve.