The media analyzes every decision he makes while under center. Whether that is fair or not, it’s the reality of the situation. When he was acquired by the Pats this offseason, the questions began swirling how the Patriots would use him in their super-efficient, high-speed offense.
He obviously isn’t going to dethrone Tom Brady as the starting quarterback, and he most likely won’t give Ryan Mallet a run for his money as backup. So what exactly can the Patriots do with Tebow?
Tebow has said that he wants to help the Pats win any way he can. While that might not be at quarterback, he just wants to play. The most productive way to utilize Tebow in a game situation is short yardage on second down.
Let me be clear: This is very unlikely, but this is the most logical time for him to see the field. On 2nd-and-1, for example, the playbook is wide open. Tebow can come in for read-option plays, play-action, or even QB runs designed to help pick up first downs.
So why not bring him in on short plays on third or fourth down too? Well, at one point last year Tom Brady had successfully converted 20 straight third or fourth down-and-ones.
The Patriots have also been decimated at tight end this offseason. With the indictment of Aaron Hernandez and the multiple surgeries to Rob Gronkowski, Tebow could help fill a void as a tight end or in an h-back role. With the emergence of rookie TE Zach Sudfeld, however, and with Tebow’s unproven catching ability, this also seems very unlikely.
Thus far in the preseason Tebow has failed to impress, putting up abysmal numbers in the first two games. Week 1 against the Eagles he went 4-of-12 for 55 yards, while adding 31 rushing yards on four attempts. Against the Buccaneers in Week 2, he went 1-of-7 for -1 yards with one interception and 30 yards rushing on six attempts.
Tebow is a born winner yes, but, if he continues to play the way he has this preseason his career in New England may be over sooner than he expects. There is still time for Tebow to improve, and as a natural leader he could be an asset in the locker room, but don’t be surprised if Tebow is cut by the Patriots come the regular season.