Tim Tebow makes Case for New England to keep Him

tom-brady-patriotsUp until last night’s preseason game against the New York Giants, Tim Tebow had given New England very little reason to keep him. The former Heisman Trophy winner was just 5-for-17 with 54 passing yards, no touchdowns, 1 interception, and a few other passes that could’ve been picked.

Given these numbers and the fact that he saw no action against the Detroit Lions in the Patriots’ third preseason game, many saw this as a telltale sign that he wouldn’t survive cuts. But maybe some opinions will change after how Tebow performed against the Giants.

Now let’s establish right away that this was no earth-shattering performance which foreshadowed a promising QB ready to take the reigns from Tom Brady. But it’s possible that he may have earned a spot on the 53-man roster after completing 6-of-11 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

Playing the whole second half, Tebow connected with Quentin Sims on a 54-yard touchdown pass. The throw was a little high, but Sims found a way to pull the ball in and run another 38 yards into the end zone. This duo wasn’t finished yet because, with 6 seconds left in the game, Tebow found Sims for a 9-yard TD on a nice fade route. On this particular throw, the former Florida Gators star actually looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback.

tom-brady-patriots-1However, there were also plays that weren’t so pretty. Tebow wasn’t always so quick to find his receivers, he held the ball too long, and was sacked four times early in the second half. He also tossed one pick after throwing down the sideline into coverage. This one mistake didn’t erase an otherwise decent performance, but it was an ugly throw nonetheless.

Now Bill Belichick and his coaching staff will pit the pros against the cons and decide if Tebow is worth keeping as a project quarterback. On most teams, Tebow would be kept since the majority of the NFL likes to have three QB’s on the roster. But Belichick has sometimes only kept two signal callers in the past, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he did so this time around too. Brady is the star while Ryan Mallet will no doubt be his immediate backup should an injury happen.

As for Tebow, he tried his best last night to convince Belichick that New England should keep a third QB. He’s also a very coachable player who’s willing to make sacrifices and do what’s asked of him. Plus he has a proven track as a winner, having won two national titles at Florida and boasting an 8-6 record as an NFL starter.

These factors will all be weighed going into this weekend, when Tebow and many other fringe players throughout the league find out if they made final cuts.

Will the New England Patriots keep Tim Tebow?

tim-tebow-patriotsEver since Tim Tebow signed with the New England Patriots this summer, we at GTBets.eu have been having some fun with prop bets. From time to time, we’ve been running lines on what kind of numbers he’ll put up this season. But if his preseason debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is any indication, Tebow might have trouble even making the 53-man roster.

With Tom Brady sitting out due to a tweaked knee and No. 2 quarterback Ryan Mallet leaving early with a head injury, Tebow got quite a bit of playing time. Unfortunately, he didn’t make good use of the increased time after completing just 1-of-7 pass attempts for -1 yard, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.

The stats may not even do Tebow’s miserable performance justice since he looked awful on the field. The Patriots’ current No. 3 quarterback threw an ugly ball over the head of intended receiver Kenbrell Thompkins which was picked off. He also had a couple of other passes that were close to being intercepted.

tim-tebow-patriots-1If there were any positives to Tebow’s first preseason outing, it was the fact that he ran four times for 31 yards. However, from a pocket passer standpoint, he certainly has some improvement ahead of him.

Despite how badly he threw the ball, the Florida product remained optimistic about how he’s developing. “I feel like I’m improving every day and you know, growing and learning, and learning the offense,” Tebow said. “That’s what it’s about – every day trying to get a little better.” Head coach Bill Belichick also backed up this assertion. When asked if his third-string QB was improving, Belichick said “Absolutely.”

So does any of this add up to Tim Tebow brushing off his terrible statline against the Buccaneers and landing a spot on the Patriots? Odds are that yes, he will make the cut before the roster is finalized in a couple of weeks.

A big reason why is due to the fact that New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been in love with Tebow since his days as the Denver Broncos’ head coach. McDaniels made the highly-controversial decision to take Tebow with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Sadly, he wasn’t around to see his first round pick shine because he was fired after starting the 2010 season with a 3-9 record.

tim-tebowThe Broncos were forced to turn to Tebow in 2011, after Kyle Orton led the team to a dismal 1-4 start. The result was an 8-3 regular season finish that saw No. 15 throw for 1,729 yards, 12 TD’s, 6 INT’s, and rush for 660 yards and 6 TD’s. The Broncos also won a Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, before having their season ended by New England in the Divisional round.

As can be seen, Tim Tebow does have experience winning games, though it’s not always the prettiest thing to watch. And this will definitely earn him some points when New England is making their final cuts. Plus, if Brady and Mallet were unable to play for some reason, it’s likely that Belichick would tailor the Patriots’ offense around Tebow, much like Denver did.

Of course, this is all assuming that Tebow shows enough in the final two preseason games to prove that he can play QB at this level. The Tampa Bay game certainly wasn’t good, but he still has some chances left.

2014 NFL Prop Bets: Tim Tebow catching Passes

tim-tebow-patriotsAs we’ve discussed before, the New England Patriots went from being one of the deepest and most talented teams at the tight end position, to having a myriad of question marks. They quickly dropped Aaron Hernandez just before he was arrested for first degree murder. And this may not have been such a huge blow to the position, had Rob Gronkowski not been sidelined with back surgery.

There’s still no timetable for Gronk’s return and he’s currently on the PUP list. And with one star tight end gone and another still injured, media members have continually pushed the idea of Tim Tebow playing tight end. And these rumors have launched a series of 2014 NFL prop bets regarding Tebow, including some off-and-on-again wagers offered by GTBets.eu.

At first the tight end rumors were all but laughed off by Bill Belichick, who’s insisted that he had little interest in using Tebow at this spot. However, training camp has brought a different answer to the question of the Florida product’s future position since he was seen catching passes. Albert Breer, who’s covering the Patriots for the NFL Network, tweeted the following:

Tebow just a caught a ball from Mallett in a weird new drill I’ve never seen before. #AlertTheRubberneckers

tim-tebow-patriots-1Catching some passes on the first day of training camp may not mean that Tebow is destined to see time as a tight end. After all, most experts merely think that New England is taking him on as a project number three quarterback behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallet. But then again, Tebow has always played a hybrid QB role in the past, so questions are bound to arise now that he’s working with receivers and running backs.

Don’t count on Belichick answering any of these questions though. When asked about the matter, he gave a run-of-the-mill coach’s comment. “I think that we’ll use Tim wherever we feel like he’s best for the team, and I know that’s what he’s committed to doing as well, whatever that is.”

It’s difficult to say who’ll actually suit up for New England at their previously productive tight end position(s) come September. As mentioned before, Gronkowski is most likely out for most of the early regular season. And if Tebow steps in to fill some snaps here, it would definitely boost his production and make NFL prop bets on him a more intriguing endeavor.

What will the New England Patriots do with Tim Tebow?

tim-tebowJust last month, reports surfaced that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick “hates” Tim Tebow as a player. Given all of the unwarranted animosity towards Tebow by the rest of the NFL, it didn’t seem like a far-fetched story.

But just days ago, Belichick came out and said that the reports of him hating Tebow’s game were completely false. “I wouldn’t get into the probability of us pursuing any free agent. Every single player has strengths and weaknesses but regardless of that, for anyone to have represented that is the way I feel about Tim Tebow is completely untrue, baseless and irresponsible,” Belichick told ESPN. “It is unfortunate that something so inaccurate was reported.”

Perhaps this statement foreshadowed what was later to come as Belichick and the Patriots signed Tebow to a deal. This is a very interesting move, given that some people wondered if any NFL teams would even want the former New York Jets backup quarterback.

tim-tebow-1The Patriots current offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, probably had a lot to do with convincing the New England organization to sign Tebow. After all, McDaniels got Denver to draft the Florida product in the first round. And now that the Patriots have Tebow, the question is what they’ll do with him.

Last year, the Jets claimed that they were going to use number 15 quite a bit in Wildcat packages. But in reality, he rarely saw the field and generated just 75 passing yards and 102 rushing yards throughout 2012. Given what happened in New York, the Patriots aren’t making any guarantees about Tebow’s playing time or role with the team.

Belichick said, “Tim is a talented player, is smart and works hard. We’ll see how it goes.” When asked about what position he’ll play, Belichick added, “We will see.”

One thing that has been revealed about Tebow is how he’s been signed as a quarterback. He’ll compete with Ryan Mallett and any free agent(s) the Patriots bring in for the two backup spots behind Tom Brady. New England cut third-string QB Mike Kafka on Monday, thus giving Tim a better opportunity to make the roster.

Divisional Playoffs - Denver Broncos v New England PatriotsAssuming he makes it, Tebow won’t have to worry about the pressure of fans calling for him to start like in New York. Brady is arguably the NFL’s best quarterback and is completely solid in his role. This is a different story from the Jets’ Mark Sanchez, whose shaky play caused a controversy when some fans thought that Tebow should start.

Since he obviously won’t be starting, some people think that the former Broncos and Jets QB was brought in to handle short yardage duties. However, it’s worth mentioning that Brady has the best QB sneak percentage on both third-and-short and fourth-and-short situations since 2006. He’s converted 97.8% of his attempts, which is far higher than second place David Garrard (91.7%), who retired this offseason.

Another thought is that, given the Patriots’ injuries to the tight end position last year, they could use Tebow here. Sure he has nothing on Aaron Hernandez or Rob Gronkowski because they’re two of the NFL’s top tight ends, But if they were to miss significant time again, some believe that Tebow could step in and provide help.

Belichick isn’t entirely above doing this since he’s used wide receivers Troy Brown, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater as defensive backs. But making the switch from backup quarterback to tight end is a little more of a leap, and Tebow may not be quite as good as somebody who’s trained for this position their whole life.

In the end, signing Tebow seems like more of a development move than anything. Belichick and McDaniels are great at taking projects and shaping them into usable on-field talent. Tim Tebow is still young enough to where he could be groomed and take over for Brady – or at least be trade bait – if his throwing mechanics significantly improve. And if this doesn’t work out, well then, the Patriots can simply cut their losses like they did with Chad Johnson and Albert Haynsworth.

Is This Finally It for Mark Sanchez in New York?

mark-sanchezWhen the New York Jets selected Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, they thought he’d be their quarterback of the future. And after leading the Jets to AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two seasons, it seemed as though Sanchez might live up to the hype.

But here we are in the present, and New York has now missed the playoffs for two straight seasons. Last year was particularly bad after the Jets limped to a 6-10 record and lost 7 out of their last 11 games. Sanchez certainly wasn’t a bright spot in this season either as he had his worst year since being a rooke; the USC product threw for 2,883 yards, 13 TD’s, 18 INT’s and fumbled 14 times.

Perhaps most telling of Sanchez’s performance was when he got benched in favor of seventh round draft pick Greg McElroy late in the year. But 2013 will bring a fresh season and a new opportunity for Sanchez to prove he’s worthy of that fifth round selection from four years ago. So are the prospects good for the five-year veteran returning to his 2010 and 2011 form? Let’s take a look at what’s going on with him lately.

Poor Practice

mark-sanchez-1If Mark Sanchez was on a road to redemption, he took a U-turn right out of the gate. During the Jets’ recent organized team activity, Sanchez tossed three interceptions in just 15 snaps. His overall day wasn’t bad since he completed 6 of 11 passes; however, the three interceptions is impossible for head coach Rex Ryan to overlook.

“It’s a good thing defense makes the plays, but no, I’d rather him not turn the ball over once,” Ryan told USA Today. “It’s funny, because you look at the practice and he did a lot of great things and then those negative things. At the end of the day, that’s what gets you beat. And so we’ve got to do a better job of eliminating those turnovers.”

Ryan continued by saying, “That’s going to be the pressure that we’re putting on him. It’s not that you try to cover up the fact you had some bad plays – no, no, no you flat tell him. We can’t have these and all that type of stuff. He knows.”

Losing the Team

geno-smithDuring Sanchez’s previous struggles, he could always count on the support of his teammates. This was evident when media members and fans suggested that he be benched in favor of Tim Tebow last year – a point which had many Jets players rushing to defend Sanchez.

However, coming out of the recent three-interception OTA performance, the mood seems to have changed. CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman actually talked to an anonymous Jets player who claimed “80-90 percent of the team” thought Sanchez should be benched.

“Everyone on the team likes Mark personally but there’s a general feeling among some of the players that maybe it’s time to give someone else a chance,” said the anonymous player.

Understudy or Successor?

Once a lock to be the first quarterback off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith was the second QB taken and fell to the Jets at pick number 39. And while being an early second round pick is pretty good, it doesn’t guarantee you anything in your rookie season.

However, with the way Sanchez has performed, Smith will at least get a crack at the starting QB role. The Jets organization was impressed with his rookie minicamp performance and truly believes in his talent. That said, a strong preseason could thrust the West Virginia alumni into the first string.

On the other hand, New York is believed to be in a rebuilding year and putting Smith out there right away could be counterproductive to the future. Most believe that the Jets have no real chance of making the playoffs, so they’ll merely try to restock talent and ween rookies into the mix.

So taking all of this into account, Mark Sanchez may get one more year to be the starter in New York. However, Smith and/or McElroy will taking some snaps if things get too ugly.

Tim Tebow hated by Belichick, Rest of NFL

tim-tebowIn theory, Tim Tebow embodies what the stereotypical pro athlete/role model is supposed to be: hard-working, selfless, team-oriented and a proven winner. Nevertheless, this rare combination has earned Tebow nothing but disrespect and contempt from the majority of the NFL.

Terrell Suggs called him “terrible.” Kordell Stewart said Tebow playing QB is a “slap in the face” to other great quarterbacks. Most recently, Bill Belicheck said he “hates” Tebow as a player. Even his own teammates turned on him as anonymous Jets players completely ripped number 15.

tim-tebow-1The borderline hatred that this collection of high-profile NFL names have spewed generally reflects what the entire league thinks of Tebow. Players, coaches and the media despise the constant attention he receives and feel as if his mere presence on an NFL roster cheapens the profession. Furthermore, they can’t stand the media circus that accompanies Tebow wherever he goes.

So is all of the hate and disrespect warranted? The truth is that Tebow has never really done anything wrong from a moral standpoint. But his peers have tired of the clean-shaven, straight-laced, Captain America persona he emits. Furthermore, they can’t stand his cult-like following or how he practically rubs religion in the world’s face. But above all, it’s Tebow’s awkward, unconventional style and awful throwing mechanics that has the talking heads bashing his every move.

tim-tebow-2In the eyes of media members and coaches, there’s nothing more wrong than Tim Tebow throwing a football. His accuracy is bad, the delivery is off, and he can’t find anybody downfield. But through it all, Tebow has found success…when he’s actually seen the field.

After the Denver Broncos defied logic by taking Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the devout Christian responded by throwing for 654 yards, 5 TD’s, 3 INT’s, and rushing for 227 yards and another 6 TD’s in three starts.

The following season was even better as he took over a 1-4 team and led them to the playoffs. During this dream run, Tebow passed for 1,729 yards, 12 TD’s, 6 INT’s, and ran for 660 yards and 6 TD’s. Perhaps more important than all of this is that he actually led Denver to a playoff victory – something which even Peyton Manning didn’t do.

tim-tebow-3The only time that Tebow didn’t manufacture wins was in New York, where he warmed the bench for Mark Sanchez. For all of the hype surrounding Tebow entering 2012, he produced a measly 75 passing yards, 102 rushing yards and zero touchdowns.

Many fans called for Tebow to see the field after Sanchez struggled mightily in a season that saw him produce 13 TD’s, 18 INT’s, 14 fumbles and a 54.3% completion rate. But when it came time to replace the inconsistent Sanchez, it was seventh round draft pick Greg McElroy calling the signals – not Tebow.

After the failed experiment in New York, Tim Tebow is a free agent looking for his next home. However, the question is, who will give him another shot?

Much of the league seems to be anti-Tebow, so his available choices are quite limited. With Belichick not a fan of his play, perhaps the San Francisco 49ers or Jacksonville Jaguars could be potential stops for Tebow. The Niners are a good option because they already have an unquestioned starter in Colin Kaepernick – unlike the Jets with Sanchez – and Tebow wouldn’t come in with any expectations.

In Jacksonville, Tebow could even see significant playing time because the Jags have no clear starting QB. Plus this is right in his backyard, near where he starred with the Florida Gators.

Whatever the case may be, it’ll be interesting to see what NFL team, if any, decides to take on the Tim Tebow experiment.