Tim Tebow could play tight end in addition to quarterback
Tim Tebow reportedly will sign with the New England Patriots and report to the team’s minicamp on Tuesday. Call us crazy, but we don’t anticipate the former Heisman Trophy winner will take the starting quarterback job from Tom Brady.
So, what kind of role will Tebow have on New England if the QB spot is occupied by a future Hall of Famer? He probably will work as much more than just a quarterback.
ESPN’s Ed Werder, who first reported news of the signing, said on SportsCenter that Tebow signed with the Pats with the intention of playing quarterback. Werder says Tebow does not want to change positions, not even for New England. He says the move was made for Tebow to continue developing as a quarterback, especially by working with Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. However, Werder does think Tebow could be active on gamedays if he plays special teams and learns tight end.
CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman says he has heard the plan is for Tebow to “study a great deal at tight end.” CBS’ Jason La Canfora shares similar thoughts. He says “Belichick will find creative ways” to use Tebow, and that if Tebow is active on gamedays, it will likely be in a hybrid role.
Also keep in mind that tight end Rob Gronkowski is recovering from back and forearm surgeries and might not be ready when the season begins.
The Patriots are an extremely creative team on offense. They will spread out defenses with several receivers. They frequently use multiple tight end sets (especially when Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are both healthy). And they also mix up their backs, whether it’s power guys like BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the past (and LeGarrette Blount in the future) or scat backs like Danny Woodhead in the past (and Leon Washington in the future).
Here’s the thing: we’re not expecting Tebow to be a full-time quarterback or tight end. He may play some quarterback, he may play wildcat QB in some packages, he may play special teams, and he may take carries as a fullback or catch passes as a tight end. Tebow is a legitimate weapon in short-yardage situations, and he is a good player to have for special teams. The Patriots will be wise to use Tebow in those roles in order to take advantage of his strengths.