If you have been following Tim Tebow’s first training camp with the New England Patriots, you have likely heard the chatter about him catching passes and participating in running drills. Many people — myself included — have wondered if that means the Patriots intend to use Tebow at a position other than quarterback. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels says that is not the case.
According to McDaniels, Tebow has taken part in ball-carrier drills because he is a scrambling quarterback.
“He’s just practicing his open-field running,” McDaniels told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “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.”
Of course, you never know with the Patriots. McDaniels could be under strict orders to tell the media that Tebow is only being used as a quarterback even if it’s untrue. Or maybe the initial reports about Tebow competing for a backup job were more accurate than those that speculated he would be used as a tight end.
“He’s put in a lot of time and effort to improve his individual skill set to play the position of quarterback in our offense, and I think every day is a learning tool for him,” McDaniels added.
Tebow has reportedly been very shaky throwing the ball in his first few practices, so he likely has a lot of work to do if he wants to prove to the coaching staff that he’s deserving of a roster spot. If the former Florida Gator is only vying for a quarterback position, it would likely be third string behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett. Bill Belichick rarely carries three quarterbacks.