Nine minutes. That's how long Bill Belichick's news conference lasted on Tuesday, the same day that it was announced the Patriots signed Tim Tebow. And as you might expect, the New England coach was his usual cheerful self. Don't be fooled though: that was one of the most Belichickian press conferences you'll ever see, and it's why Tebowmania could finally die down in Foxborough.
Tebow's own press conference when he was announced as the backup quarterback for the Jets lasted approximately 30 minutes longer. And it was WAY more revealing.
"Anything we do is what we think is in the best interest of the team," Belichick said when asked about the signing of Tebow. "Tim's a talented player who's smart and works hard. So ... we'll see how it goes."
Was there any consideration to the spectacle that Tebow brings with him?
"None. We try to do what's best for the team."
But what position will he play, Bill?
"We're going to do what we think is best for our football team," Belichick said when asked what position Tebow would play.
How about special teams? GIVE US SOMETHING, MAN.
"We'll see. I don't know."
It went on like this for nine awkward, awesome, f--- you minutes. Kind of. You could see when Belichick decided to flip the switch on the media and completely shut it off. Asked about the media crush and further distractions related to Tebow, Belichick pointed out
"Hopefully there will be more than that at the games on Sunday," Belichick sort of joked when asked about Tebow being a distraction.
Then it sounded like a nonregular media member asked about "Tebowing" and Belichick dropped the line that will resonate for as long as Tebow's on the roster, emphasis mine.
"I think we've already talked enough about him," Belichick said. "We'll see how he does and we'll go from there."
The reporter tried to press him and find out about Belichick's personal belief on Tebowing and apparently didn't see the stone wall until it hit him in the face.
"Yeah, I think I've covered it," Belichick said. "Anything else?"
There was more! The media kept asking questions about Tebow by circumventing actual Tebow-related questions. For instance, has Belichick talked to Urban Meyer?
How long will it take a player to learn the system?
"You can do the math. I don't know."
Do you want to talk about the media reports that you hated Tim as a player?
"I don't have anything to add."
Have you studied Tim and the adjustments he needs to make?
"We'll see how it goes."
How much does Josh [McDaniels] past work with Tebow help?
"I don't know."
One of the all-time greatest coaches in NFL history couldn't have been any grumpier. But that was the beauty of it -- Belichick's approach to the media is what can make this experiment work.
No one's going to repeatedly send throngs of media to Patriots practices and media sessions so they can print "I don't know" a bunch of times. Eventually everyone's going to find out what a lot of us already know: Bill Belichick press conferences are brutal if you're looking for interesting quotes.
Tebow's not going to talk with the media much and the Patriots are going to figure out a way to choke off the interest in their potential third-string quarterback. That's the way it should be and it's the only way this will work.