Of course, there were similar conversations two years ago when Kyle Orton was the incumbent in Denver and Tim Tebow was battling for the No. 2 job. That lasted six weeks into the season. Tebow replaced Orton (who was dreadful and deserved to be benched), the Broncos went 8-8, won the division, and beat the Steelers in the playoffs.
Tebow, who was traded to the Jets last offseason and released this April, is now in New England. It's a curious move, even for the nonconforming Bill Belichick, if for no other reason than this is a coach who abhors attention. (Yet here we are, two days into Tebow's tenure with the Pats and Belichick is wasting energy talking about a backup quarterback who doesn't yet know the offense.)
Mallett, meanwhile, appears unfazed by Tebowmania. In fact, he welcomes the competition.
"He's a great player," Mallett said of Tebow (via ESPNBoston.com). "There's always competition, at every position. It's part of the job."
There's also no guarantee that Tebow makes the final roster. In addition to all the questions about his ability to play the position in the NFL, the Pats carried just two quarterbacks last season.
"It's kind of unique how it's set up, but I think we have three great players in that room who have the ability to go out and help our team win games," Mallett said. "We get it done how we can."
Translated, "How we can" means "We'll go as far as Brady takes us." This isn't some grand revelation, but any storyline that doesn't involve Brady under center is a doomsday scenario for the Patriots' Super Bowl aspirations. This may explain why the future Hall of Famer seems indifferent to Tebow joining the roster.
“I don't worry about much these days," Brady said when asked if the media's obsession with Tebow might be a distraction. "I've been around long enough to see all different kinds of things happen -- trades, people being cut, guys joining the team and all the media attention, what happened in 2007, post Super Bowls, tough losses.
It comes with the territory," he continued. "So I think everyone is prepared to deal with some level of different things that happen on a daily basis and to be mentally tough enough to push through and still be able to do your job at a high level is most important. That's really what you owe the team – to show up every day and do your job the best you can.”