The uniform may change but the results remain the same. That's the perception, anyway. On Friday, Patriots third-string quarterback Tim Tebow completed one of his seven attempts for a whopping -1 yard. (Technically, Tebow was 2 for 7 -- one of his throws was intercepted.) But perceptions aren't reality, at least to hear Bill Belichick tell it; the New England coach sounded upbeat Monday about Tebow's progress.
"Oh yeah, definitely," Belichick said of Tebow's improvement as a quarterback (via ESPNBoston.com).
How much improvement is another matter.
With all games graded in preseason so far, top rated QB Drew Brees (+7.3). Lowest, Tim Tebow (-6.1)— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 19, 2013
“I think if you look at the entire week last week, it would look different than the game did,” Belichick continued. “In some cases, the game looked better for some players, and in some cases the game didn't look as good as some other things during the week. So we'll just have to take all that into consideration.”
Belichick was then asked this question:
Q: When you have a running quarterback like Tim Tebow, when you assess his decision-making and accuracy throwing the ball, do you sort of view that on a different curve than maybe a quarterback who wouldn't be a running quarterback, like a Tom [Brady] or [Ryan] Mallett?
Belichick's response: “I think the passing game is still the passing game," he said. "But all players have different skill sets. Some guys do some things better than others. You have to look at the total package and what they're able to do in all areas of the game. I think we see a lot of good quarterbacks in the NFL, they aren't all maybe the best passers but their ability to run and pass, and make plays however they make them -- … designed plays, scramble plays, whatever it is -- makes them a high-level player. I don't think there is one specific style you have to have, or don't have to have. In the end, it's about production and being able to do enough things to be successful.”
This comes a week after Belichick admitted that the Patriots would have to run two offenses with Tebow on the roster -- a conventional one for Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett, and a more run-oriented scheme for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“It's something that you have to look at with time management,” Belichick said. “The decisions that you make are important there. You don't want to waste time on something that doesn't benefit you, but at the same time, you want to be prepared for, and take advantage of the players' skills that you have.
“I don't think it's uncommon. We've had those types of things in our offense before. This is a little bit different, but we're not trying to reinvent the game or anything. We're just trying to take advantage of a particular player's skill, and that's no different than something we would do with a tight end, or a receiver or running back who has a skill that we want to try to take advantage of.”
Of course, none of this means anything about Tebow's chances of making the final 53, something Belichick also was asked about last week.
Belichick asked if he plans to keep Tebow on the 53 man roster. "That's not anything we're ready to talk about right now."— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 13, 2013