As the entire world knows by now, Tim Tebow is going to sign with the New England Patriots. There has already been a ton of speculation about the role Tebow will play with the team; is he a third-quarterback or does he finally relent and move to tight end for example?
The sentiment or thought of all he has to do is change positions has always bothered me; it’s frankly an insult to all of the tight ends that have worked their whole lives to get to the NFL. Please understand this is not a shot at Tebow, but it’s not as simple as just changing positions.
Does anyone even know if Tebow can catch? We know he can’t block as evidenced by his efforts as the punt protector with the New York Jets in 2012. Even if he can catch, that doesn’t mean Tebow can play the position. Can he run routes or can he handle a blitzing linebacker? I’m not even saying he can’t do it, but let’s not pretend that all Tebow has to do is move to tight end and all of the sudden he will be playing every down.
As for a potential move to fullback, the same questions exist. Yes, Tebow has the size to play the position, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to go flying through a hole with his head down trying to blow up a middle linebacker. As with tight ends, the fullbacks in the NFL have been doing this for a while.
Tebow struggles picking up the blitz as a quarterback, but he is all of a sudden going to be able to read defenses better as a tight end or fullback? Rookies who have been playing those respective positions their whole lives often don’t play in their rookie season because of their inability to pass protect. It’s foolish to assume Tebow can just move positions and make the Patriots roster.
Now to the Patriots’ credit, they’ve said that Tebow is coming in as a quarterback and they will work with him. It’s possible that Tebow could play in some different packages at times, but to suggest he can all of a sudden change positions and be successful is an unrealistic expectation.
The Patriots are well known for their ability to get the most out of players, but there’s a difference between a linebacker lining up as a tight end for one play and a quarterback changing positions.
As a fan of the Denver Broncos and someone who enjoyed the magical ride of 2011, I hope Tebow succeeds and the Patriots are the perfect fit for him. However, if he is going to make it in the NFL, it has to be as a quarterback. That’s what he has played his whole life, and that’s what he will be with the Patriots.
Maybe Tebow will eventually succeed and maybe he won’t, but it will be his play as a quarterback that ultimately answers that question.
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