It is no secret that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels endorsed the signing of Tim Tebow. McDaniels, the coach of the Denver Broncos from 2009-2010, drafted Tebow with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. McDaniels contended on draft day that Tebow has “all the traits you look for in a player.”
McDaniels opted to start the veteran Kyle Orton over the rookie Tebow. The Broncos struggled immensely with Orton, losing nine of their first 12 games, costing McDaniels his job, as he could never mold Tebow into a player-maker.
Three years later, Tebow is a member of the Patriots training camp and has been denoted as the third-string quarterback. But, Tebow is participating in non-quarterback drills that Tom Brady and backup Ryan Mallett have not partaken in.
In one drill, Tebow catches a short pass from a quarterback and then attempts to juke a defender within a 15-yard rectangular box created by orange markers. Another drill forces Tebow to run down the field with the football while a defensive player trails him trying to force a fumble.
Reporters asked McDaniels why he opted to implement Tebow into these drills.
“Anybody that is a potential runner, that can actually do something with the ball in his hands — something good — we always put them [in the drill],” McDaniels said.
McDaniels later explained how Tim’s extensive aptitude as a player allows him to take part in a wide variety of drills.
“Again, certainly 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, or scramble with it when he has it in his hands. He’s just practicing his open-field running [and] I know the defensive guys enjoy the challenge of trying to get him to the ground.”
It is unknown exactly how McDaniels plans to use Tebow in the offense. McDaniels could use Tebow as a goal line and short-yardage situational runner. Tebow has the build and strength to earn the tough yards after contact.
McDaniels could implement the read-option on offense with Tebow. It is an arduous task tackling Tebow, making the option-attack an attractive option for the Patriots.
There has been some speculation that Tebow will not make the Patriots 53-man-roster come September. In the past five years, the Patriots have kept three quarterbacks on the roster just once. Nevertheless, with McDaniels in charge of the offense, Tebow has a great chance to stick around in New England. McDaniels believes in Tebow, making it likely that the former Heisman Trophy winner will be a Patriot for the duration of the 2013 NFL season.