When the New England Patriots signed Tim Tebow, they knew they weren’t getting a normal quarterback. In fact, they didn’t even know if they were getting a quarterback at all.
The talk after the signing was that Tebow could line up at positions like tight end, running back or even defensive end. Those thoughts have only been solidified by his abysmal passing performance so far in the preseason.
But the thing is, you can’t judge Tebow as a quarterback based solely on what we’ve seen so far in New England’s first two preseason games. We all knew that if you put Tebow in a traditional offense like the Patriots have done, he would struggle.
He doesn’t have a great arm and he doesn’t read defenses well. We knew this going into training camp, we didn’t need to see him badly miss receiver after receiver to remind us.
Now that he has reminded us he doesn’t have an NFL arm, the court of public opinion is ready to have him run out of town. But hopefully, the Patriots’ coaching staff isn’t. Hopefully, they knew going into the Tebow experiment that they would need to put him in his type of offense to get a true read on how good he can be in a New England uniform.
We’ve seen him be successful before. When he was with the Denver Broncos, he won games and took them to the second round of the playoffs. He was successful not because he learned how to be a traditional NFL passer, but because the Broncos stopped asking him to be one.
Instead, they tailored their offense to what he does best. So would the Patriots, if they needed him to win them games in the regular season.
Preseason games are just glorified practices. We hear this all the time, but it’s easy to forget when they look so much like real games.
So, when you watch Tebow struggle to complete passes running the same offense Tom Brady does, don’t forget that his value to the team would be much different if they were forced to turn their playbook upside down and let him do what he does best.