Tim Tebow’s best chance to be an NFL quarterback will come Thursday night in the New England Patriots’ final preseason game.
It may be his last chance, too, but Tebow, who survived the Patriots’ first round of cuts Monday, isn’t considering that.
“I’m just focused on today,” he said after practice Monday afternoon. “[It's] just another game. You focus not even on that game, but preparing for that game, focus on today, the install and having a good practice.”
Unless Bill Belichick pulls a Rex Ryan and puts Tom Brady into the game (he won’t) against the New York Giants, Tebow is likely to get a ton of playing time in which to convince Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels that he belongs on the team. If his preseason performance is any guide, that will be difficult. He has completed 9 of 24 passes and thrown one interception in two preseason appearances.
“I learned very early on in my career at [the University of] Florida to worry about what I can control,” he said. “And the things that I can’t control, I’m not going to spend time worrying about. But I can control my attitude, my effort, my focus every single day, and those are things I’m going to worry about.”
With the Patriots, there’s always an X factor, though. Have Belichick and McDaniels cooked up a mad scheme for him that they don’t intend to unveil until the regular season? The Patriots typically do not keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, which must be set Saturday, and Ryan Mallett has the spot behind that Brady guy locked up.
But this is the Patriots we’re talking about. Anything can happen. “Ever since Tebow arrived at Gillette Stadium, there’s been a shroud of mystery surrounding his role and purpose,” the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian writes. “Do we really know what Belichick and Josh McDaniels have in mind for him?
“Do they truly believe they can fix him to the point of molding him into a legitimate NFL quarterback, be it running the option or whatever? Is what we’ve seen to date, what we’re going to get when the games count? Or are they just toying with us?”
For Tebow, the words “the future is now” have never been more true.