The New England Patriots got two good looks at Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback last season. Both ended in blowout fashion — including New England’s 45-10 bludgeoning in the AFC divisional round — but the eight quarters were more than enough to put Tebow’s versatility on display.
When the Patriots host the New York Jets on Sunday, Bill Belichick will keep a close eye on when and how offensive coordinator Tony Sparano deploys his backup quarterback.
“We saw him play last year. He quarterbacked that team to the playoffs, (the) Denver (Broncos),” Belichick said Tuesday (via ESPNBoston.com). “In addition to some of the quarterbacking things, he’s done a lot of other things with the Jets, so, yeah, of course he’s a valuable guy.”
The Jets have used Tebow sparingly to date, but he’s helped them convert a pair of fake punts — including a 23-yard jump pass play on Sunday against Indianapolis — and has seen his involvement increase in the last two weeks.
“He doesn’t always line up at quarterback when he’s in there on offense, so you have to be ready to deal with him at other positions as well,” Belichick said. “He’s a good runner, he’s a strong runner, very strong. He’s mobile in the pocket, (a) smart player, he can do a lot of different things. Different option plays and things like that, so you certainly have to be aware of him when he’s in there.”
With the entire AFC East deadlocked at 3-3, Sunday’s match up between the Patriots and Jets has major implications within the division. New York is coming off a rare offensive explosion against Indianapolis while New England gave up 14 fourth-quarter points in a jarring loss at Seattle.
New England is listed as a heavy favorite at the moment, but Rex Ryan has already declared his belief that his Jets are going to beat Belichick’s Patriots.